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Old 10-06-2015, 06:56 PM   #21
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....I need dental insurance because my husband and older son have "soft" teeth and tend to need a lot of work... ongoing. (My younger son and I have pretty indestructible teeth, thank goodness.) My biggest concern is having my copay/balances be based on negotiated rates...

What have you all done? Is dental insurance a rip off or a good idea?
We have gone without dental insurance since I stopped working and our employer coverage lapsed. However, we generally only have a check-up once a year and cleanings twice a year and x-rays occasionally, so the cost of just buying the services is less than what the insurance would cost.

Is it feasible for you to buy a dental policy for DH and older son who have periodic issues and then just go without insurance for you and younger son? Not sure if that would save anything or not.
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Old 10-06-2015, 06:57 PM   #22
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:01 PM   #23
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Have you checked other dental practices to see what discount they are offering?

Mr. A. is getting an implant next month. Our insurance covers about 40% of the dental office's "full" cost for surgery, implant, and crown - total, about $3200.00 with insurance. Four hundred dollars of the $3200.00 is for nitrous, which the insurance doesn't cover - but the doctor strongly urged it, because the extraction will be a rough one.

If we didn't have insurance, or if our insurance hadn't started contributing toward implants, we would have received a 25% discount off the surgery, implant and crown. (It seems a little silly to even have a "full" price since apparently, no one pays it. It reminds me of JCPenney "sales.").

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Old 10-06-2015, 07:13 PM   #24
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Have you checked other dental practices to see what discount they are offering?

Mr. A. is getting an implant next month. Our insurance covers about 40% of the dental office's "full" cost for surgery, implant, and crown - total, about $3200.00 with insurance. Four hundred dollars of the $3200.00 is for nitrous, which the insurance doesn't cover - but the doctor strongly urged it, because the extraction will be a rough one.

If we didn't have insurance, or if our insurance hadn't started contributing toward implants, we would have received a 25% discount off the surgery, implant and crown. (It seems a little silly to even have a "full" price since apparently, no one pays it. It reminds me of JCPenney "sales.").

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I am sure the $400 charge is for IV sedation, not nitrous. No one has brought up going to a dental school for any extensive, expensive dental work. If you live near a dental school and you have more time than money, I would definitely consider going there for any crown and bridge work, implants, etc.
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:17 PM   #25
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I have not explored changing dentists and would prefer to keep this one. He's a good dentist who has the right balance of pushing you to do work that needs to be done, but not pushing cosmetic or extra work on you. Talking to friends - that's less common than you'd think. (Example: Former coworker got talked into changing out all his silver fillings for porcelain even though he had no issues with the old silver ones. Work that was lucrative to the dentist, but not necessary for oral health.)
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:49 PM   #26
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What have you all done? Is dental insurance a rip off or a good idea?
Even our dentist recommended we drop the insurance. He gave me all possible costs for various issues.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:13 PM   #27
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Have you checked other dental practices to see what discount they are offering?

Mr. A. is getting an implant next month. Our insurance covers about 40% of the dental office's "full" cost for surgery, implant, and crown - total, about $3200.00 with insurance. Four hundred dollars of the $3200.00 is for nitrous, which the insurance doesn't cover - but the doctor strongly urged it, because the extraction will be a rough one.

If we didn't have insurance, or if our insurance hadn't started contributing toward implants, we would have received a 25% discount off the surgery, implant and crown. (It seems a little silly to even have a "full" price since apparently, no one pays it. It reminds me of JCPenney "sales.").

Amethyst
Is this $3200 total for the implant including the crown? If so I think it's extremely reasonable. I am currently going through the process of an implant that started back in March with the extraction, bone graft with sedation and last month had the implant. My dentist will install the crown in January. The surgeon's bill is $6500 with my insurance paying only $1500. I expect an additional $1100 bill from my dentist for the crown.

We plan to pay out of pocket when my COBRA coverage terminates in July. I don't think dental insurance is worth it.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:58 PM   #28
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I have been going to a dental school. I have many crowns that are 15-20+ years old that are starting to fail. I was concerned because two times I went and had old crowns removed and they were not able to save the tooth and they were extracted each time. They did a full mouth series x-ray and had 3 or 4 of the instructors look at the x-rays and my mouth and came to the conclusion that it was too difficult for the student dentist. I have an appointment to go to their new location where in resident dentists are learning specialties and have instructors watching them also. They are wanting to take off all of my crowns and see what is under them, instead of just guessing. Unforturnately, I am losing bone also. The resident dentists charge more than the student dentists of course. I have no idea what kind of money I will be looking at after they decide what is needed.

Open season is coming up, so I have been looking at dental insurance. I think that they dental school would be out-of-network, so they would pay less, higher deductible and lower amount paid out for the year. Also, if I was reading it correctly, they would only pay for crowns one per every 60 month period. The real kicker was, if you had a crown within the last 60 months, before you had their coverage and paid for it yourself, it still counted against you in the dental insurance plan. If that is the case, then I have decided not to get it. I think it would probably be next to impossible to get them to help pay for any implants.
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:08 PM   #29
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Back in 2007, when I switched from working 20 hours per week to only 12 hours per week, I had to forgo eligibility for my company's group health plan which included dental. I was able to go on COBRA for the next 18 months which coincided with the last 17 months I worked until I ERed in late 2008.


But in those 17 months, as well as earlier in 2007 when I was planning this strategy but still was working 20 hours per week, I made sure to have some costly dental work I had been postponing for a while. This included getting a crown and having 2 wisdom teeth pulled while I still had dental coverage.


This worked out well because my dental bills starting in 2009 when I was without dental coverage have been very low because I have had nearly no cavities or any other problems. I had figured out that cost of my old dental premiums under COBRA plus deductibles plus coinsurance were about the same as the cost of two annual exams plus one set of X-rays plus 1 or 2 small cavities.


My dentist since 1989 retired in 2013 so I have been going to another dentist he suggested starting in 2014. Besides being cavity-free in 2013 I have been cavity-free in 2014 and earlier this year (I have my next visit tomorrow so let's see if this great streak can continue).
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:14 PM   #30
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I never saw a dental plan that was worth anything... JMHO
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:38 AM   #31
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We tried dental insurance for a year but I never saw the advantage. It had limits on yearly total payouts and didn't cover things that were expensive or complex (like implants).

The total value of the coverage was more than the year premium, but not significantly more, and heavily geared to fillings and crowns. If it doesn't cover the risk of unlikely but costly medical needs it's not really insurance.
Our experience exactly. Most of the procedures we use now(implants,etc) are not covered or restricted to such an extent, not worth it. Paying $100 per month for a $1,500 yearly coverage max seems like a waste of time to me. We dropped our group dental coverage offered by past employer's group plan last year.
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:30 AM   #32
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We are currently uninsured, having retired just ten months ago and got our teeth as healthy as possible while under megacorps care.

We found a local community college that has a dental hygene program and does serious cleanings for $20 as well as xrays as requested so we will likely just find a dentist when something starts to hurt.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:29 AM   #33
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Nope. It's right there on the estimate. We live in a,high cost area and all services are expensive.
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I am sure the $400 charge is for IV sedation, not nitrous. No one has brought up going to a dental school for any extensive, expensive dental work. If you live near a dental school and you have more time than money, I would definitely consider going there for any crown and bridge work, implants, etc.
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:48 PM   #34
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Nope. It's right there on the estimate. We live in a,high cost area and all services are expensive.
I'd bring a case of Redi-whip and self administer.
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Old 10-07-2015, 04:58 PM   #35
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We decided to not do dental insurance when we retired in 2010 as it did appear to be worth it.

Anything serious like root canal and periodontal surgery are covered by health insurance.

Going next week for my first filling in over 6 years
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Old 10-07-2015, 04:59 PM   #36
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I believe so. It is $2000 for the procedure (with insurance) and $1200 for the crown. There is no bone graft anticipated with the implant, but he is supposed to get a bone graft for a back tooth and the insurance will not cover that ($1000 for the graft and material, surgery extra).

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Is this $3200 total for the implant including the crown? If so I think it's extremely reasonable. I am currently going through the process of an implant that started back in March with the extraction, bone graft with sedation and last month had the implant. My dentist will install the crown in January. The surgeon's bill is $6500 with my insurance paying only $1500. I expect an additional $1100 bill from my dentist for the crown.

We plan to pay out of pocket when my COBRA coverage terminates in July. I don't think dental insurance is worth it.
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Old 10-07-2015, 05:32 PM   #37
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Anything serious like root canal and periodontal surgery are covered by health insurance.
Root canals covered by health insurance in the US ?
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:33 PM   #38
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I retired abruptly (BS bucket was full) halfway through the work on 2 dental implants. Fortunately, I'd already burned through the annual max on my employer's policy! I looked at dental insurance and decided against it. The 6 month to 1-year waiting period on anything other than routine cleanings really turned me off. It was practically a guaranteed profit for the insurer during that period.


So far I've gotten hit with some small bills for fillings and for the 2 extra cleanings per year they recommend because I have implants (insurance would cover only two but I need 4). I'm perfectly happy to have gone without coverage, knowing that even now it's not going to be of much use if I need anything major- and despite regular care and (they tell me) taking good care of my mouth and gums, my problems tend to be major. I have a lot of old crowns an a bridge that's likely to fail sometime.
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:16 PM   #39
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I retired abruptly (BS bucket was full) halfway through the work on 2 dental implants. Fortunately, I'd already burned through the annual max on my employer's policy! I looked at dental insurance and decided against it. The 6 month to 1-year waiting period on anything other than routine cleanings really turned me off. It was practically a guaranteed profit for the insurer during that period.


So far I've gotten hit with some small bills for fillings and for the 2 extra cleanings per year they recommend because I have implants (insurance would cover only two but I need 4). I'm perfectly happy to have gone without coverage, knowing that even now it's not going to be of much use if I need anything major- and despite regular care and (they tell me) taking good care of my mouth and gums, my problems tend to be major. I have a lot of old crowns an a bridge that's likely to fail sometime.
As an FYI.... I was looking at getting dental insurance for next year and was going through some of the policies offered this year... a couple did have waiting periods, but they were waived if you paid the full year premium up front....

The problem with dental is that there are many things that you can wait on.... so you sign up for dental insurance, get teeth fixed and then cancel policy... they are out then.... and I bet more people do this than do it with health insurance...
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Old 10-08-2015, 06:49 AM   #40
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When I was between jobs and after Cobra, I also looked into dental insurance. For us with 1 kid, it was just about break even for checkups if paid out of pocket vs. with insurance. However, all it would take would be a root canal, a crown and/or a filling to put it back over the edge to being very worthwhile. But right after I started coverage, I went back to work and had to cancel it. :-)

By the way dentist was more than willing to work with me and gave me their shelf prices for all of the common procedures. Really helped me make the decision.

Also, be aware that there are lots of "discount" plans out there that are not insurance. If you have a dentist you like, make sure before you enroll that they'll accept the discount plan or insurance and that you know what your out of pocket will be for common procedures.

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