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Old 12-14-2017, 02:15 PM   #61
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Delta Dental. I am not sure whether it is offered everywhere. I chose the most comprehensive plan available from healthcare.gov in my area.
I've checked out Delta Dental in my area. Premium was comparable, max they would pay was the same ($1,000/year). They DID have a waiting period on everything except cleaning and that's what turned me off when I considered it at retirement. I'd had continuous coverage from other insurers for years and had had regular care, so it wasn't like I decided to sign up after I found I needed major work. On a whim I checked it again when it showed up in my FaceBook feed as "Affordable dental plans for seniors" and it still has a waiting period.
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:26 PM   #62
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Dental costs are free up to $1,800 a year under my union benefits. After that, there is a schedule of allowances. Didnít pay a dime my first year of retirement. After reading this thread I realize how fortunate I am!!
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Old 12-14-2017, 03:09 PM   #63
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Our dental insurance works like this:
  • All preventive care (cleanings, exams, X-rays) covered 100%
  • Restorative (fillings, extractions, bridges, dentures) 50%
  • Deductible is $50 per person
  • Annual maximum benefit is $1,000 per person
For this coverage we pay $372 a year for two people.
I think it's a very good plan. It's subsidized by DW's last employer (retirees get the same deal as employees).
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Old 12-14-2017, 03:57 PM   #64
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When I had a denture on the bottom it would go up and down when I talked. I had to eat only soft food. Ugh! The top is easier to wear. However, I upgraded to implants and a snap in denture on top and was well worth the 11k. On the bottom I have the best which is permanent denture held in by implants. These rarely fail. If my top fails I would probably just go back to the denture.
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:02 PM   #65
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Doesn't the dentist and the insurance company have negotiated rates for major work? Then the patient pays a portion of the negotiated rate.
OOP may not apply.
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:30 PM   #66
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You can tell most folks with full dentures from a distance.
This brought back a weird childhood memory; I remember my paternal grandmother staying with us once, and watching in fascination as she took out her teeth and brushed them. I asked her why my teeth didn't work that way. She said, "When you're a Grandma you'll be able to do that, too."

My oldest granddaughter is 3 1/2 years old. I'm glad my teeth still aren't the removable kind!
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:03 PM   #67
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OMG, this brought shivers to my body. I remember the mouth trays and that god-awful stuff. Every six months like clockwork, still ended up with a mouthful of fillings (now crowns/implants). Topical fluoride does not work as well as fluoridated water, I don't believe.
Most offices now use a fluoride varnish instead of the gels or foam in trays. Much easier and more effective. You can't compare the fluoride treatment that you get twice a year to fluoridated water that you drink every day. Both help to prevent decay but the water you drink every day is more effective.
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:39 PM   #68
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Has anyone used a dental plan offered as an option to buy with a ACA plan? If so did they discount crowns, bridges, root canals etc. and have a OOP maximum?
When my wife and I retired we asked our Dentist about insurance plans. His recommendation was don't waste your money. Most dental insurance plans are not worth much. They usually cap at $1,000 coverage, and that after some significant deductibles. I had looked and found that it cost $30+/mo for a basic plan, so I would end up spending $360 (each) to get $1,000 in possible coverage (after meeting my deductible).

I did find a decent dental plan here -> DentalPlans

The whole Suze Orman touch on their webpage had me skeptical, but I can attest that it was worth it. The plan was regularly $199 but they had a promotion offered. With the promo I ended up paying $164 ($144 plus $20 processing fee) for the TWO of us for 15 months (3 months free was part of the promo) through CignaCare. Also look around, you can find cashback sites like you see on TV for them as well, I got 20% cash back.

I know I saved well above what I paid for the plan just in the cost of the 6 month check-up/cleaning for both of us. The dentist would normally charge $110, we paid $44 with the plan. I saved over $250 just with the routine check-up and cleaning.

On top of that, we had to have filings, root canal and crown. Yep, a bad year. Our dentist had provided us a quote for the services, I had sticker shock is prompted me to look for a way to save a buck or two. We saved $120 on filing, $830 on root canal and $400 on crown, this is based on what the dentist had initially quoted and what we paid under the dental plan.

Our savings have been $1,600 this year. I compared with the typical dental insurance, we paid less with the dental plan than we would have with the traditional insurance.

Honestly, I thought there'd be some catch or gimmick, but there wasn't. There's no forms to fill out at the dentist (just show them your card) or reimbursement. There's also no cap limit, no waiting period either.

You can check for yourself, you can select a dentist and then view sample of their fees. I found that the cost of procedures will vary by dentist.
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:25 PM   #69
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I was told long ago to brush twice a day and "floss the ones you wanna keep." I've learned that helps a lot to reduce future dental costs.
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:30 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
This brought back a weird childhood memory; I remember my paternal grandmother staying with us once, and watching in fascination as she took out her teeth and brushed them. I asked her why my teeth didn't work that way. She said, "When you're a Grandma you'll be able to do that, too."

My oldest granddaughter is 3 1/2 years old. I'm glad my teeth still aren't the removable kind!


Wow, that really speaks to how times have changed.
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:40 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
This brought back a weird childhood memory; I remember my paternal grandmother staying with us once, and watching in fascination as she took out her teeth and brushed them. I asked her why my teeth didn't work that way. She said, "When you're a Grandma you'll be able to do that, too."

My oldest granddaughter is 3 1/2 years old. I'm glad my teeth still aren't the removable kind!
Your post brought back a weird childhood memory! My maternal grandmother flushed her partial on Thanksgiving! OMG I must have been 4-5 years old.

I remember my DF being really upset as he unsuccessfully tried to reclaim them..

She was sweet, her second husband a bizzare kinda throw back guy. I guess they both were, born around 1890.

I guess a good lesson is to keep grandmas/pas teeth in her mouth if possible.
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:17 PM   #72
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Neophyte here, in that next month will be my first dentist visit w/o insurance as my COBRA ran out 6 months ago and have not found a plan worth having yet, if i ever will. I have had relatively bad teeth my whole life. had first two pulled at age 11, and 3 more removed over the 46 yrs since then. No implants yet but have had some oral surgery to move tissue from other parts of my mouth to build up my lower gums. Lots of recession now in my upper gums, so expect i will start spending like a drunken sailor on my teeth in the years ahead. Thanks for sharing your experiences and expenses.

In addition to the cost, i dread it also because I find the dentist chair experience rather miserable. Always have, since childhood. I have a great dentist and a good hygienist Very nice people. They even do cat TNR out of their office as it abuts a park. So, definitely my kind of people.
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:42 PM   #73
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Neophyte here, in that next month will be my first dentist visit w/o insurance as my COBRA ran out 6 months ago and have not found a plan worth having yet, if i ever will. I have had relatively bad teeth my whole life. had first two pulled at age 11, and 3 more removed over the 46 yrs since then. No implants yet but have had some oral surgery to move tissue from other parts of my mouth to build up my lower gums. Lots of recession now in my upper gums, so expect i will start spending like a drunken sailor on my teeth in the years ahead. Thanks for sharing your experiences and expenses.

In addition to the cost, i dread it also because I find the dentist chair experience rather miserable. Always have, since childhood. I have a great dentist and a good hygienist Very nice people. They even do cat TNR out of their office as it abuts a park. So, definitely my kind of people.
What I found this year is my newly chosen dentist and oral surgeon are light years better than dentists I have had in the past.

The two implants I received yesterday were so easily done, I never felt anything except the slight pinch of the needle entering my arm to administer the anesthesia. It seemed like I was in the chair about 10 seconds and I was done! Plus, today, no soreness, no bleeding, and all I have to do is take the antibiotics and mouth rinse for a few days. The only thing different is my bank balance took a hard hit.
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Old 12-14-2017, 11:30 PM   #74
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What I found this year is my newly chosen dentist and oral surgeon are light years better than dentists I have had in the past.

The two implants I received yesterday were so easily done, I never felt anything except the slight pinch of the needle entering my arm to administer the anesthesia. It seemed like I was in the chair about 10 seconds and I was done! Plus, today, no soreness, no bleeding, and all I have to do is take the antibiotics and mouth rinse for a few days. The only thing different is my bank balance took a hard hit.
So glad to hear it went that well, Aja8888!!! That's amazing. No soreness or bleeding is fabulous. Sounds like you chose a really good oral surgeon.
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:37 AM   #75
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Got my two implants this morning. Bill was a shade over $4600. That was after a 10% senior's discount (had to ask for it - I'm not shy).

I assume the crowns will be around $3K total in about 3 months from now.
I just paid $900 for an implant. I expect the abutment will be $150-200. Our local dentists charge $850 for crowns each.

I found a dentist doing crowns in one sitting. They take a scan of surrounding teeth and fed it into a laptop. Then a tabletop CNC machine carves the tooth in porcelain in 6 minutes. With 1 minute making an adjustment, it is glued in place. Total time in the office 1 hour and $750 in cost. The dentist doesn't have to spend so much time as doing crowns the old way.

For simple single implants, many dentists and oral surgeons are taking advantage of patients' pocketbooks. Liked I said earlier, it only took maybe 7 minutes to install my implant. I can see where 4 implants and plates is much more technical and time consuming. But not $20k time consuming.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:01 AM   #76
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I was just told that I need a crown (I have decay under the filling) plus some other cavities, abnormal amount for me.
Did any of you get a second opinion? I donít have any symptoms and dentist wants to do this right away, so Iím not comfortable with diagnosis. Just wondering those who have needed expensive dental work knew they needed it.
The cavity should show in an xray , it should be pretty obvious.

What reasoning did they give that they couldn't drill out the old filling and refill it ?
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:40 PM   #77
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The cavity should show in an xray , it should be pretty obvious.

What reasoning did they give that they couldn't drill out the old filling and refill it ?
The reason I was given that after there is more filling than tooth left then they have to use a crown. Otherwise the filling will fall apart in a short time and then they'll have to put on crown anyway.
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Old 12-15-2017, 02:10 PM   #78
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I just paid $900 for an implant. I expect the abutment will be $150-200. Our local dentists charge $850 for crowns each.

I found a dentist doing crowns in one sitting. They take a scan of surrounding teeth and fed it into a laptop. Then a tabletop CNC machine carves the tooth in porcelain in 6 minutes. With 1 minute making an adjustment, it is glued in place. Total time in the office 1 hour and $750 in cost. The dentist doesn't have to spend so much time as doing crowns the old way.

For simple single implants, many dentists and oral surgeons are taking advantage of patients' pocketbooks. Liked I said earlier, it only took maybe 7 minutes to install my implant. I can see where 4 implants and plates is much more technical and time consuming. But not $20k time consuming.
I guess you found a better deal than the rest of us. I hope the implants hold up. I understand in Mexico you can get them done pretty inexpensively also. I have also heard that you get what you pay for. Around here, the going price is what we all pay.
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Old 12-15-2017, 03:04 PM   #79
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I'm still working, but on a good trajectory with an end date on the horizon. In preparation, I've started to do some of the things I've been putting off (like make a will). Beginning in 2018 the plan is to also start dental work. I know I need several crowns (teeth that the dentist keeps on his "watch" list). In addition, I've had one tooth that, over 20 years, has had 2 root canals, two apioectomies, and some other surgery whose name I forget to open the gum up for easy cleaning. The next step (the final step) is to yank it and get an implant. I just hate to do this before it absolutely needs it, but probably should as my workplace dental insurance covers some percentage of implants. Ugh.
The good news is that I have been funding my HSA for some years. It is now a tidy amount that most likely will be used for dental work down the road.
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Old 12-15-2017, 03:06 PM   #80
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The reason I was given that after there is more filling than tooth left then they have to use a crown. Otherwise the filling will fall apart in a short time and then they'll have to put on crown anyway.

Many of my crowns were done for the same reason. Actually back when we were struggling a dentist tried to avoid crowning a tooth. Six months later I was figuring out how to pay for the crown.

My problem was lack of fluoride and a childhood dentist who wasn't qualified to work on my dog. He didn't use any novocaine, just stopped drilling if it was uncomfortable. Filled it up with amalgam over top the remaining decay.

Other dentist's have told me that's a valid treatment for deciduous teeth. This idiot did it to my adult teeth.
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