Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dental Work ::SHUDDER::

I hate dental work. Well, who doesn’t? Can’t avoid it though. If you need a filling you need a filling. And I did. Was told I did a month ago--and that it would cost $258! Talk about adding insult to injury.

At the time, I blanched and then arranged an appointment for yesterday. That would give me time, I said, to check out dental discount cards. I knew, you see, that dental insurance wouldn’t work. The best rate I could get, even as a member of a writers group was around $80 a month, it would pay only half “accepted rates” and there was a waiting period for any major work.

I’d looked into dental discount cards before but wondered if they could really be worth it. My dentist’s office mentioned Ameriplan. I looked into it and it didn’t look bad at $12 or $13 a month but I looked a little more and settled on Aetna’s dental discount card at $6 a month plus a $15 sign up fee.

What did it save me? Well, the charge yesterday was $120 so I save $138 and there was no waiting period to use it! I’m thrilled—especially since it will also save me money when I get my teeth cleaned in six months.

As for the dental work itself, I was really nervous. I have sensitive teeth. I can’t tell you the number of times dentists couldn’t get a tooth numb no matter how many shots of Novocain they gave me! And since I hadn’t had work done by this dentist before I didn’t know what to expect. I have to say I was thrilled with Dr. Pham at Castle Dental. He was quick, he was nice, and I had very little discomfort.

All in all, it could have been sooooo much worse!

Anyway, if you don’t have dental insurance and want something that helps, you might want to look into dental discount cards. I like the Aetna card and I was lucky that my dentist participates. That's one thing to watch out for--make sure your dentist takes whichever card you want to get. There is a website, that offers lots of different cards. There the Aetna card would have been $100 for 15 months. Also be aware that it can take a week to two weeks to actually get the cards once you sign up online though seems to say you can use them sooner. (I signed up at Aetna's own site and it took about a week to get the card.)