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Dentist question (sorry!)

Dentist question (sorry!)

Old Mar 3rd 2018, 4:28 pm
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Default Dentist question (sorry!)

Hi folks!
First off I’m in Alberta. Figured this info would be helpful.
But yesterday I was forced to go to the dentist thanks to part of my tooth chipping away. I hadn’t actually been for 12 years as the place actually terrifies me.

After a full 80 minutes of an initial consultation, having photos and a million xrays taken and then a brief look by the dentist and a temp filling added to smooth out the sharp edge where the tooth chipped away, I had to pay $385.
I was then told I needed 2 root canals and a crown. Estimated costs (not including any sedation) is approx $6000.

Now- I can’t afford that!! I do have blue cross insurance through my husband which covers 80% of the root canal work & 50% of a crown but only up to $1500 a year.
I can set up the insurance through my own employer too and claim the same (after the 3 month wait or wgatever) But even then, that’s only going to cover 1/2 of the cost.

Do different dentists charge different amounts?! Is it worth me asking around and seeing what other places quote? I’ve been emailed my X-rays already so can presumably pass those on to another dentist to help?
And if not and I’m looking at at least a $6000 bill, is it possible for me to fly to the uk and get work done there? I’m in Canada on a TWP and have my registered Uk address as my parents-in-law on the Isle of Mull, Scotland.

Any help/advice would be hugely appreciated!! Thank you!!
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 4:32 pm
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Default Re: Dentist question (sorry!)

You can fly anywhere you want to get the work done be it the UK, Mexico or any other country that offers cheap dentistry.
I believe an extraction is only about $200 per tooth. Dentists prefer to fix teeth rather than extracting them. I wonder why?
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 4:48 pm
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Default Re: Dentist question (sorry!)

Originally Posted by suzeandmatt View Post
Hi folks!
First off I’m in Alberta. Figured this info would be helpful.
But yesterday I was forced to go to the dentist thanks to part of my tooth chipping away. I hadn’t actually been for 12 years as the place actually terrifies me.

After a full 80 minutes of an initial consultation, having photos and a million xrays taken and then a brief look by the dentist and a temp filling added to smooth out the sharp edge where the tooth chipped away, I had to pay $385.
I was then told I needed 2 root canals and a crown. Estimated costs (not including any sedation) is approx $6000.

Now- I can’t afford that!! I do have blue cross insurance through my husband which covers 80% of the root canal work & 50% of a crown but only up to $1500 a year.
I can set up the insurance through my own employer too and claim the same (after the 3 month wait or wgatever) But even then, that’s only going to cover 1/2 of the cost.

Do different dentists charge different amounts?! Is it worth me asking around and seeing what other places quote? I’ve been emailed my X-rays already so can presumably pass those on to another dentist to help?
And if not and I’m looking at at least a $6000 bill, is it possible for me to fly to the uk and get work done there? I’m in Canada on a TWP and have my registered Uk address as my parents-in-law on the Isle of Mull, Scotland.

Any help/advice would be hugely appreciated!! Thank you!!
Is it possible to stagger the work? Have the most critical one done this year and the next one the year after.
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Dentist question (sorry!)

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
You can fly anywhere you want to get the work done be it the UK, Mexico or any other country that offers cheap dentistry.
I believe an extraction is only about $200 per tooth. Dentists prefer to fix teeth rather than extracting them. I wonder why?
I was told after looking at X-rays that these teeth will not come out easy. They all havevsuper long roots. One is bent and the other has essentially a bulb near the bottom presumably meaning it won’t cone out easy.
But I feel like I really should get a second opinion. I’d rather them just be pulled out to be honest- but I know nothing about dentistry. :-/
Someone else briefly mentioned Mexico to me yesterday. I thought they were joking. Maybe it’s common practise?!
Thank you!
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: Dentist question (sorry!)

Originally Posted by suzeandmatt View Post
Any help/advice would be hugely appreciated!! Thank you!!
Is the tooth painful? Is it unsightly for you? Bear in mind that dental advice is always influenced by a need to maximise income and may not represent your best interests.

I have a number of teeth where bits have chipped away, no doubt a dentist would think he had won the pools if he looked at my teeth. But that's where it stops, they aren't painful so the dentist has to wait until I think they need attention, not the dentist.

FL's quite right, a tooth pulled is a tooth pulled, a tooth mended is an investment in the future.
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 5:07 pm
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Default Re: Dentist question (sorry!)

Originally Posted by suzeandmatt View Post
Now- I can’t afford that!! I do have blue cross insurance through my husband which covers 80% of the root canal work & 50% of a crown but only up to $1500 a year.
I can set up the insurance through my own employer too and claim the same (after the 3 month wait or wgatever) But even then, that’s only going to cover 1/2 of the cost.
Look at the terms of insurance with your employer. Usually an employee becomes eligible after a waiting period. If they choose to take the insurance often it is no medical questionnaire required at that point. Once they are past that qualifying period and did not opt in to the extended health, they can apply for the insurance, but usually have to have a medical, after which they may or may not be accepted into the plan.

If one has two insurers, they don't pay half each. The primary will pay up to 50% of the bill, or the plan maximum, the other will pay half of the remaining balance, or up to the plan maximum.

If you can have the work done over 2 calendar years, there may be more coverage, i.e. in Dec and Jan the next year.

If flying back to the UK to get work done, won't you have to pay there too? Would be a good idea to find out the costs first, cannot see that being much of a saving with flights etc.

If considering Mexico, I would do some serious research first. I have heard of some very mixed results.
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/crowns...xico-1.3810709

Last edited by Aviator; Mar 3rd 2018 at 5:12 pm.
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: Dentist question (sorry!)

Originally Posted by suzeandmatt View Post
Do different dentists charge different amounts?! Is it worth me asking around and seeing what other places quote?
I believe each province has a guide but it's not much use as it seems to say things like $1000 to $2500 per tooth for whatever needs doing.

I'm currently just over half way through three root canals. The first two needed specialist work and each was just under $1500 with a recommendation to have them finished with crowns. I read a bit and apparently research has shown something like 90% of root canal treatments failing in some way within 5 years and needing a repeat.

My dentist recommends only one crown for the two done so far though and that's around $1000. I'm hoping that the third one won't need a crown as it's in a similar position (lower but other side). He's doing the third one as it's more straightfofrward and it'll be less than the first two.

Despite him doing x-rays, the specialist wanted her own done.

You could fly to the UK but not being resident you don't qualify for NHS but private treatment looks about a quarter of the cost.

Mexico is a possibility too.

Originally Posted by HGerchikov View Post
Is it possible to stagger the work? Have the most critical one done this year and the next one the year after.
It could work.

I have no coverage but the treatments are spaced out, so that at least spreads the costs.
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: Dentist question (sorry!)

Some dental prices from Mexico
Mexico Dentist Prices

Lots of Americans living close to border towns have work done.

https://www.dentaldepartures.com/mexico-dentists/
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: Dentist question (sorry!)

Thanks for all your replies. I think it’s still cheaper privately in the UK.

I only have one dentists views to go on. Despite the website saying he apparently specialises in restorative work he said he’d have to send me off to a specialist. Which sort of confused me.
I know my husband had a similar situation needing a root canal in the Uk a few years ago and a regular dentist did it and stuck a crown on- thoug he did end up needing the tooth pulled 2 years later anyway.

Hmmm...a lot to think about.
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 6:30 pm
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Default Re: Dentist question (sorry!)

Originally Posted by suzeandmatt View Post
...Despite the website saying he apparently specialises in restorative work he said he’d have to send me off to a specialist. Which sort of confused me....
My specialist did two appointments for each root canal. The one my dentist is doing only needs one. The specialist did seem better equipped and, to be honest, I'd rather have her as a regular dentist.

But her expertise and better equipment is no doubt the reason for higher charges.

So if you did find a lower root canal fee, that might be from someone who couldn't do what yours needs anyway.
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 6:48 pm
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Default Re: Dentist question (sorry!)

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
Some dental prices from Mexico
Mexico Dentist Prices

Lots of Americans living close to border towns have work done.

https://www.dentaldepartures.com/mexico-dentists/
I've been going to the same folks in Los Algadonis for 17 years now. It's only 15 minutes from my place. US$350 for a root canal and from US$185 for a crown, depending on the material used. Always had great results. The dentist's office is more modern technology wise than the dentist in NS. People do actually go to Algadonis for "dental holidays". What they save if they need major work more that covers the expense.
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: Dentist question (sorry!)

Alberta has just introduced a dental price guide - one local place is advertising that it has lowered it's rates to come in line with it. I had a crown done just before Christmas - I was advised before I left the UK 12 years ago that I would need one very soon, and one not long after It cost me just over $800 and the insurance is paying the other $800. I will probably get the other one done later this year.

If you have insurance and your OH has insurance you can claim from both.

Keep any receipts and file on your tax return for the amounts you end up paying.

https://www.alberta.ca/dental-fees.aspx
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 8:08 pm
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Default Re: Dentist question (sorry!)

I would get a second opinion and/or explain to the current dentist that you want to stagger the treatment over different benefit years. They are so used to this. They will also take some push back from you as to what you want or are willing to do and pay for. I find the dentists here always recommend the gold plated service. You can opt for bronze 😉

If there is no pain or broken teeth right now, do one crown this benefit year, and then considering getting other coverage in place for the second crown next benefit year.

Dental insurance coverage should not require medical questionnaires. It is simple pot of money to be used in a year. There is no risk to the insurer. ( extended health cover is another matter). Group benefits through an employer is usually ‘no questions aaked’

The Alberta Dental Fee Guide, while a step in the right direction after not having one for decades, is still only a recommendation to dentists. They don’t have to comply 🙄.

Good luck, don’t panic, I hate the dentist chair, do the necessary stuff first and make a shopping list of the ‘nice to haves’.
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 8:18 pm
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Default Re: Dentist question (sorry!)

Originally Posted by ann m View Post
...I hate the dentist chair....
What, even with the nice TV they have up on the ceiling these days?
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 9:17 pm
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Default Re: Dentist question (sorry!)

FYI. I have had 2 crowns applied privately In the UK in the last couple of years. Each crown cost £500 which equates to around $888 per crown.
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