26 July 2007

dental adventures

Monday Joshua and Patience visited the dentist for the first time. The visit went pretty well, although Joshua had such bad plaque and tartar buildup that they couldn't complete his cleaning without making it very uncomfortable for him. They decided to put it off until next time. The bad news is that we'll be back soon for a not-so-pleasant appointment. Joshua has a total of 6 cavities in his molars. One of them needs a root canal, and 2 of them need caps. The stains on his front teeth are just that, stains. Patience has one shallow cavity in her molars, but the stains on her 2 front teeth are cavities. Because she's still a few years away from losing her teeth, these need to be taken care of with caps as well. The dentist recommends sedating them and doing all the work at once because of their age and the severity of the problems. The grand total for their cleanings and all the work? Over $2200! We never minded not having dental insurance before, but I just stared at the woman who gave me the estimate. She asked if I wanted to schedule appointments right away, and I just told her that I had to go find the money first!

The great news that has come out of this situation is that we learned our family qualifies for free CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Plan) in Pennsylvania. I read all the fine print and called several times with numerous questions because I was sure it was too good to be true... but it's not. It will take 4-6 weeks to go into effect, but then all the dental work will be free as will all their health care! We can take them off our health insurance policy, which saves $180 per month out of our Worldlink account. We're so excited to have made this discovery, but we're also frustrated that we didn't know about it sooner. I keep thinking about how much better off our checking account would be if we hadn't paid so many copays over the past 3 months. We'll put that behind us though and thank God that the kids' bad teeth will ultimately save us thousands of dollars over the next few years.

Now we're wondering if Joshua's dislike of cold and sugary foods is simply because his mouth is such a mess. He claims his teeth don't hurt when he eats those things, but it will be interesting to see if his eating preferences change in September when he has a mouth full of good teeth.

1 comment:

Alanna Bryan said...

Hey! I'm glad you know about CHIP. I wish I had told you before - I didn't know y'all didn't know. Our kids are all on it. Now, here's one thing to know about the dental work the kids "need" done. I was told the same thing about Zeke - supposedly he alone needed $2000 worth of stuff done for very similar things. So, I called our insurance, took him to a different dentist, and low and behold, uh-uh he doesn't need that. Almost all of the cavities can be treated with temporary fillings, especially since they are going to be falling out and getting new big teeth. Secondly, don't buy into the sedation thing. They want to do that to make big buckos. That, AND, dentists have no caps - they can charge whatever they want!! So, to make a very long story short - I got Zeke's teeth filled (FOR FREE VIA CHIP DENTIST HERE) and NO SEDATION and the total was less than $200 for everything (which the insurance covered 100%). Yeah - DO NOT NOT NOT believe everything they tell you - ESPECIALLY at a pediatric dentist. I have plenty more thoughts and info on this if you need it. Secondly, there is also insurance that covers adults called "Adult Basic" that is thru Blue Cross Blue Shield's Caring Foundation. You and Peter could probably get on it for $32/month each and it covers 100% too as long as you pay your premiums on time. Go to ibx.com and look it up. Okay- I'll stop talking now. Call or email me if you have any questions!