When I first went on Medicare I signed up for a dental insurance plan through AARP. It's called Delta Dental, and I'm sure some of you have it.
I gave it up last year because the premium was going up, and it seemed like the coverage was very limited.
Originally, my old dentist in New York gave me a discount because of the insurance. Then Delta Dental reimbursed the dentist for a portion of the bill, so I never had to pay more than $20 or $30 for a visit.
When I moved to Pennsylvania the dentists in the Delta network all seemed like cut-rate operators. And I didn't want to end up in a Dollar Store for my dental work.A friend recommended a dentist who was supposed to be very good, but not in my plan. So that's where I went. It seemed like a thriving practice The office was modern, with all the latest technology. But I had to pay $200 to $300 for a regular visit, and Delta only reimbursed me a scant $40. That was bad enough. But then I needed to replace an old crown. The charge was $1600. Delta ended up paying about $200.
So I ditched my insurance. But maybe it wasn't such a great idea. Because a few months ago I had to have another crown replaced. Ouch. In more ways than one.
I got the crown in, paid my $1600. But it wasn't right. I went back for an adjustment. Then another, and another.
And yet another. This time the dentist brought in the endodondist to check to see if I needed a root canal. He banged on my tooth. He tried to freeze it. He took an x-ray. And he concluded I did not need a root canal.
So why does my tooth still hurt? It doesn't hurt all the time, doesn't keep me awake at night. It only hurts when I try to chew on it. But isn't that kind of what a tooth is for?
Now the dentist has recommended I get fitted for a night guard. He thinks I grind my teeth, and maybe that's causing the problem. Oh, and by the way, that's another $700.
So I don't know. My friend still swears by this dentist. Linda at Thoughts from a Bag Lady in Waiting relates her story of traveling to Mexico to get her dental work done. She seemed pretty happy with the results. But she's from Arizona. I live a long way from Mexico.
One of the items proposed in President Biden's so-called Build Back Better plan is to include dental work in Medicare. I think that would be a great idea. Don't you?