Surprise, surprise. When you play with fire you get burned. And, we got ourselves a little “ouchie” (as my girls would call it) this month.
Remember how I discussed my husband’s dental issues awhile back and started setting aside additional money for imminent dental needs (I “upped” our dental/vision monthly savings from $50/month to $125/month, starting last month)? Well I suppose we ‘played with fire’ by waiting too long and guess what happened while we were in Utah? Husband started having some extraordinarily painful tooth problems.
He self-medicated with Orajel and over-the-counter pain meds. He toughed it out over the weekend but called a local dentist first thing on Monday morning and got an appointment for that very afternoon. So on Monday of this week, he ended up having a root canal. Yuuuup. So much for our plan to go to Mexico and have it done for half price.
In all, the damage will set us back nearly $2,000. He did purchase a dental discount plan, and that was the discounted rate. I don’t have exact numbers in front of me, but I think the root canal portion was about $800 and the porcelain crown is another $800-$900?? I need to double-check my numbers, but that’s a ballpark figure.
I checked my CapitalOne360 savings account and our dental/vision savings only has a grand total of $225 in it. Plus, I have my vision appointment coming up in September and will need to get new lenses, so I’m going to need most of that money myself.
Since I don’t have money to cover the root canal expense anywhere in our usual budget and we don’t want to pull it out of savings, we’re going to take a little hit on our income this month. Basically, husband is paying for it out-of-pocket with funds that otherwise would have come to me for budgeting/allocation. So the money is being spent before it was ever officially classified as “income.” Does this make sense? Basically, our income is going to look a little artificially deflated this month. Fortunately, I still have a good sized paycheck coming for my summer teaching (and, remember, no check next month due to the schedule of payment). Hopefully my check will help balance things out a little.
I digress. Back to the main issue regarding dental care.
Husband still has a LOT of other work to be done. This root canal only takes care of his one most pressing issue. So we still have an opportunity to try to save some money on the rest of it. I still vote for him taking a day trip to Mexico to have some work done (the problem with that is it has to be scheduled in advance, not same-day like it was needed this time). I also liked the reader suggestion to try to haggle with the dentists. Give them the prices we have from the Mexico dentists and see if they can match the prices, or at least reduce them. But there’s one other potential avenue I’m crossing my fingers about….
Husband recently went and did a bid for a potential customer who turns out to be…a dentist!!! It is exceptionally rare that husband is able to barter work because he does wood flooring and his labor for jobs is generally in the thousands. Because of the high price point, its tough to barter for hair cuts, car washes, lawn care, or whatever else because the price of those items is so much lower that there’s a big risk that we wouldn’t recuperate the labor costs from my husband’s work if someone flakes out or disappears. BUT – his dental necessities are also in the thousands, so this would be a beautiful trade (both parties still paying for “parts”, but getting the labor for free).
Apparently husband was directed to give his bid to the dentist’s secretary (why would a dental secretary handle the dentists’ home flooring bid? I have no idea), but I have urged husband to reach out to Dr. Dentist directly and try to negotiate a trade. We’ll see what happens. Fingers crossed!!!!!
Have you ever had a dental emergency? How much did it cost you? When I was in High School I chipped my front tooth and still remember it cost $1000 to fix (my Mom paid for it at the time). I also distinctly remember the dentist saying the “fix” (composite material that was bonded to my tooth to fill in the chipped spot), was only designed to last about 7 years. It’s been 12. So there’s that.
Update: Ugh – crap! I wrote this post Thursday evening and Friday morning guess what happened….I have a tooth that chipped! Did I jinx myself or what??? Luckily its not my front tooth, its a back molar. It’s a relatively minor chip (no pain or sensitivity), but everything I have googled says I still need to get into a dentist ASAP, otherwise decay can set in. What the heck? We can’t catch a break over here with our dental health! Time to invest in dental insurance??? *sigh* : (