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Dental Emergency: Blessing in Disguise???


If you’re a long-term reader, I’ve discussed the issue of dental work ad nauseum (1, 2, 3, 4 times where I’ve dedicated an entire post to the topic; probably several more times where I’ve mentioned it in reference to monthly budgeting). Long story short, hubs’ has a lot of dental issues. A lot! I’ve now been blogging here 18 months and I think he’s had 2 or 3 emergency root canals during that time. He has lots of other dental needs, too, but he’s got some dental anxiety issues (not to mention it’s -ahem- challenging to get him to take a day off to go to the dentist. Gotta love him!). So he’s mostly been operating on an emergency dental situation basis. Very reactive instead of proactive.

Yes, this is a terrible way of handling things.

Yes, it’s more expensive this way.

Yes, dental health is extremely important and can influence health in other ways, too.

He knows all this, but is a grown man and cannot be forced into something against his will. I know, I’ve tried. ; )

Anywho….we’ve got our latest dental emergency, folks!

A few nights ago at dinner hubs bit into something; his eyes got wide and his face grew pale. My first guess was that a crown had fallen out (he’s had that happen before).


His tooth fell out. But not his whole tooth. The majority-but not all-of a tooth. A back molar he’d had a root canal and crown put on about 4 years ago. The one that was repaired in Mexico (I’ve mentioned it here). So there’s no way he can go back and make the dentist fix it. No warranties or anything like that.

Now, while this is enough to ruin anyone’s day, I am choosing to look at this as a blessing in disguise. I’ve had a terrible time trying to get hubby back to the dentist. This little issue (ahem – having a tooth fall out!!!) has forced him back to the dentist. Only, now we’ve got dental insurance (YAYAYAYAYAY for the new job!) Hubs has already gone to a new in-network dentist and had x-rays done (something he’s been opposed to in the past) and had a plan drawn up for how to handle his dental issues. The dentist will work in quadrants in his mouth and we’ve already pre-paid for his first quadrant (which will include filling 2 cavities, 2 extractions – one for this tooth and one for a wisdom tooth he’d never had removed, and completing a bone graft for a future tooth implant). Total cost out of pocket is $665. For a little comparison, when I paid to get a filling last year (before insurance), I paid $171. Through insurance, our cost for a filling is only $26 per tooth! Wahoo! What a savings!

Our dental insurance does have an annual per-person maximum that they’ll cover so we’re trying to be strategic about things. But, luckily, they go by calendar year (not actual year; like, July through July since that’s when we got the insurance). So we’ll likely max out their coverage on hubs by December and then be able to start over again in 2016.

Ultimately, this is going to cost us a lot of money. Thousands of dollars. BUT we’ll FINALLY be getting ahead of hubs’ dental problems. Instead of always operating on a reactionary basis (aka:  getting a root canal once a cavity has gone untreated for so long that the whole thing is rotting away), we’ll be able to start rectifying hubs’ many dental issues and getting on top of them before they turn into major catastrophic dental emergencies!

And, fortunately, we had $700 in our dental/health/vision savings account. I just wrote a check for $665 to pre-pay this first quadrant of work. But at least it was money we already had earmarked specifically for this purpose (so it does NOT impact this month’s budget). But instead of saving only a hundred bucks a month or so toward dental, we’ll certainly need to increase those savings on the short-term. Hopefully this means much better oral and overall health on the long-term!

Do you have a partner whose stubborn about going to the dentist? What have you done to help ease their anxiety?

The Next Step


Well, one week of being consumer debt free in the books. And now I am ready to move on to my next goal. However, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride over here due to things beyond my control. So I still don’t have a solid plan for this yet, but wanted to let you know what I’m thinking and get your feedback.

You might recall that I have a debt in my name that I do not pay…my ex-husband does. (This is spelled out in our divorce papers as well.) I got a lot of grief over this last fall, so let’s not re-hash that. This is just how it is and it works for us. The monthly payment is $246 per month which he pays me and then I pay the lien holder. This makes it comfortable for me, but does not work well when trying to finance say a house as they want to see that he has paid the loan directly for at least 12 months. So, I want to get rid of this debt.

My plan was that he would continue paying his regular payment and I would put my extra payments towards it, tracking those of course, until it’s paid off and then he could just continue to pay me. Make sense? So I was all set on this course of action, until he called and said he wanted to sell the vehicle, yada, yada. Ok, great! Let’s do that.

Then a couple more weeks passed and he called to say, “hey, I’m moving to another state within the next 30 days.”

Then a week after that, he called to say “hey, I’m going to need to keep my truck to drive to my new state.”

Ok, see where I was referring to the roller coaster ride? So I am now back to my original plan, with a small caveat. If he is taking the car out of state (a 23 hour drive from me,) but it’s titled, insured, etc by me, well it gets a bit complicated. So I’ve got on my to do list to call my insurance company and check on the nuances of this situation. But now I’m especially confident that paying off this debt is the best next step.


Just to make sure you have all the information…my only other debt are student loans with a balance right around $30K. Ok, now go, what are your thoughts on this next step.

Oh, one more thing…timeline for this…end of this calendar year for payoff, with me loosening up on my budget just a bit.

Ok, now go…