Monday, December 10, 2007

So What's So Bad about the Doorknob and String Method?!

Or, as Tom calls it, "the pliers and bottle of whiskey method..."

Remember this?

Kat will be the first of the remaining three kids to have her wisdom teeth extracted. The surgery is scheduled for December 28th. Today we met with the oral surgeon for the pre-surgery appointment. All went just fine -- in fact, a bit too much like an assembly line for our liking -- until it came time to discuss the financial arrangements.

Right on cue (after the nurse, the doctor and the nurse again, all in very efficient succession), the office manager came into the examining room and handed me the already-prepared financial statement. As you can see, the cost to us, even after insurance, is a whopping $1589.00!

Times three.

Yes, I asked about a payment plan, muttering something about being unemployed. Nope -- they expect payment in full before you leave the (quite swanky) office on the day of the procedure! (Hand me some of that anesthesia, would'ja kiddo?!) And lest you think this particular surgeon is taking us for a ride, I called around to quite a fewer local oral surgeons and all of their rates were comparable.

So here's a bit of career advice to my kids:

Dude(s), become oral surgeons! At $2200 per procedure and about 80 procedures per month (I know because I asked...), that's a whoppin' $176,000 a month!

And oh -- while you're at it, can you pay off our Visa bill? Because it's looking like it'll take us until you're out of college and working to pay off these surgeries!

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Home's Jewels said...

OUCH!!! I don't remember my daughter's costing that much. She went to our regular dentist and did not have general anesthesia. That probably made a big difference.

Anonymous said...

I noticed the estimate says

Maximum allowable benefits for current year = 1,000

Insurance payments already paid to date = 354

Remaining Insurance Balance for this year = 646

Might it make sense to schedule the surgery for after January 1st, so that you're allowed 1,000 in insurance benefits again?

Of course, that's assuming no further procedures will be required during 2008.

I had mine out with local anesthesia, that saves a bunch.

Blog Antagonist said...

That gave me a small heart attack. I wonder if those people who have like...17 kids thought of things like that before they started spitting out kids right and left?

Anonymous said...

Solution: have your 17 or so kids in Germany. Due to mandatory health insurance, wisdom tooth extraction is *free* save the 10 Euro office fee for every quarter that you visit a doctor.

Anonymous said...

It looks like you're going to the same doctor who pulled my wisdom teeth (Canyon Park area, right?)

I agree with those who said to save money and skip the general anesthesia. It's a very quick process and there's no pain because he pretty much numbs you from the neck up.

Still- that's a LOT of money! Unless they're in pain, maybe do only 1 or 2 this December, and the other(s) next December, when you'll be working?

Anonymous said...

Oops- that last one was me. I somehow sent it before I signed. :)


Rositta said...

Wow, my husband has to have a wisdom tooth pulled out soon to, I wonder what it will cost. Denstists make more money than doctors here in Canada. He had a root canal done last year together with a crown which set him back 2 grand. As it turns out the dentist did a bad job and now the tooth has to come out anyway. You can't even sue them for damages they will say, they did the best they could. I'm afraid to go to the dentist any time soon, I'm unemployed as well without a dental plan. Kind of scary...ciao

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be too quick to have any wisdom tooth pulled without anesthesia! It depeneds a lot on the position of the teeth. I had mine pulled about 1-1/2 years ago and it was so impacted that they had to split it into pieces to get it out. My dentist charged $950. Living in Maple Valley must be cheaper!

Anonymous said...

The problem is that insurance coverage hasn't kept pace with dental costs. I remember having a $1,000 maximum dental benefit per year, back in the 1970's!!! Why is that still an OK number each year in 2007? There's no dental procedures that cost under $1,000 anymore, which means you can really only have 1 procedure done per year. Tell the kids they can each have 1 tooth pulled per year.

Seriously, you can break it up so that each kid has 2 wisdom teeth pulled in December and the other 2 pulled in January, after you get a new $1,000 allotment. There's really no reason they all HAVE to have them all out at once is there?

Goofball said...

whaaaaaaat???? that is so insane?

Anonymous said...

But if you take out 2 wisdom teeth in Dec. and 2 in Jan. you'll end up paying the anesthesia twice.

mks said...

Two thoughts.

1. I know people who had had their wisdom teeth removed in the hospital and it was covered under medical insurance...not sure how it worked but you might want to check it out

2. I know credit is not the best idea but I paid for my crown with Care Credit

It allowed me to make my payments over 3 interest free months and then I took a few more months to pay it off at low interest rate. I would ask your oral surgeon/dentist about it.

Carol said...

Thanks for all your comments and suggestions, everyone! I wish we COULD do this under medical benefits! I think it'd be largely covered if we did! And the benefit year is July to June... checked that one out too.


Maria said...

I had to pay for mine myself. My parents wouldn't fork over the dough. I was in college, so it took just about all of my savings!

Betsy said...

OUCH! (Both for the tooth-yanking AND the bill!!!)

Hope all three of the kids and your wallet heal quickly!

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