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Mon Sep 11, 2017, 03:07 PM

Can't Afford the Dentist? You're Not Alone - USA News

I've long felt very strongly that dental care is just as important to have covered by any single payer/Universal healthcare, as regular physical checkups and needed surgical care is. It was also one of the things I felt should have been addressed by the ACA but unfortunately wasn't.

Nobody loves a trip to the dentist, but for many middle-aged Americans even basic dental care is now financially out of reach, a new poll finds.

In fact, 28 percent don't have dental insurance, while 56 percent don't get dental care except for serious dental problems, researchers said.

Even more troubling is that 51 percent of people surveyed said they didn't know how they will get dental insurance after they turn 65, said lead researcher Erica Solway. She's a senior project manager at the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

According to the poll, 40 percent said they don't get regular cleanings or other preventive care, Solway said.

"For the majority of folks, cost was the main barrier to dental care," she said.


This sounds good but...

Solway noted that dental clinics or dental schools often provide care at lower costs or with a sliding scale based on income.

"There are options for people who can't afford getting care from a traditional dentist's office," she said.


Although options may be available for many, for many others who live in more rural areas the only option is traveling an hour or more and for low income, seniors and disabled that's more easily said than done especially for work that needs more than one or two appointments.

The rest of the article isn't very long at all to read and worth the time to do so IMO.

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Response to WePurrsevere (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 03:31 PM

1. Even if you get "free" dental insurance, it is limited and seldom covers more than half

the cost of crowns, etc.

If you buy it yourself, I doubt you'll come out ahead because the insurance companies know most people are going to buy it when they are expecting major work.

Even Medicare doesn't cover most dental work. I did see an old guy who got coverage for pulling all his teeth because he was under-going cancer treatment that required it.

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Response to WePurrsevere (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 03:44 PM

2. Viewing dental coverage as not a necessity is just barbaric.

Americans can't eat without teeth.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 03:49 PM

3. And dental health affects heart health

People with periodontal disease are twice as likely to have heart disease.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #3)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 04:06 PM

7. Yes, and dental abscesses/infections can kill you all on their own.

It is horrible that we have headlines like this in the world's richest country:

Tooth infection suddenly kills Sacramento truck driver, 26
http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article129870124.html

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 04:02 PM

6. The problem with lack of dental care is not eating without teeth...

it's that without dental care, gum disease and rotting teeth - even from mis-aligned teeth - cause far more serious health issues other than nasty breath, having to mush your food like a baby's food, and a horrible "smile" because those mis-aligned teeth made it hard to clean.

Too many people look at dental care as "cosmetic" - because being too lazy to brush your teeth regularly causes cavities, and caps can change your appearance so you look better than how Gawd made you - or whatever other excuses medical care executives have used for not including dental as a medical discipline or service ever since Barbers could no longer practice both Dentistry and Surgery without years of medical school.

It's almost as if Medical Science policy makers have decided that since we aren't born with teeth, and most of us lose our teeth as we grow older, teeth and oral "health" doesn't matter much, because we can always just yank our teeth before they get too bad and still "function" if we can't afford to fix or replace them.

If in human development, our children were born "blind" (eyes closed for a few weeks or months) like many other mammals, and eventually went blind again as we grew older, would we handle optometry the same way - oh, wait...We do...

Haele

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Response to haele (Reply #6)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 04:10 PM

8. Of course it is directly related to health, indeed can be fatal, as I note up the thread.

Tooth infection suddenly kills Sacramento truck driver, 26http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article129870124.html

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Response to WePurrsevere (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 03:53 PM

4. We have dental insurance at work and I'm always surprised by the number

of people who don't go to the dentist.

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Response to WePurrsevere (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 03:53 PM

5. I've seen patients die

Teeth will abscess and infect the brain. It's crazy that it is a separate "thing".

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #5)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 04:18 PM

10. Yeah like your teeth are separate from the rest of your body.

It is very weird. It is a bit like how some people don't view mental health as a real health care problem as if your brain was somehow not a part of your body. Very odd stuff. I think to some people dental health is just cosmetic but most dental work is not cosmetic and dental issues can cause serious health problems down the road.

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Response to WePurrsevere (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 04:14 PM

9. I worked in dentistry for 21 years

at a cosmetic/restorative practice as an insurance benefit coordinator. I left my job to join our rapidly growing family business. Had I not made that decision, I would have left anyway due to the stress of having to deal with lying-ass insurance companies, patient frustration over ever rising co-payments and skyrocketing costs of treatment. The average dental insurance annual benefit in 2012 (when I left dentistry) was $1000. The average annual dental benefit in 1970 was $1000. Insurance in no way has kept up with the cost of dental treatment. There is no private dental insurance that is worth the premium. If you get dental insurance through an employer, you are fortunate indeed. You cannot put a price on prevention when it comes to dentistry. Floss and toothpick every day, my friends! We all crack and break teeth and those issues are expensive to fix but keeping your mouth healthy through daily maintenance will go a long way toward saving you money in the long run.

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Response to WePurrsevere (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 07:54 PM

11. Dental schools are a great place to get dental work done, IF you happen to live near one.

Not an option for most people.

I've used the UMaryland and UPittsburgh dental schools. Both gave great service (students are closely watched by supervisors) at much lower cost than the regular dentists which I could not afford at the time. Still wearing a crown from Pitt after ~20 years. Still NOT wearing two wisdom teeth I surrendered to UMd.

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Response to WePurrsevere (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 08:16 PM

12. Crazy shit!

I need a lower front tooth replaced. About 25 years ago a bad dentist killed the tooth, and then I went to another guy who put in a Maryland Bridge. Basically a tooth with wings on the back that adhere to the adjacent teeth.

It was starting to get loose so my new dentist was going to do a bridge, $3,600, he got in there, well he was there for five minutes and his assistant did the rest, and he decided a Maryland bridge would be the solution. So the charged me $2,600 which still seemed to high. They called me back and said it really should have been $3,600. I told them we could talk when I came back for the permanent.

Regardless, this is all out of pocket, not sure how someone wh0 doesn't have a good salary pulls this off.



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Response to WePurrsevere (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 08:25 PM

13. I feel like my dentist is making me take too many xrays

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