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I had a lot of dental work that I needed and went for quite some time without any insurance, so I put off most of it until I had good dental coverage. After that I had to work with my dentist to prioritize the work so that it was spread out over a few years and I could maximize my dental coverage. Even then it got very pricey.
I also have dental insurance but the deductibles and co-pays are so high and the treatments so expensive that I put off anything/everything that I can.
My dentist will contact my insurer and find out how much they will pay so I know upfront what the cost will be. I think they only pay about 1/2 of anything besides the twice a year preventative visits, but then dental insurance doesn't cost that much either.
Also, if you have insurance, it seems like the doctor or dentist normally writes some of the bill off. But the bill for a filling or especially a crown seems rather high.
I have dental insurance, but it's such a joke. I had a filling done on a tooth, and coverage was denied, and I was stuck with a hefty bill because the tooth wasn't in my "smile zone" so the doc should have used a different kind of filler.
Now, for fear that I'll get smacked with a gigantic bill after the fact, I'm avoiding all dentristy. Which, as citizenx points out- once something goes wrong...
The cost of preventative dental care is manageable, but once something goes wrong, you're really f***ed. I don't care who you are. Porcelain veneers can cost as much as $10,000 per tooth.
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