Ditching My Dental Insurance: Why Is Dental Care Crazy Expensive?

Delta Dental Insurance

When I first went on Medicare I signed up for a dental insurance plan through AARP. It’s called Delta Dental, and I’m sure some of you have it.

I gave it up last year because the premium was going up, and it seemed like the coverage was very limited.

Originally, my old dentist in New York gave me a discount because of the insurance. Then Delta Dental Insurance reimbursed the dentist for a portion of the bill, so I never had to pay more than $20 or $30 for a visit.

Finding A New Dentist After Moving

When I moved to Pennsylvania the dentists in the Delta network all seemed like cut-rate operators. And I didn’t want to end up in a Dollar Store for my dental work.

A friend recommended a dentist who was supposed to be very good, but not in my plan. So that’s where I went. It seemed like a thriving practice The office was modern, with all the latest technology. But I had to pay $200 to $300 for a regular visit, and Delta only reimbursed me a scant $40. That was bad enough. But then I needed to replace an old crown. The charge was $1600. Delta ended up paying about $200.

I finally decided the insurance just wasn’t worth it, especially since in addition to the deductible there was also a cap on the reimbursements. The maximum was $1000 a year. Anything beyond that, I was on my own.

So I ditched my insurance. But maybe it wasn’t such a great idea. Because a few months ago I had to have another crown replaced. Ouch. In more ways than one.

The Steep Cost Of Dental Work

dental insurance

I got the crown in, paid my $1600. But it wasn’t right. I went back for an adjustment. Then another, and another.

And yet another. This time the dentist brought in the endodondist to check to see if I needed a root canal. He banged on my tooth. He tried to freeze it. He took an x-ray. And he concluded I did not need a root canal.

So why does my tooth still hurt? It doesn’t hurt all the time, doesn’t keep me awake at night. It only hurts when I try to chew on it. But isn’t that kind of what a tooth is for?

Now the dentist has recommended I get fitted for a night guard. He thinks I grind my teeth, and maybe that’s causing the problem. Oh, and by the way, that’s another $700.

So I don’t know. My friend still swears by this dentist. Linda at Thoughts from a Bag Lady in Waiting relates her story of traveling to Mexico to get her dental work done. She seemed pretty happy with the results. But she’s from Arizona. I live a long way from Mexico.

One of the items proposed in President Biden’s so-called Build Back Better plan is to include dental work in Medicare. I think that would be a great idea. Don’t you?

Related Posts

Share The Article

About The Author
Tom Lashnits
Tom Lashnits
Tom Lashnits spent 40 years in New York book and magazine publishing before retiring to Bucks County, PA, in 2017. He now volunteers in the school system, produces the baby boomer blog Sightings Over Sixty . . . and is just starting to chase after grandchildren.
Join The Manopause Community!

Weekly email updates, giveaways, and special offers await...

We hate spam. Unsubscribe at anytime!

We're Social!
Our Friends and Partners