Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Back from the dentist

Well, this is going to be the year of dental work, it appears. Good news/bad news today. I went to the endodontist for the consult on root canals on 2 bottom molars next to each other. The main one showing bad in the x-ray is a molar I already had a root canal done 20 some years ago. Dentist thought I'd need root canals on that tooth and the one next to it. But, the endodontist said the tooth next to it still has nerve (did the cold sensitivity test) so is only going to do a root canal on the one tooth - or I guess re-do the root canal. I go back next Wednesday for that procedure. She did drill into the existing crown today and put some stuff inside that will dissolve what is in there now. She also said root canal procedures have come a long way in the 20 or so years I had this one done.

Then we discussed my front tooth and the one next to it. Old injury from when I was a kid and I had a veneer done about 15 years ago, with no root canal said needed at that time. Veneer is old and tooth is getting darker again, along with tooth next to it. X-rays and cold test done today show they are both dead and need root canals. So, I guess that is next on the list.  I was going to go into my regular dentist tomorrow and he was going to do a conservative treatment of composite/veneer (based on our discussion last week when I was in for cleaning) for cosmetic purposes, but I've decided to cancel that appointment, have the root canals done in the near future, and then have the cosmetic part done after. My endodontist assistant said there are several options - bleaching the teeth from the inside, veneers, or crowns, so I guess I will wait and see what is recommended after the root canals are done. After this root canal next week is done, I will only have about $600 left on my dental benefits available for this year.  At least that is what I am able to calculate based on the info she gave me today on what the first root canal is costing. She is going to give me an estimate on the 2 front teeth root canals when I go in next week, so I can see how much out of pocket I will end up with.

Now, my question is trying to decide which way to pay for it.  Next weeks root canal is going to cost me an estimated $330 out of pocket. I currently have $1630 available credit on my care credit card/account. So far, each charge I have made to it (2 for dental and one for vet) I was offered special financing terms - 6 or 12 months no interest, which has worked out great for me.  But, this year I also am using an FSA account and have about $1300 left on that for the year.  I did not estimate anything for dental, other than the $50 deductible, as I had no way of knowing if and how much work I would need.

So, do I just throw all this dental work that will be done this year onto the FSA and pay it that way? That would mean all the other things I had estimated to pay with the FSA money would then have to be paid out of pocket - which is about $100 a month in prescriptions and co-pays. Or do I put the dental work on my Care credit card and (hopefully) get 6-12 months no interest financing and pay it off monthly that way.  I guess either way I will have more money going out every month  - either to cover my regular monthly medical expenses or in a payment to the credit card. I'll have to think about this for the next week (until I have to go in for the root canal and pay the endodontist my share) and see if either option will really make a difference.

I am so ready for all of this to be over with...too bad it's just starting!


  1. I agree; with all the treatment you need to undergo, this will be the year of dental work for you. It might cost you, but thinking of all the benefits you will receive and worst things that it will prevent from happening, it's really better to do it now. Let's just hope this will be the last, so you can enjoy your life to the fullest with no pain to worry about.


  2. Looks like you’ve faced a lot of stress after finding out how many treatments that you have to undergo to get better. However, it’s best to treat your dental issues before it worsens. So, how did the treatment go? I hope you’ll keep us posted on your dental journey. Take care!

    Bernadette Blair