Author Topic: [rant] teeth are the absolute worst fcuking things in the entire world  (Read 7533 times)

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Not really. There are worse things (no need to list them), however, I was just pondering about how few things there are in life that have the ability to consistently and continuously screw you over like your own teeth--from the cradle to the grave!

I now need two new crowns, a possible root canal and a wisdom tooth extraction. In addition to the cost ("dental insurance" is pure horseshit--good thing my employer pays for all of it), there is of course the discomfort of sitting through it all, worrying about it, and listening to all the disclaimers about how this painful, uncomfortable, costly procedure may go wrong, and then I'll really be screwed.

And lucky me, my last root canal my dentist was floored to discover that I had FIVE roots in one of my molars. Never seen that one before. The root canal lasted four hours. When I told my boss about it the next day (was not in work), he (atheist) said, "Why does God put nerves in teeth--unless he really is as much of a bastard as in the Old Testament!"

It all sucks, but ignoring it (as some people I know do) will end up screwing you over even more. It's just amazing how such a small area of the body can cause so much trouble for so many people.

It is also just amazing to me that so little progress has been made in easing the discomfort of dental procedures over the 40+ years I've been alive. It has not improved since I was kid. Same old shite.


OurTown

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I'm right there with you.  I just had an extraction two days ago (tooth was fractured), will have an implant within the next few months.  I whined like a baby when they stuck me with the needle!  Plus I've been on a protein shake diet for the last 2 weeks.  Looking forward to real food soon.

jlcnuke

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I pay the extra to get my dental work done under anesthesia (at least conscious sedation). I've had a terrible fear of dentists for a long time (probably rooted in that time when I was a kid and a root canal to fix a busted tooth put me in the hospital for 3 days with a terribly painful infection and massive swelling).

LittleWanderer

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Amen to all that. 

I've had more cavities than I can count, root canals, crowns, cracked teeth, fillings that fall out, a tooth that got infected out of the blue and pulled when I was 25 (never got it replaced because it was in the very back) and now my first implant (unrelated to the other pulled tooth.)  I'm 35 years old.  I brush my teeth twice a day with an expensive Sonicare toothbrush and I floss every night.  I have no health problems.  I'm on no meds.  I drink one small (6-8oz?) cup of coffee a day and maybe one diet soda a week.  I guess it just boils down to terrible genetics? It frustrates me so much.  I have a friend who's never had a cavity in his life.  He used to drink Mountain Dew by the gallon as a teenager and young adult!  My boyfriend is older than me and has fillings that he's had since childhood.  He didn't even know that fillings could come out.  I once lost a chunk of my tooth on a piece of cereal.  It just crumbled in my mouth when I bit down.  And let's not forgot all the orthodontic work I had done as a kid.  Braces, rubber brands, headgear, you name it, I had it.  Needless to say, I hate the dentist. 

I have the most beautiful and expensive smile ever.  You'd never know how terrible my teeth are by how they look.

Sailor Sam

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Yes. So much yes. I had great teeth as a kid, but it all started falling apart around age 30. Now my molars are all concave bowls of composite filling, with no geographic features left. And I've developed an increasing fear of the dentist. I had to be drugged with triazolam for my first ever crown, because the valium they gave me for the initial root canal didn't work. Absolutely not effect, because I was too jazzed up. Ugh.

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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I do highly recommend an oral surgeon for any heavy-duty procedures like wisdom tooth extraction.

The one wisdom tooth extraction I had done (under local anaesthsesia) was the most painless visit ever. Without insurance a few years ago it cost me around $300. (I'll bet you a buck that WITH insuracnce a few years later it will cost me MORE.) The guy was a dead-on professional with over 40 years experience (Retired recently). The tooth had broken a couple weeks previously (despite my usual meticulous dental care). He X-rayed it, looked at it, anaesthetized the area, then had it out in seconds. It was over so quickly I could not believe it. Still, it is uncomfortable afterward, not so much due to pain, but the area bleeding, inflamed a bit. I did not feel comfortable chewing on that side for over a month. Now, another one coming up.


Dave1442397

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I spent $5,018 at the dentist last year. No idea what the insurance covered, that was my out-of-pocket amount.

They had to yank one of my wisdom teeth, and the dentist said he'd never seen one anchored that well before. The roots were so unusual that his assistant said she was washing it off so she could show it to the rest of the staff. I didn't look at it myself :)

This year, just a cleaning so far.

SunnyDays

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What's even worse than teeth that develop their own problems are unscrupulous dentists that ruin them for you.  I ended up with one of these in my teens (in my late 50's now) and apparently I "needed" all of my molars filled.  Not all at once, but each time I went in, I "had another cavity."  As a teenager, what did I know?  I believed him.  He also ruined my parents' teeth, telling them many needed extracting.  As a result, I've had to have countless fillings redone over the years, and ended up with a crown and an extraction, because there was so little tooth material left in them, they basically crumbled.  I've always had very good oral hygiene, never needed a new filling until recently (one small one) and every new dentist says, "Your front teeth are beautiful," but don't say anything when I tell them why the back ones aren't too.  Don't want to criticize their own, I guess.
That dentist was later in the newspaper several times, with people suing him for unnecessary work, and being sent for "retraining."  I think he knew exactly what he was doing.  I hope there's a special place in hell for people like him!

inline five

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I find brushing your teeth and visiting the dentist once every six months for cleanings and X-rays heads problems off at the pass.

For those without insurance a six month cleaning at my dentist is $99, so for under $200/yr provided you take care of your teeth in between you most likely won't ever have any other out of pocket costs and won't even need dental insurance.

inline five

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What's even worse than teeth that develop their own problems are unscrupulous dentists that ruin them for you.  I ended up with one of these in my teens (in my late 50's now) and apparently I "needed" all of my molars filled.  Not all at once, but each time I went in, I "had another cavity."  As a teenager, what did I know?  I believed him.  He also ruined my parents' teeth, telling them many needed extracting.  As a result, I've had to have countless fillings redone over the years, and ended up with a crown and an extraction, because there was so little tooth material left in them, they basically crumbled.  I've always had very good oral hygiene, never needed a new filling until recently (one small one) and every new dentist says, "Your front teeth are beautiful," but don't say anything when I tell them why the back ones aren't too.  Don't want to criticize their own, I guess.
That dentist was later in the newspaper several times, with people suing him for unnecessary work, and being sent for "retraining."  I think he knew exactly what he was doing.  I hope there's a special place in hell for people like him!

I've had two cavities and both times went to another dentist to get a second opinion on if I needed it or not. Cost a little out of pocket but it reaffirmed what needed to be done for the same reasons you mention.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2018, 05:30:25 AM by inline five »

Trifele

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Re: [rant] teeth are the absolute worst fcuking things in the entire world
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2018, 07:00:04 AM »
What's even worse than teeth that develop their own problems are unscrupulous dentists that ruin them for you.  I ended up with one of these in my teens (in my late 50's now) and apparently I "needed" all of my molars filled.  Not all at once, but each time I went in, I "had another cavity."  As a teenager, what did I know?  I believed him.  He also ruined my parents' teeth, telling them many needed extracting.  As a result, I've had to have countless fillings redone over the years, and ended up with a crown and an extraction, because there was so little tooth material left in them, they basically crumbled.  I've always had very good oral hygiene, never needed a new filling until recently (one small one) and every new dentist says, "Your front teeth are beautiful," but don't say anything when I tell them why the back ones aren't too.  Don't want to criticize their own, I guess.
That dentist was later in the newspaper several times, with people suing him for unnecessary work, and being sent for "retraining."  I think he knew exactly what he was doing.  I hope there's a special place in hell for people like him!

I'm there with you.  I also had fillings and a crown that were not necessary (I was trusting, and it took me a while to figure out what was going on).  The guy definitely knew exactly what he was doing.   

Because of my experience with that asshole, I was on the alert when my kids' dentist starting recommending numerous fillings.  I took them to another dentist for a second opinion and that one said no fillings were necessary. 

Most dentists are probably good people, but look -- they get paid for doing dental work, so the unscrupulous ones 'find' work to do. 

Pigeon

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Re: [rant] teeth are the absolute worst fcuking things in the entire world
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2018, 07:01:18 AM »
I find brushing your teeth and visiting the dentist once every six months for cleanings and X-rays heads problems off at the pass.

For those without insurance a six month cleaning at my dentist is $99, so for under $200/yr provided you take care of your teeth in between you most likely won't ever have any other out of pocket costs and won't even need dental insurance.

For some people that's true and for others it isn't.  I have horrible teeth and have always brushed and flossed religiously, and get six month check ups.  The dentist and hygienist confirm that I  do an excellent job keeping my teeth clean.  My siblings have similar issues.


Rosy

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Re: [rant] teeth are the absolute worst fcuking things in the entire world
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2018, 07:36:15 AM »
Guess what?! There are immune disorders like Sjogrens that attack your glands and saliva and destroy your teeth - doesn't matter that you have good dental hygiene-habits.
If you google Sjogrens it will probably tell you first off that one of the symptoms is dry mouth - makes it all sound so negligible. I wish that was all. There is no cure for Sjogrens.
It doesn't usually show up until you are in your fourties and is extremely difficult to diagnose.

I had a fair amount of cavities by the time I hit forty, including one simple root canal, nothing out of the ordinary - no wisdom teeth, nothing.

Sjogrens destroyed my teeth and had I only known that it was the cause I could have gone ahead and have my entire mouth done all at once while there was still good bone structure to use implants all around - I do have two, but could have used four.
I ended up spending $30K plus.

Ugh - first I had about half my teeth pulled and a set of partial dentures made - because as the dentist said, preserve the ones that are still good. In my case a terrible idea.
Not even 8 years later - another $15K to redo my entire mouth once again and pull all remaining teeth. I had just enough bone to get implants for the lower dentures.

Of course, this all happened after I left the corporate world - so it was on my dime. That was when I learned there are loans and credit cards just for dental work - that is just so wrong and sinister.

I was lucky that the dentist sent me to a surgeon who had experience with Sjogrens patients for the second set of extractions. An old dude, at 72 he was still practicing and charged outrageous fees, but he was the best.
There was a problem with the veins to put me under, because I was dehydrated but drinking water and an experienced doc who ended up using a needle normally used for babies did the trick. (The normal don't eat or drink before surgery can cause problems for people with Sjogrens).

I could have bought a new Mercedes with the money I spent on my mouth, instead I'm ridiculously grateful for the excellent dental lab who made the dentures and managed to retain structure in my face despite the damage Sjogrens caused.

BTDretire

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Re: [rant] teeth are the absolute worst fcuking things in the entire world
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2018, 09:24:38 AM »
I've had two cavities and both times went to another dentist to get a second opinion on if I needed it or not. Cost a little out of pocket but it reaffirmed what needed to be done for the same reasons you mention.

 While my son was away at college, he went to a dentist near college, she said he had three cavities that needed fillings. I told him to wait and come home to our dentist for a second opinion. 6 years later and 12 more dental appointments and they still haven't found any cavities to fill.
 The thief of a dentist is paying off her school loans by drilling unneeded holes in the teeth of 18 to 20 year old kids that they will have for 60 years.

Trifele

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Re: [rant] teeth are the absolute worst fcuking things in the entire world
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2018, 09:36:01 AM »
I've had two cavities and both times went to another dentist to get a second opinion on if I needed it or not. Cost a little out of pocket but it reaffirmed what needed to be done for the same reasons you mention.

 While my son was away at college, he went to a dentist near college, she said he had three cavities that needed fillings. I told him to wait and come home to our dentist for a second opinion. 6 years later and 12 more dental appointments and they still haven't found any cavities to fill.
 The thief of a dentist is paying off her school loans by drilling unneeded holes in the teeth of 18 to 20 year old kids that they will have for 60 years.

Good move to wait and get a second opinion! 

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: [rant] teeth are the absolute worst fcuking things in the entire world
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2018, 06:32:55 PM »
I was offered a root canal and crown for thousands, or just to pull the tooth for a few hundred. It's a back molar, so I just had it pulled. Never had an issue with the gap. Obviously, if the tooth was visible, I'd have made a very different decision - although probably I would have had it pulled, and got a bridge. My feeling is that root canals and crowns are an ongoing bad idea, and your story only serves to enforce that. Best of luck, OP. It's never to late to have the bloody thing just removed, though.

Gone Fishing

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Re: [rant] teeth are the absolute worst fcuking things in the entire world
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2018, 07:41:25 PM »
Our family dentist seemed especially good at finding things to work on.  One time, he found a cavity that needed filling.  I neglected to make the follow up appointment, and the next time I showed up for a cleaning, the cavity had magically disappeared!  Needless to say we don't use him any more, but it soured my opinion of dentists in general, especially after hearing so many other similar stories.

Right or wrong, the British view dental care differently than Americans.  It would be interesting to see some quantitative analysis of outcomes between the two countries.

Malkynn

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Re: [rant] teeth are the absolute worst fcuking things in the entire world
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2018, 07:43:42 PM »
I was offered a root canal and crown for thousands, or just to pull the tooth for a few hundred. It's a back molar, so I just had it pulled. Never had an issue with the gap. Obviously, if the tooth was visible, I'd have made a very different decision - although probably I would have had it pulled, and got a bridge. My feeling is that root canals and crowns are an ongoing bad idea, and your story only serves to enforce that. Best of luck, OP. It's never to late to have the bloody thing just removed, though.

You know a bridge is made of two crowns, right?
Unless you mean a Maryland/Butterfly bridge...

BTDretire

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Re: [rant] teeth are the absolute worst fcuking things in the entire world
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2018, 08:12:04 PM »
 I just want to say, I have no fear at the dentist.
I can almost fall asleep while the hygenist is cleaning my teeth.
 I haven't had local anesthesia for fillings for over 10 years,
just do it, and it's over, no numb jaw for hours. The dentist flinched one time and said
OH, I forgot you didn't have anesthesia, that's what I want him to do,
do your normal good work.
 A couple years ago I had a crown put on, I jokingly said,
you can go ahead and use anesthesia.
  I now have 3 crowns, have had one for very close to 40 years,
never had a bit of problem from it. I have broke two teeth when I bit
on a bone chip, at least I think it was a bone chip each time.
 It seems very loud when that happens.
    I had braces when I was young, had my widom teeth cut out and also had
4 more teeth pulled to make room to staighten them.
They're straight, but I only have 24 teeth.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: [rant] teeth are the absolute worst fcuking things in the entire world
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2018, 12:13:45 AM »
I was offered a root canal and crown for thousands, or just to pull the tooth for a few hundred. It's a back molar, so I just had it pulled. Never had an issue with the gap. Obviously, if the tooth was visible, I'd have made a very different decision - although probably I would have had it pulled, and got a bridge. My feeling is that root canals and crowns are an ongoing bad idea, and your story only serves to enforce that. Best of luck, OP. It's never to late to have the bloody thing just removed, though.

You know a bridge is made of two crowns, right?
Unless you mean a Maryland/Butterfly bridge...

I mean the fake tooth that sits between two other teeth and seems to have few problems associated with it. As opposed to the fake cover put on existing teeth so they don't look a weird colour after a root canal. They seem to be brittle and prone to constant expensive issues.  It's entirely possible I've used the wrong terminology!

OurTown

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Okay, I paid for my daughter's braces with our 2018 FSA.  Now I'm going to pay for my new implant with our 2019 FSA. 

May2030

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Our family dentist seemed especially good at finding things to work on.  One time, he found a cavity that needed filling.  I neglected to make the follow up appointment, and the next time I showed up for a cleaning, the cavity had magically disappeared!  Needless to say we don't use him any more, but it soured my opinion of dentists in general, especially after hearing so many other similar stories.

Right or wrong, the British view dental care differently than Americans.  It would be interesting to see some quantitative analysis of outcomes between the two countries.

I am in the Uk and there are still  rogue dentists and surgeons. I go to a NHS dentist and  pay for my subsidised  treatment, itís free if your on certain benefits. They are under time pressure and the quality of work depends on the skill of the dentist. I hate the dentist and being NHS only does things that need doing. Had  a root canal done for £87 which did not work so had it done again under warranty. Check up and clean was £12 recently so no excuse for not going.

Non NHS dentists are expensive but I have no experience of costs and motivation to do work.

Quite frankly I am shocked by the cost of healthcare in the USA for what is a basic human right. Economies of scale I would of thought would make it cheaper, certainly not the land of the free. 😁

LearnTo

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I like my dentist but I find it interesting that when I had dental insurance, it was always maxed out, I needed a crown or something and usually some out of pocket, too.
Now that I don't have insurance, it's been nothing but routine cleanings and X-rays.

Gone Fishing

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Our family dentist seemed especially good at finding things to work on.  One time, he found a cavity that needed filling.  I neglected to make the follow up appointment, and the next time I showed up for a cleaning, the cavity had magically disappeared!  Needless to say we don't use him any more, but it soured my opinion of dentists in general, especially after hearing so many other similar stories.

Right or wrong, the British view dental care differently than Americans.  It would be interesting to see some quantitative analysis of outcomes between the two countries.

I am in the Uk and there are still  rogue dentists and surgeons. I go to a NHS dentist and  pay for my subsidised  treatment, itís free if your on certain benefits. They are under time pressure and the quality of work depends on the skill of the dentist. I hate the dentist and being NHS only does things that need doing. Had  a root canal done for £87 which did not work so had it done again under warranty. Check up and clean was £12 recently so no excuse for not going.

Non NHS dentists are expensive but I have no experience of costs and motivation to do work.

Quite frankly I am shocked by the cost of healthcare in the USA for what is a basic human right. Economies of scale I would of thought would make it cheaper, certainly not the land of the free. 😁

A root canal and subsequent crown could easily cost several thousand dollars in the US.

 I've also seen several very intelligent people that have the manual dexterity of a 3 toed sloth.  I consider myself to have decent dexterity and still couldn't imagine trying to accurately fit something the size of a grain of rice (a filling) into a hole  cut with a handheld rotary tool held in an awkward position.  Most of the root canals and crowns I hear about come from failed fillings. Makes me wonder how many of those are due to poor workmanship on the original filling. 


nath

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My wife is a dentist so I can give an insiders perspective.

Your teeth need professional cleaning at least every 6 months to prevent gum disease and a lot of other problems.
Flossing should be done daily. Brushing at least twice a day. If you donít floss your food is still stuck in there and this creates cavities and bad breath.
electric toothbrush works much better in my opinion at cleaning, and I canít live without it.

Mouthwash with alcohol (Which is most brand names) dries out the mouth and can actually cause mouth cancer.
Look for non alcohol mouthwash then which is a bit rarer.

In general, anything can happen in your mouth and a bad infection can actually kill you, dentists are saving your life.
Crowns and other things like bridges are Ďhand madeí offsite by technical specialists who are not dentists, and there is varying quality. You generally pay for quality so listen to what the dentists recommends.

Cavities and other problems are shown on an X-ray. I usually get this done with every check up! If you donít trust the dentist they can show you the hole on their screen. People donít quite get it but the dentist has to drill into your tooth first to get to the hole inside...
fillings can last decades but itís better to get them replaced much more frequently than that. The white fillings are just as strong as the ugly silver mercury looking ones so just get white. I once met a dentist who had a small diamond implanted in their front tooth that sparkled when he smiled. That was funny.

Some people travel to SE Asia or other places to get their major work done like cosmetic dentistry to save a bunch of money. This is most definitely a bad idea and usually they have to get everything re done in a short amount of time for double or triple the cost, and can cause major problems.
Like all medical procedures stick to 1st world countries.

bluebelle

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I've had a lot of dental work (although it sounds like less than some folks here).....I had tetracycline as a baby which caused my teeth to have unusual colouring.  Not supper noticeable (I hope), but makes matching tooth colour for a bridge very very difficult....the last time I needed my front bridge replaced, I got sent to the lab where the technician was literally painting on the bridge in an attempt to match it.....and lesson learned, after the dentist has been working on your teeth for a few hours (ie mouth open and dry), your teeth are a completely different colour than under normal circumstances. 

My biggest issue is that the nerves of the roots seem to go all the way up to my sinus passages....I get the slightest sinus congestion and my teeth hurt.  Dentist does any work on my mouth and I'm going to be in pain for six months....I've been with my current dentist for nearly 20 years, we're growing old together....seemed like there was lots of work in the early years, but nothing for years now, so I'm going to assume that he was fixing past work, or getting it to modern standards.

Dental work is awful but it's so worth it to get your mouth to the point where you're happy to smile and things to hurt.

tralfamadorian

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Yeah, anyone who thinks that biannual cleaning and flossing will always be enough and that anyone with issues "doesn't take care of their teeth" really has no clue about the joys of being less that genetically blessed.

Currently I go in for cleaning every three months, which along with a sonicare toothbrush and waterpik seem to do the trick to keep things stable in my mouth. The teenage years were particularly hellacious with extractions, orthodontics, headgear, etc to keep my smile from betraying my WV heritage.  Then jumping almost straight into periodontics to repair the damage that so many years of orthodontics had done. I remember my UK coworkers at the time I was having the serious periodontal work done being particularly horrified by all the dental work I had as a child.

Greenback Reproduction Specialist

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Yep, I feel your pain.... Wife and I recently needed more work.

OH and apparently fillings fall out sometimes, so getting a tooth filled isnt a permanent fix for life!!!

marion10

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I have bad teeth- who knows how many crowns- part of it genetics, part of it fear of dentist where I didnít go for 5 years and one morning horrible pain- root canal time.  Now I go three times a year- my insurance covers most of 2 and I pay for 3rd out of pocket- head off problems when they are small.

Malkynn

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Yep, I feel your pain.... Wife and I recently needed more work.

OH and apparently fillings fall out sometimes, so getting a tooth filled isnt a permanent fix for life!!!

The average lifespan of a filling is 3-7 years depending on the study. No, they arenít meant to last forever.

2Birds1Stone

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This thread alone is giving me anxiety.

Arbitrage

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Be glad you have teeth.  My son has a genetic condition that renders him nearly toothless (he's got 8), and those he does get tend to be malformed. 

LittleWanderer

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Yeah, anyone who thinks that biannual cleaning and flossing will always be enough and that anyone with issues "doesn't take care of their teeth" really has no clue about the joys of being less that genetically blessed.

Seriously.  I get so mad when people start spouting off that BS. 

Also, only 3-7 years for a filling?!  Where are you getting that number from?  That's ridiculous.  I still have fillings from when I was a teenager. 

Malkynn

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Yeah, anyone who thinks that biannual cleaning and flossing will always be enough and that anyone with issues "doesn't take care of their teeth" really has no clue about the joys of being less that genetically blessed.

Seriously.  I get so mad when people start spouting off that BS. 

Also, only 3-7 years for a filling?!  Where are you getting that number from?  That's ridiculous.  I still have fillings from when I was a teenager.

Average.
Some fillings last 1 year, some 30 years.

Where am I getting it from??
Dental school.

Lyngi

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My son had a chipped back molar so we took him into the dentist.  Dentist came out and said DS had congenital enamel hypoplasia.  (Thin enamel on all four molars, probably caused from a fever he had as a baby)  Suggested four crowns.  Holy hell, no way! He was just a little kid.  Made an appointment with a pediatric dentist to have the work done.  Dentist filled the chipped tooth and sealed all the molars.  He told us he was really afraid that my son's mouth was going to be a mess, but it wasn't.  He only needed that one filling.  To be honest, the dentist said DS will probably need those teeth crowned sometime in the future.  My son was 8 years old.  Now he is 22, filling is still going strong and the old pediatric dentist has long since retired.  My adult children will continue with the pediatric dental practice until they get kicked out!

life_travel

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My wife is a dentist so I can give an insiders perspective.


Some people travel to SE Asia or other places to get their major work done like cosmetic dentistry to save a bunch of money. This is most definitely a bad idea and usually they have to get everything re done in a short amount of time for double or triple the cost, and can cause major problems.
Like all medical procedures stick to 1st world countries.
Maybe you are biased as you only hear from your wife stories when things gone wrong.
We've done a lot of dental work in Thailand over the years and I certainly didn't need anything redone.
For any emergency we obviously go to local dentists and they've always commented that oversees work was excellent .

big_slacker

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My wife is a dentist so I can give an insiders perspective.


Some people travel to SE Asia or other places to get their major work done like cosmetic dentistry to save a bunch of money. This is most definitely a bad idea and usually they have to get everything re done in a short amount of time for double or triple the cost, and can cause major problems.
Like all medical procedures stick to 1st world countries.
Maybe you are biased as you only hear from your wife stories when things gone wrong.
We've done a lot of dental work in Thailand over the years and I certainly didn't need anything redone.
For any emergency we obviously go to local dentists and they've always commented that oversees work was excellent .

I've had dental work done in Poland and had zero issues, the experience and professionalism was to my untrained (but frequent dentist chain flyer) eye the same as in the US. Like anywhere else the individual doc matters. If you go to a shitshack in a village expect to have problems. Go to a place with good reviews in a city and you'll likely be fine.

And FWIW I floss daily, brush 2x-3x a day, always do my 6 month cleanings (free via my work insurance) and still have cavities, root canals, crowns, etc. I feel the frustration and have spent thousands on teeth throughout my life.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2018, 07:35:07 AM by big_slacker »

Greenback Reproduction Specialist

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Yep, I feel your pain.... Wife and I recently needed more work.

OH and apparently fillings fall out sometimes, so getting a tooth filled isnt a permanent fix for life!!!

The average lifespan of a filling is 3-7 years depending on the study. No, they aren’t meant to last forever.

I wish I would have known this... teeth are expensive.

I'm a red panda

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I find brushing your teeth and visiting the dentist once every six months for cleanings and X-rays heads problems off at the pass.

For those without insurance a six month cleaning at my dentist is $99, so for under $200/yr provided you take care of your teeth in between you most likely won't ever have any other out of pocket costs and won't even need dental insurance.

I brush my teeth three times a day, floss daily, visit the dentist every 6 months, and use prescription fluoride toothpaste.  I have at least one cavity every 6 months.  The flouride toothpaste has really helped cut that from 3-4 though.  After each of my pregnancies I had a root canal,which of course then requires a crown (the 6 months of vomiting really gets to the teeth; even with a dental visit during each pregnancy for a cleaning.)  Oh, and because many of my fillings are 10*15 years old, lots of them are starting to need to be replaced.  I typically put them off for as long as I the dentist lets me- she isn't super "this has to be done right this second!" but after a few years of "optional", then she tells me it is time to really be replaced. 

My dentist tells me that teeth issues are often hereditary.  There really is such a thing as having bad teeth.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2018, 08:29:59 AM by I'm a red panda »

acroy

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My wife is a dentist so I can give an insiders perspective.

(lots of great info)

^^^ thanks for above!! taking notes.

My own experience:
- shop around, at least 3 dentists. DW was told 3 different stories about her teeth, ranging from 'you need lots of work' to 'you need nothing.' we went with 'nothing', this was 4years ago and she is doing fine with annual cleaning/checkups.
- routine maintenance (brush floss 6mo cleaning) goes a loooong way - imagine that.
- we are fortunate, with 9 in the fam we have very little teeth misery. DW has a few old fillings which will be replaced at year end. I have a couple 25yr old fillings which are fine. All 7 kids are fine.

Awesomeness

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I had poor hygiene as a kid and my parents never took me to the dentist so Iíve spent a lot of time and money getting all kinds of work done. Best thing I did was fix a bad crown, get a veneer and had my teeth whitened in 2005.  Still looks great today.  I do my best to take care of my teeth because I hate dental work but Iíve had plenty.

Honestly this isnít frugal at all but Iím completely open to the idea and cost of getting a full set of implants someday.  I know two people that had every tooth replaced and theyíre much happier but itís very expensive. Cost is 35-40 grand.  And they look great. One friend is 69 and the other needed it much younger but Iím hoping Iíll be fine for many more years so my investments will grow much more.

MayDay

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I had poor hygiene as a kid and my parents never took me to the dentist so Iíve spent a lot of time and money getting all kinds of work done. Best thing I did was fix a bad crown, get a veneer and had my teeth whitened in 2005.  Still looks great today.  I do my best to take care of my teeth because I hate dental work but Iíve had plenty.

Honestly this isnít frugal at all but Iím completely open to the idea and cost of getting a full set of implants someday.  I know two people that had every tooth replaced and theyíre much happier but itís very expensive. Cost is 35-40 grand.  And they look great. One friend is 69 and the other needed it much younger but Iím hoping Iíll be fine for many more years so my investments will grow much more.

Implants weren't as much of a thing (or maybe not available at all?) But in her 40's my grandma had all her teeth pulled and got a set of really nice dentures. They suctioned cupped onto her gums and never moved. She went from having disastrous teeth that looked awful, to having perfect teeth that needed nothing.  I don't think she received any dental care as a kid.

bigote2032

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My two cents I have learned coming from a family with three dentists:

Guys, do you wonder if you really need all these fillings and treatments? In the USA, dentistry is a big mafia, dentists will always find something wrong with your teeth.  They will perform fillings on teeth that do not need fillings (pre-cavity or not even pre-cavity).  My dad is a dentist in South America and I always check with him after my USA dentists recommends me a filling, in three occasions he had disregarded the opinion of my dentist to perform fillings.  Years ago, I was naÔve and uninformed about American dentists practices and got my very first filling, that filling messed up my tooth since they did not do it right and the acid substance used to get the filling in place hurt my nerve, I still feel pain when I chew on that side of the mouth and have not been able to fully corrected after getting it re-filled.  Just beware, they will always find something wrong with you mouth.  On a daily basis, they ruin perfectly healthy mouths in this country just to keep the money going.  And about removing the wisdom teeth, donít do it unless it is really necessary, they make tons of money on this as well and they recommend doing it even if you donít have a need for it. If you have to get it done, donít go with general anesthesia (donít take GA lightly, it is serious stuff, good amount of cases where people donít wake up due to several things that could go wrong, and if you want to be mustachian, you go with local anesthesia, GA is very expensive). My wife got the four of them out in 20 minutes with no GA and very minimum pain and saved $800 with local anesthesia.  Her dentist did not even offer local anesthesia at all, her case was perfect for local since the teeth were all out and super easy.  I told her to demand local anesthesia option and the dentist eventually agreed and got it done with no issues.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2018, 05:21:32 PM by bigote2032 »

MMM98

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Back from rental work in Costa Rica three weeks, you might find the pricing useful:

Fillings 75

Crowns come in Three grades
The lowest is what US dentists commonly use, porcelain 350
Metal fused to porcelain 410
Zirconium 500

Root canal 350

Dentures 695

Padonak

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Back from rental work in Costa Rica three weeks, you might find the pricing useful:

Fillings 75

Crowns come in Three grades
The lowest is what US dentists commonly use, porcelain 350
Metal fused to porcelain 410
Zirconium 500

Root canal 350

Dentures 695
Great prices!
What city and what clinic? How long does it take to get a crown done?

Dragonswan

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Teeth are one of the reasons I worry about the very ERs who retire on <30K/year.  If you generally have good teeth you probably won't need major dental care until you're in your sixties, when it's hard to find a job let alone one that will pay enough for massive dental work.  I don't want to make a decision between a hole in my mouth, a bridge, an implant or whatever the next great dental advancement is based on money.  I want to make that decision based on what is the best long term solution for my mouth.  Same goes for medical procedures.  I want the best solution I can afford not just what the insurance will pay for.

I think folks who FIRE with a cushion in their budget for extra curricular activities (expensive hobbies and travel) are in a better position to handle these types of expenses they may not have thought of when they were young and invincible. Some easy to cut fat in the budget is extra insurance.

Malkynn

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Teeth are one of the reasons I worry about the very ERs who retire on <30K/year.  If you generally have good teeth you probably won't need major dental care until you're in your sixties, when it's hard to find a job let alone one that will pay enough for massive dental work.  I don't want to make a decision between a hole in my mouth, a bridge, an implant or whatever the next great dental advancement is based on money.  I want to make that decision based on what is the best long term solution for my mouth.  Same goes for medical procedures.  I want the best solution I can afford not just what the insurance will pay for.

I think folks who FIRE with a cushion in their budget for extra curricular activities (expensive hobbies and travel) are in a better position to handle these types of expenses they may not have thought of when they were young and invincible. Some easy to cut fat in the budget is extra insurance.

A lot of very early retirees make plenty more money on top of their initial Ďstache.
A single year of minimum wage work would cover pretty extensive dental care if needed. Itís not like early retirees are crippled from generating income ever again.

I mean sure, a super lean FIRE plan with absolutely no plans or contingencies for working ever ever again and never ever generating any further income is pretty risky, but I doubt that itís a common enough plan for it being worth worrying about.

Dragonswan

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I'm not saying it'll be an epidemic.  I'm just saying it's something for very early retirees with a lean stache to consider.  They are in a worse position than those who start later or with staches with more cushion.  No one wants to have to look for a job at age 73 having been out of the workforce for 35 years because they didn't plan for normal older age dental and health issues.

CSuzette

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Has anyone tried Dr Ellieís brushing system?  It can save your teeth and your life. A series of rinses you can find at CVS and the original Crest toothpastes. You also need xylitol mints. My teeth feel smooth and keep getting whiter. She has a book that explains the whole thing. She lives in the US but is originally from the UK.

partgypsy

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I am extremely jealous of my ex's teeth. They are on the larger side and have a little spacing between them. He doesn't floss but he uses toothpicks. It's either genetic or the fact he doesn't really eat sweets, but he never has problems with his teeth. He goes to the dentist, every 10 years, and all they need to do is a light cleaning. I was there one time, and I overheard the hygenist calling over the other hygenist over to look at his teeth (he's a freak of nature).

In contrast I have to go every 6 months and even then, have gingivitis and get terrible tartar build up they have to scrape away. My sister has similar teeth to me. She avoided going to the dentist most of her adult life. She now has huge gum recession, and when started having problems (recession, tooth and jaw pain) was quoted prices of tens of thousands of dollars to try to save her teeth. They refuse to fix individual teeth unless she agrees to a payment plan to fix all of them, so she just takes ibuprofen when it hurts a lot. Maybe she should go on a trip to get dental care? 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 01:23:53 PM by partgypsy »