Author Topic: Help requested, how to best support father with expensive dental costs  (Read 3819 times)

danzabar

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Hi everyone,
I would appreciate some advice/tips/caution.
I'm a married guy, making decent money with a relatively high savings rate (40-50%). My father has had a difficult life and has not alwas made good financial decisions. He is retired, late 60's with OAS and CPP for income with a very good supportive housing residence but with very limited savings. He recently found out he has 6000$ dental work required in victoria. I'm living in Ontario so I've been trying to help over the phone but have not found many good resources to help reduce the cost. I have roughly $8k emergency fund and my wife and I have talked and agreed to offer 2000$ as a helper but not require him to pay back unless he is able, but not expecting this money back. I'm wondering if any of you bright folks have any tips, this is obviously a difficult situation for him but we are both just starting out in our careers (late 20's / early 30's) and don't have huge amount of money to cover all his expenses.

Cassie

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Is there a dental school nearby where he could get the work done cheaper? 

swick

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I would check out the resources Here: http://www.bcdental.org/Find_a_Dentist/ReducedCostClinics.aspx
There is a low-cost clinic in Nanimo (not that far away) and one in Victoria.

He should qualify, and if not, they may be able to make some suggestions.

danzabar

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Thanks People! I referred him to cool-aid which is one of those resources, they only work with homeless population but sent him to a dentist who has a small reduction in cost, he received a quote but it was close the amount he was initially quoted as he needs caps, which I've come to learn are rarely reduced, fillings can get a reduced rate but when you factor in the caps his original dentist was cheaper.

Daleth

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Why does he need caps? I thought caps were just cosmetic.

CarDude

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Why does he need caps? I thought caps were just cosmetic.

Crowns are often used when there's a cavity that threatens the entire tooth, or when there isn't enough of the tooth left to support a filling.

pachnik

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Why does he need caps? I thought caps were just cosmetic.

Crowns are often used when there's a cavity that threatens the entire tooth, or when there isn't enough of the tooth left to support a filling.

+1 I have lots of crowns.  As a youngster, I didn't care very well for my teeth and had lots of cavities.  The fillings lasted for about 25 years.  When the fillings start to go, the next stage is crowns.    I think when they are called "caps" it sounds more cosmetic though for some reason.  But crowns are necessary and they were covered by my dental plan which does not cover any cosmetic stuff at all.

danzabar

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Why does he need caps? I thought caps were just cosmetic.

Crowns are often used when there's a cavity that threatens the entire tooth, or when there isn't enough of the tooth left to support a filling.

Thanks for the clarification, my mistake, I meant to write crowns. In some cases it seems they can either use a crown or extract the tooth which is obviously much cheaper but has it's own longterm risks...

+1 I have lots of crowns.  As a youngster, I didn't care very well for my teeth and had lots of cavities.  The fillings lasted for about 25 years.  When the fillings start to go, the next stage is crowns.    I think when they are called "caps" it sounds more cosmetic though for some reason.  But crowns are necessary and they were covered by my dental plan which does not cover any cosmetic stuff at all.

jawisco

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If your father is healthy enough to travel, and willing to travel frugally, I would also recommend heading to Mexico or Central America.  I did this a few years ago and had $4000+ in dental work done for around $800 (2 root canals with crowns and 4 cavities).  There are lots of Canadians doing this.  2K might be able to cover the whole thing...

Daleth

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Why does he need caps? I thought caps were just cosmetic.

Crowns are often used when there's a cavity that threatens the entire tooth, or when there isn't enough of the tooth left to support a filling.

+1 I have lots of crowns.  As a youngster, I didn't care very well for my teeth and had lots of cavities.  The fillings lasted for about 25 years.  When the fillings start to go, the next stage is crowns.    I think when they are called "caps" it sounds more cosmetic though for some reason.  But crowns are necessary and they were covered by my dental plan which does not cover any cosmetic stuff at all.

Oh, crowns. Yes, those are for protecting teeth after major dental work that would leave them weak, while caps are basically the same thing but they're put on for cosmetic reasons.

I agree with the dental school suggestions.

electriceagle

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Re: Help requested, how to best support father with expensive dental costs
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2014, 12:30:57 PM »
I'll echo Jawisco's idea.

He needs a plane ticket to Thailand. If you don't have any air miles, you might pay $1500 for the trip ($1000 flight / $500 hotels - make it a 2 week vacation) plus <$1000 for the dental work itself. Two thirds off.

centwise

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Re: Help requested, how to best support father with expensive dental costs
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2014, 04:20:27 PM »
If your father is healthy enough to travel, and willing to travel frugally, I would also recommend heading to Mexico or Central America.  I did this a few years ago and had $4000+ in dental work done for around $800 (2 root canals with crowns and 4 cavities).  There are lots of Canadians doing this.  2K might be able to cover the whole thing...

Yes, dental tourism to Mexico is pretty common. My next-door neighbours (in Canada) go to Mexico for all of their dental work, whenever possible, and have been very happy with the results. This is definitely worth looking into (as Jawisco says, assuming your Dad can travel).