Author Topic: Planning for dental in retirement  (Read 3641 times)

MMMdude

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 322
Planning for dental in retirement
« on: April 17, 2016, 12:46:36 PM »
One of the harder things I think in planning for ER is trying to pin down the non recurring expenses such as house repairs, vet costs and medical.  Being Canadian, major medical is covered here but dental is not covered at all.  I think Mr Money said he hasn't been to the dentist in years.  OK great but eventually that will bite people in the ass and as one gets older things just end up breaking.  You can go many years with minimal costs (cleaning/checkup) and then BOOM face a 20,000 bill.  I know many Canadians do the dental in Mexico thing but I am extremely leery of that. They use inferior products and you may not know what kind of job they did until problems crop up down the road.  Insurance is essentially pre-paying for services at best.  There is a university here that has dental school but a huge waiting list i'm sure.

So anyways, what kind of costs should one plan for on an annual basis re: budgeting purposes?  I am thinking $1500 per year or $15000 per decade would be reasonable?

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8464
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Planning for dental in retirement
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2016, 12:54:39 PM »
I once went ten years without visiting a dentist.  After I got married, my wife made me go.  The dentist told me I could come back for a cleaning once a year if I really wanted to, but it wouldn't be necessary.  If you take care of your teeth, you won't have to pay someone else to do it for you.

My FIL has been doing his dental in Mexico for close to 30 years, and he has zero complaints about their work.  The only downside is that he only goes to Mexico once per year, so if he ever has a problem he may have to wait a few months to get it fixed.  He's never had a problem so bad that he's paid a US dentist.

Isn't preventative care covered under all of the ACA plans?  If you go that route, your ~200/year in cleaning fees is fully covered.  I don't plan on any major expenses beyond that, but I also plan to have enough money in retirement reserves to handle the occasional emergency (roof, furnace, car accident, dental) without separately budgeting out each one of those as it's own expense category.  They just go under "incidental irregular expenses".

MMMaybe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 390
Re: Planning for dental in retirement
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2016, 01:08:49 PM »
I think you should plan on 2 six monthly check ups per year. Be a vigilant flosser and get a Sonicare style toothbrush. With that plan, I generally get a green light from the dentist and have not had a filling in years.

Its the lazy brushers and flossers or those who dont do their checkups that end up with the $$$ issues.

To be honest, if someone handed me a 20k estimate, I would book a medical holiday to Thailand and be treated like royalty in their hospitals. I would enjoy the 5 star environment offered by Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok and the convivial company of the monied classes from the greater Asian region and the Middle East. I would return home with a nice smile, a good sun tan and money remaining in my pocket.

MMMdude

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 322
Re: Planning for dental in retirement
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2016, 01:15:43 PM »
You guys are young and assume people who are negligent have issues and no-one else.  The vast majority of people will have some expensive dental repairs later in life - starting in your fifties and sixties - regardless of what you do.  It's just a fact not an opinion.

That's the one thing i find about people on this forum - they vastly underestimate the costs of non recurring expenses.  Oh they only happen once very X years so we can totally ignore them

Khaetra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 712
Re: Planning for dental in retirement
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2016, 01:17:42 PM »
Genetics plays a lot into how your teeth are.  My ex has perfect teeth, never had a cavity and brushed/flossed daily.  Myself however, I already have front partial dentures (am also looking at full ones down the road) even though I flossed/brushed daily.  Both my parents had horrible teeth, despite taking very good care of them.  Dental is one of those things you should budget for and I think your numbers are a good starting point.

meandmyfamily

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
Re: Planning for dental in retirement
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2016, 01:23:25 PM »
My Dad goes to the dentist in Mexico and they do great work for a fraction of the cost.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3673
  • Age: 84
  • Location: The oubliette.
  • Ghouls Just Wanna Have Funds!
Re: Planning for dental in retirement
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2016, 01:30:08 PM »
I once went ten years without visiting a dentist.  After I got married, my wife made me go.  The dentist told me I could come back for a cleaning once a year if I really wanted to, but it wouldn't be necessary.  If you take care of your teeth, you won't have to pay someone else to do it for you.

My FIL has been doing his dental in Mexico for close to 30 years, and he has zero complaints about their work.  The only downside is that he only goes to Mexico once per year, so if he ever has a problem he may have to wait a few months to get it fixed.  He's never had a problem so bad that he's paid a US dentist.

Isn't preventative care covered under all of the ACA plans?  If you go that route, your ~200/year in cleaning fees is fully covered.  I don't plan on any major expenses beyond that, but I also plan to have enough money in retirement reserves to handle the occasional emergency (roof, furnace, car accident, dental) without separately budgeting out each one of those as it's own expense category.  They just go under "incidental irregular expenses".

Sol - Just have to point out you must be one of the lucky ones to have been born with good teeth and lower incidence of plaque buildup, as that is not something everyone has no matter how good their hygiene - it really is genetics. My husband brushes 3X daily with good quality toothpaste using a sonicare brush, flosses and uses anti-plaque mouth rinse daily. He still has to have cleanings every 6 months due to plaque buildup and has had crowns and cavities galore. He grew up with fluoridated water, and has always been pretty anal about his dental care so there is absolutely nothing he can do other than keep up his routine and continue to see our (excellent) dentist every 6 months.

Taking good care of your teeth and gums is a given, but sometimes your body has issues that make it necessary to have more frequent cleanings and that has nothing to do with how well you brush and floss.



You have to opt in for dental (and pay more) to get any tooth/gum coverage that isn't caused by illness or injury, so no, your yearly or 2X year visits for cleaning or x-rays is not covered under the ACA.

We have ACA without dental coverage. Our dentist discounts our visits for cash payments and our costs are under $350 for the two of us visiting 2X a year for cleaning/xrays (which was less than the yearly dental coverage cost). We figure if there is something like a crown or any large $$ procedure that is discovered, we can wait until the next open enrollment to add dental at that time. If it is an emergency, then we'll do the minimum needed to fix so there is no pain or difficulties eating/talking, and eat the costs for that since that's the gamble we're taking on not having dental coverage at this time. But we're also figuring that any major issues we should have fair warning about and be able to add the insurance before paying out thousands.

We're not technically doing a separate budget for dental or medical expenses; it's all rolled into the general emergency fund pool.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8464
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Planning for dental in retirement
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2016, 01:55:29 PM »
you must be one of the lucky ones to have been born with good teeth and lower incidence of plaque buildup

You don't need a dental degree to scrape plaque.  This is something you can do at home with tools you can buy at Walgreens.

This is like people who include a line item in their budget for haircuts.  Okay sure, you could pay someone to do that for you...

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
Re: Planning for dental in retirement
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2016, 02:05:50 PM »
You guys are young and assume people who are negligent have issues and no-one else.  The vast majority of people will have some expensive dental repairs later in life - starting in your fifties and sixties - regardless of what you do.  It's just a fact not an opinion.

Very true.  Other than a cracked  tooth which I had filled back in my 20's, I was perfect up until 40ish.  Then all of a sudden my perfect teeth sprang holes all over the place, had to have a couple pulled, and currently have 2 on the "watch list" for small dents in them plus 2 more where the enamel is almost worn off.

Pigeon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1295
Re: Planning for dental in retirement
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2016, 11:33:06 AM »
I would be very careful of the running off to Mexico for dental care plan.  Get actual IRL references from people you have met and who have had the work for a period of time.

I have a friend who is a dentist and we have had conversations about the quality of dental work done elsewhere.  There are countries where the level of quality is very high, much higher than ours (in his opinion though they tend to be places that would cost more than the US).  He does not have much good to say about Mexican dentistry in general and has made a lot of money redoing work done there.

I also agree that for most people, you are going to need more dental work as you age, and dental work is expensive.  Genetics have a great deal to do with it.