Posts Tagged ‘Braces’

A Personal Story: Overseas Dental Care – Roy, Lyme

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Roy lives in Lyme, NH, and has four kids between the ages of 14 and 23. He is divorced from his wife, and while he does not have dental insurance, his ex-wife and kids do, through her job. She recently went to see a new dentist, and since the family owes several hundred dollars for that visit, she is reluctant to go back. Roy hopes to be able to pay off that bill soon, but until he can, his ex-wife is hesitant to schedule another visit for herself or for their oldest child, who has been recently complaining about a toothache.

Three of Roy’s children spent a year abroad with relatives and had extensive dental work done while they were out of the country at a fraction of the cost. Roy’s daughter got braces put on while overseas, but when she saw a local orthodontist for adjustments, the local orthodontist wanted to replace them entirely. Although Roy objected, the work was still done and Roy now owes two or three thousand dollars.

Roy anticipates some of his family members needing more dental work done: his son, who just got his braces removed, has a tooth that is out of position, which is estimated to take $7,000 to fix. Roy thinks the best option is to go out of the country again for it. Although it seems like the flight alone would be expensive, Roy finds that the amount they save on dental bills pays for the trip. Roy himself had a crown replaced overseas and paid $400 for a procedure that would have cost $2,000 over here. “I wonder what dentistry is going to be like fifty years from now. The only thing I know is that it’s going to be very different. We’ve got a lot of problems with the way the system works right now and I’m sure everybody in the industry feels the pressure of it.”

A Personal Story: Weighing Priorities – Rob, Thetford

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Rob is a self-employed builder and painter in Thetford, Vermont. A few years ago he needed a crown done but couldn’t afford it. He was able to work out a deal with his dentist where they exchanged services: the dentist put on the crown, and Rob did work for the dentist.

Rob is trying hard not to take on debt and is careful about deciding to get dental work done: “There’s no way I can afford to come in and spend a couple thousand dollars on my teeth right away. So I have to weigh things and decide how pertinent (the dental work) is at the time. Is it an emergency? Do I need to have it done?”

Rob’s daughter needed braces and was at the age where she had to have the work done. Unfortunately, he had to take on debt for that work and now pays a set amount each month: “Can I afford it? It’s really hard-everything’s hard right now because of the economy being the way that it is. But somehow, money seems to get there for it.” In the summer the payments are easier because that’s the season where Rob tends to have more work, in the winter it’s hard to predict what will happen. “You have to make priorities, and priorities are food, shelter, stuff like that. There’s a lot of people that have to look at that piece right now.”