Kromey’s Adventures

Just a nerd with aspirations to delusions of grandeur

Oral Surgery This Week

24 Feb 2010

So, I go in tomorrow (Thursday) to have my bridge sectioned (cut apart).

Then on Friday the surgery begins…

I’m getting all 4 wisdom teeth extracted, plus an additional tooth (#19) which is internally resorbed (that’s the condition normally addressed with a root canal, but in my case is too far progressed to save the tooth). It’s this latter tooth that’s the reason for having my bridge sectioned - it happens to be one of the anchors, so of course the bridge has to be cut apart so that the tooth can be extracted.

Not really looking forward to this. It’s actually somewhat scary, to tell the truth - the closest I’ve been to any kind of surgery before is six stitches in the palm of my hand one time. I’m already anxious enough just having a masked someone reaching into my mouth with tools that literally feature in Hollywood torture scenes; now we’re adding to that literally slicing into my flesh while I am unconscious and completely helpless.

That’s a pretty scary proposition!

Scarier still is how much I have to pay because my insurance isn’t. The total bill for the extraction (not including any follow-ups or the subsequent new bridge or implants I’ll need for the gap) comes to $2555.00; my dental insurance is paying a mere $255.50, leaving me on the hook for $2300! This is the dental insurance I’m paying $484.80 for this year. I’d be far better off just putting that money aside into a savings account!

Why is it paying so little? Because my insurance will only cover 20% of the coverage for major services (which apparently these extractions count as) for the first year I have the policy (and only 50% the second year)! Basic services they’ll only pay 50% the first year; the only thing I get full coverage for right off the bat is bi-annual “wellness services” (check-up/cleaning), at a whopping $75 per visit.

The good news at least is that the anesthesia (at a cost of $740) is being covered under “basic services”, meaning they’ll pay 50% of the normal coverage (normally would cover $250). Ugh. I’m seriously questioning the value of this dental coverage at all; if I were getting these extractions done in my third year on the policy (when all benefits are finally at full), I would have paid them $1454.40 in order to receive $850 in benefits. Add on the annual $150 for twice-yearly check-ups, and I’m still coming up short $154.80 from what I would have had if I’d been putting this money aside in a savings account instead!

I’m fully aware that insurance isn’t a game where you’re supposed to “come out ahead”, but nonetheless this just doesn’t seem like a worthwhile policy to me, especially with this 20%/50% nonsense. Am I wrong?