Here I sit, tapping away at my keyboard, half way through a course of antibiotics with a fierce toothache still raging.
A very badly fitted crown, done twenty years ago at great expense, is finally making itself felt. It’s the worst crown my current dentist has ever seen, and right now I’m feeling like my old dentist, the guy who fitted it, ought to be shot.
Alternatively, perhaps someone could shoot me and get it over with, or just cut off my head. As you know if you’ve ever had it, toothache can be horrific.
The cost of treatment is also pretty scary. I need a root canal procedure followed by a new crown and because the sore tooth is at the front of my mouth and visible, I have to have a white ceramic crown, a private job, at a total cost of £660.
What on earth do people do when they can’t afford it? I could always just have the tooth pulled out, but that’s no solution. I’d be left with an ugly gap but more importantly, I wouldn’t be able to eat using one side of my mouth. Ridiculous.
£660 for an hour and a half’s work plus a tiny scrap of ceramic stuff? It’s absolutely obscene. Why is dentistry so expensive? If I charged a similar rate for my work nobody would be able to afford me.
My dentist, who is a very nice man, will take an hour to do the root canal work and prepare for the new crown, and half an hour to fit the new crown itself a couple of hours later. A metal crown, available on the NHS, would cost a couple of hundred less but I’d have to wait a week or so for it to be made.
Sensible people who don’t have much spare cash buy dental insurance. If I had a good policy the procedure I need would be covered, and it would have cost as little as £4.99 a month. Duh. I wish I’d known.
About dental insurance
Dental insurance covers regular dental treatment, emergencies or other serious dental problems whether you’re NHS or private. That means fillings, de-scaling and anything else your dentist would do…. but not the really serious hospital stuff. The emergency side of things kicks in if you are suffering acute pain or swelling, the results of an accident, abscess or cyst.
There’s no point re-inventing the wheel. The Money Saving Expert site has an excellent guide to all the ins and outs of dental insurance. I really can’t do any better myself. Here’s a link to a guide to dental insurance, complete with lots more advice about the alternatives.