Over the last year this cycle has accelerated and my dental issues have become increasingly dire. I'm experiencing constant and debilitating dental pain.
• I’ve had nine root canals since last summer, each costing $800-$1100
• My dentist and dental surgeon have determined that 14 of my other teeth are a lost cause
• On March 19th I’ll be going in for extensive dental surgery, getting 14 of my teeth extracted and dentures fitted, as well as four implants to preserve the bone structure
• The cost for these procedures is roughly $19,000
• I'm required to put $8000 down on the 19th to get the procedure done
• My dental insurance will not cover any surgery procedures for another year, and even if I were to wait, it would only cover $1000-$1500 of the amount
It’s difficult to describe the constant pain associated with chronic dental problems. It cycles between an insistent pounding or throbbing sensation, and piercing, radiating pain. It encompasses your entire head and reaches down into your jaw and neck. Since the pain is in your head, it’s extremely difficult to focus on tasks and can make sleep an impossibility. As some of you might know, I broke my leg in my mid-twenties, and while that was an excruciating experience, the dental pain I’ve experienced is far more piercing and debilitating.
For all the talk about the problems with health insurance in this country — and there are many — the situation with dental care is even worse. Costs and quality of care are wildly inconsistent, and even ostensibly “good” dental insurance covers little to nothing outside of an annual cleaning and possibly a small filling. (To learn more about the dire state of dental care in this country, check out these Slate articles.)
It’s not in my nature to ask for help, but this is necessary surgery and the cost is nearly inconceivable for us. We’re reaching out to friends old and new to help us pay for these procedures and hopefully, finally, put an end to ongoing dental pain I’ve experienced most of my adult life.
Any amount will help significantly, and Michelle and I are grateful for all the love and support our friends and family have offered.
- Pete Bernhard
- jen girdish
- Hugh Grubb
- Keith Dromm
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