Monday, August 9, 2010

When the bill hurts more than the cavity

I think I'm going to become a patient's rights advocate. Recently my sister was torn, trying to decide how to take care of her daughter's dental problem.  The poor girl was in major pain, it happened to be a Sunday and they have no dental insurance.  My sister took her to an urgent care center.  One little problem with this type of facility--they don't do teeth.  The best they could do was give her pain medication and advise her to see a dentist.  And that will be $65.00 for this visit.

So what do people do about their dental problems when they have no dental insurance and no extra money to pay a dentist bill?

What boggles my mind is the fact that you can go to a hospital if you have a medical emergency, and as far as I know, you can't be turned away if you have no insurance.  They'll take care of you, treat your ailment, and then send you a bill and how you pay that bill--well, that's to be determined down the road.

But what about a dental emergency? The way I look at it is simple.  Everybody has teeth.  At some point, every person will need to see a dentist. Sure, we're told to see a dentist twice a year for check-ups and cleanings, but if you don't and develop a cavity, need root canal, etc., then what?

Not everyone will have a medical emergency, not everyone will visit a doctor, not everyone will need to take advantage of their health insurance, if they have it, but most everyone will need to visit a dentist.

So the way I see it we need a radical new plan.  We need emergency dental care facilities that are open every day, even on weekends. And some provisions for those who can't afford a hefty dental bill.  No one should be turned away because they can't come up with the money at the time of service.


  1. I agree with the emergency dental care facilities. Teeth are important.

    How are you doing, rhymegirl?

    I have given you the Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits Blog Award.

  2. Thank you! I don't know what that is, but thanks!

  3. As far as I know, there are dentists who see emergency patients by giving them a phone call. I think I saw some of them when I was searching online.

    It's also best to be prepared if a dental emergency happens. When one of my tooth was accidentally knocked out, I was really scared and panicking. I really didn't know what to do with a dangling tooth. I was rushed to the nearest dentist. Sarasota, good thing, has a handful of dental clinics (I heard the place is popular for dental services in Florida).