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Old 06-12-2002, 06:49 AM   #1
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Post Question about cosmetic dentistry...

Okay, now that I have my wisdom teeth out, I have a much bigger problem to worry about.

I used to have perfectly straight, white teeth, and I wore braces for seven years. Unfortunately, due to my ordeal as an alcoholic from 15-20 I have horribly yellow and chipped teeth and moderate gum recession which led to spaces between my teeth. I know that the only way to fix this is either to bleach my teeth and have the teeth bonded, or to completely correct the teeth with veneers or caps. I keep reading about the horror stories of the painful procedure, but I need to get this done.

Also, I have no dental insurance, and even if I did I understand it would not cover the costs. I understand this may take ten years or more. Does anyone know approximately how much this extensive dental cosmetic procedure will cost?

[This message has been edited by Araminta (edited 06-12-2002).]

 
Old 06-12-2002, 06:55 PM   #2
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Please do not let the horror stories on this board stop you from getting any dental work done. I have noticed that people seem to delight in telling others their horror stories. I visit three dental boards and this one is by far the worst for people discouraging others from getting dental work. I think these people are afraid of the dentist so they try to scare other people into being afraid too. If you have a positive attitude you will find that a lot of what you imagine is worse than what actually happens.

 
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Old 06-13-2002, 10:41 AM   #3
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All I know is that my own dentist told me the procedure is known to be quite painful, and reading the stories here makes me very nervous.

Does anyone have an approximate idea on how much such a procedure might cost? My personal dentist has nothing to offer, and a consultation alone with a cosmetic dentist is $100, which I don't have at this time. Please help!

 
Old 06-14-2002, 07:24 AM   #4
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Um, is anyone posting here actually going to answer my question? I click here expecting to see someone kind enough to answer, and instead I notice someone posted to someone else.

I didn't post to read messages to others, that's what starting a new topic is for. :*/ Does anyone have a vague idea of the different options, costs, and how painful the procedure is? As stated, I can't afford a consultation at this time. Mmmm-kay, thanks.

 
Old 06-15-2002, 07:22 AM   #5
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Hmm, if you are just looking for vague ideas, maybe I can help. I really don't know what your options are, but I can tell you that in my area, a well-qualified cosmetic dentist would likely charge between $1,000 and $1,500 per porcelain restoration. I don't know what composite bonding would cost.

The procedure itself should not be painful. There are some risks associated with any treatment, so it would be good to discuss your concerns with your dentist. I personally would want to choose a dentist who is very experienced in cosmetic work.

In my area cosmetic dentists often offer free initial consulations. They also typically have access to third-party financing options.

I hope this helps.

 
Old 06-15-2002, 02:31 PM   #6
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Whoa, as in 1,000 a tooth????

I was hoping that the procedure itself would be no more than 5,000. I guess I am out of luck and will never be able to get this done.

 
Old 06-15-2002, 02:41 PM   #7
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Yeah, $1,000 a tooth. Composite bonding would be significantly less if it is an option for you. I'm not sure how much that is, but I vaguely remember a co-worker telling me her husband had it done for $300 a tooth.


 
Old 06-16-2002, 08:46 AM   #8
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I had eight mercury-silver dental amalgams removed and replaced with white fillings, approximately 8-1/2 years ago. At the time, I believe the total cost was about $2500 (USD). The insurance company paid about $1500, which was the cost for dental amalgams (labor and material). So, I paid about $1000. These figures are rough, based entirely on my memory, but I believe that they are fairly accurate. So, I only paid "out of my pocket" about $125 per tooth.

I think it's best to check with a cosmetic dentist first. Also see if the insurance company will pick up part of the cost. Some will.... You just have to call around. I hope some of you are not paying $1000 or more a tooth. That seems quite exorbitant.

I'm not sure, but I thought that I may have had porcelain put in. These white fillings that I have are very durable. All 8 of them are doing very well after 8-1/2 years.

The dentist just drilled out the mercury filling, made a new cavity in the tooth, and inserted a temporary plug. A mold that was made from the cavity was sent to a laboratory. Later, he cemented in this laboratory-made white filling on the next dental visit.

The materials are not that expensive, and the labor to do this work is not long at all. I had two teeth worked on, on each dental visit. I believe each dental visit was about 1 hour or maybe 1-1/2 hours. Based on my experience, I would think $350 to $450 per tooth would be more reasonable.

The end result, is that I have white teeth, without those ugly black-gray spots. I've had nearly zero problems. Initially, I had some sensitivity to hot and/or cold foods and drinks. Now, everything is fine. Also my fibromyalgia symptoms, loose teeth and gum disease are nearly forever gone too.

 
Old 06-16-2002, 09:25 AM   #9
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I don't need fillings replaced, though. I don't have any new cavities, only badly chipped teeth. Did you get veneers, or just your fillings replaced? I know when you get fillings replaced it's relatively cheap and insurance covers it, whereas insurance will never cover cosmetic procedures.

Unfortunately, I don't even have insurance. I am almost 22, no money, no job, and my mom's insurance no longer covers me. I did ask about a cosmetic dentist, but the one my dentist recommended to me charges 100 dollars for a consultation.

It's good that you no longer have any bad symptoms! Hopefully if I am finally able to fix my problems I won't have gum problems anymore, either!

 
Old 06-16-2002, 02:36 PM   #10
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I just had 8 molar fillings replaced. But you reminded me that I did have one chipped front tooth, that the dentist fixed. He just extended the tooth down a little bit further. He didn't extend it down as much as I would have liked, but after having those eight amalgams replaced, I was tired of being in the dentist chair. So, I didn't complain and didn't say anything. I never went back. I was just so glad to be mercury-free.

With no insurance, job, or money etc., then I would imagine that you'll have to wait until you get that new job. Sorry to hear about that. I know what it feels like to be without a job. It has happened to me a couple of times. It's no fun.

Until you get your chipped teeth fixed, you might try a number of natural means to keep your teeth cleaned. In addition to brushing with toothpaste, you might try some baking soda and table salt mixed with water. You can use it to rinse your mouth and gums, after brushing. You could also brush your teeth with the baking soda too. I mention that to everyone. It seems to help in a number of ways. The salt water solution can help your gums heal by drawing out the poisons. Just make sure that you don't do it too much. I think you'll see quite a difference....

I hope that you continue to do well. It sounds like you had a pretty rough life, with the alcohol and all.

Also healthy teeth and gums might do better with a improved lifestyle change, with a better diet. Lots of leafy vegetables found in salads, plus whole grains and fruits can be useful. This is something rarely discussed along with dental care, but I feel preventative care can be helpful in a number of ways.

I hope I didn't go on too much. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/gabby.gif I've just learned over the years that we can do so much for ourselves, if we just give it a chance. Take care and I hope you can eventually get those teeth fixed. Let us know how the baking soda works in the meantime.

 
Old 06-16-2002, 02:48 PM   #11
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Yes, Ive heard its very expensive...I dont know what you can do about the chipped teeth..sorry,,,Ive heard Crest white strips work pretty good! I had my front tooth chipped, & have a temp. crown on right now..2morrow I am getting the permanent...Im worried it wont be the same colour as my regular teeth.. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/redface.gif..anywho..that cost me 700.$ with 80% covered by hubbys insurance. Im lucky to have that..I hope you find a solution..Good luck to you~~

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Old 06-16-2002, 04:08 PM   #12
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Well, I was fired from the spa, just written off the schedule. No one would say why, though my coworkers said that my black hair china doll hair and pale skin was the cause. (I live in Florida, land of the tan people). Since then, no one in the business will hire me and I've been looking for a year. I'm down to applying at gas stations, which is terrible since I am a licensed cosmetologist who should be working in my field. It looks like I will have to move to find a job. Yes, you could definitely say I've had a very hard life. :*

Anyway, I have changed my diet and rinse with salt water once a night. I've noticed that my gums are much better than they were, but the slight gaps between my front teeth will never be filled in with gum again. I stopped drinking soda completely as well, so that should help stop my teeth from yellowing further, and I also no longer drink beer, so there is nothing to chip or dissolve my teeth. I'd say I am much healthier, but my mindstate isn't very healthy. My bad teeth are all I think about, and I really regret what I did to myself to make my teeth like this. Thankfully, I don't think my teeth are chipping anymore, but it is upsetting that I can't smile around people. My former boss at the spa even told me it wasn't a good idea, and before she said that I didn't even realize my teeth were that bad!

I used the white strips, actually. They brightened my front four teeth up a teeny bit, and I can't say I was happy with the results. I got a refund from them.

Well, hopefully in 10-15 years I will have enough to get the teeth fixed, or maybe I'll win the lottery. Really, in cases such as mine (alcoholics, bulimics, etc.; people who suffered from problems doctors recognize as illnesses), I wish insurance covered cosmetic dentistry. To me, it really seems like they should. I know as soon as I do find a job I'm going to try and find a cheap dental plan, and it would just be nice if insurance covered it. My teeth, I think, are hindering me from getting a job, so in this case I do need this done.

I'm really long-winded because this is a very depressing subject to me, so I'll stop after this last question. Does anyone know if cosmetic dentists accept monthly payments? That would definitely help if I could pay off the procedure over several years!

 
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