Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Trip to the Dentist - Sticker Shock!

This morning I received a reality check why I should keep my part-time job. I visited my dentist.

My bill for filling two cavities, replacing and old filling and fixing three small chips on my bottom teeth:


Couple that bill with my bill of $121.00 for getting my teeth cleaned last week  and you have a grand total of $989.00. That is almost one thousand dollars!  That my friends is a lot of coupons.

Please don't misunderstand me, I have an excellent dentist.  For an old man (that would be me), my dentist has provided me with a pretty set of Pearlies.  And I also understand that this is what dental work goes for these days but...man oh man.  I'm still suffering from sticker shock.

Just yesterday I was talking to my long time friend who is the same age as me and is also retired about our mutual monthly living expenses.  My Social Security and three small pension checks just about keep me (and Bill) on par with our  monthly living expenses.  If it wasn't for my part-time job I would be digging into principal for those Extra Unplanned For Expenses which, as you know happen with regularity.  Even though we don't plan for these expenses in our monthly budget, they happen.

I would love to have all the money I've spent in dental expenses in my lifetime.  It would be thousands and thousands of dollars.  However, one thing I am thankful for (and I really am) is that I am in a position to afford going to an excellent dentist, even though he is VERY EXPENSIVE. (I hope he doesn't read this blog).

When I was a kid I used to fear going to the dentist because of the pain.  The dentist my Mother used to send me to never gave me any painkillers.  All that drilling was done sans novacaine.  Now there is no physical pain, not even the needle hurts now.  But man oh man, the bill sure does hurt.


  1. Interesting. A cleaning in France costs €28.92 (about $38) AND we get 65% of that reimbursed from the national health service.

  2. Ron,

    It is those "expected unexpected expenses" that kill us. I put it that way because we know darn well these unexpected costs are going to pop up, we just don't know exactly when and what.

    One reality is we may also have unexpected things that will prevent our working. I haven't had work since Christmas Eve and with the concision of my leg right now even if called, I wouldn't be able to do it.


  3. Lar,

    I knew my dental bill would be high yesterday, maybe about $400. It was the $869 that floored me. Jaw dropping . But that is what dentists, especially good ones (which I have) costs these days. I'm slowly coming out of my shock and into acceptance. Now I'm waiting for my next Unexpected Big Bill. And it will happen, that's a guarantee.

  4. Walt,

    As you probably already know, medical expenses are prohibitively expensive here in the states. VERY EXPENSIVE! The only saving grace with my dentist is that he is an excellent dentist and has provided this old goat with a nice set of choppers.

  5. Dr. Spo,

    I bet you're less expensive (notice I didn't say "cheaper") than my dentist.


Comments are always welcome except from SPAM bloggers. I answer all comments. Have a great day!