Friday, November 09, 2007

9 Teeth

Daniel, our 12 year old went to the Orthodontist on Wednesady. Our dentist has been saying for 2 years that Daniel needs braces. Well I've been putting it off because of finances, there's no way.
Our dentist, Dr. Peterson, said at Daniel's last cleaning that he has so many baby teeth still in his mouth and they will need pulled, but he really wanted Dr. Mergen, the orthodontist's opinion before pulling any of them out I guess.

So we find out after an x-ray that Daniel still has 9 baby teeth in that mouth. Can you believe that? Nine teeth!!! So I called his dentist and they scheduled all those teeth, all 9, to be pulled next Tuesday the 13th.

Wow that's going to hurt. Bad thing is, our dental insurance only covers half. It's approximately $110 per tooth to be pulled if I remember right so that means $55 per tooth out of our pocket. So I'm not sure what to do. There's no way we can pull this off before Christmas. They will have to work out some kind of payment plan with most of it after Christmas. Daniel was just in here and I wiggled those teeth. Kinda gross, but maybe this wiggling will help.

Jason and I have discussed this whole teeth thing, it just sounds so extreme. How can they even feel that it's appropriate to pull 9 out at once. Ouch. They did warn us that if Daniel got to age 12 and any of those baby teeth were in there they'd discuss having them pulled.

So we told Daniel Wednesday night that he will get $5.00 per tooth he pulls out, or $100 for all 9. He seemed excited and started wiggling. We figure that even if he gets out 4 naturally then it's a lot better than 9 at once. He has till Tuesday. I hope he gets all 9 out. Most are so worn down and almost all of them have no roots left. The orthodontist office did a panaramic x-ray yesterday and said that all those teeth should have been lost a couple years ago and now they have to come out, or they will ruin his permanent teeth, he's way behind.

So I even told Daniel I'd wiggle them too, felt kinda funny to reach in his mouth and move those teeth, but some are really wiggly. I guess we will see how much money Daniel makes before Tuesday. I gave him an apple. That didn't work, now maybe I'll get some Jolly ranchers and plyers. What do you think will work? We are desperate.

Even though $5.00 a tooth seems high, I see it as saving me at least $45.00 to $50.00 a tooth if he gets them out. He's way excited and he's tugging away.

My Grandpa used to pull them out without me hardly noticing using plyers, that was kinda fun. Maybe I can sneak them out when Daniel is asleep.

ON another subject, Daniel just came home from Scouts and said they were working on their fitness merrit badge and he ran the mile in under 7 minutes. Wow, I can hardly run half a mile in that time. Those are fast legs.


Two days later, now at Friday, so far no teeth have come out yet, he says he's working on them. Each time I see him I reach in his mouth and I yank on a couple.

I called the dentist yesterday and asked how much it would really be. I wanted a serious estimate. I was told $115 per tooth. Our dental insurance covers half, so with 9 that came to $517.50 out of our pocket for the removal of 9 teeth.

So I said just like this, "Wow, that's so much. I guess we will have to do just a couple at a time and even then pay in payments." Isn't there a group discount, especially if The Dentist wants all 9 out at once?"

So the secretary or whoever she was said, "I'll actually talk to the Dr. Peterson and see if he can work something out with you."

So later in the day she calls back and says, "Michelle, he actually laughed at you, he's never heard of a group discount for teeth before, but decided that since that was so unique to ask, he'd take them out for half off. So you will only owe $258.75

Can you believe that?

I couldn't, I about fell off my chair, cause I was kinda kidding when I asked, but not really deep down, I was hoping, but not expecting. It's like a garage sale for teeth.

So that's much better. I'll still have to split that bill in 3 or something, but so much better. I am amazed that sometimes when you just ask things work out.
I'll let you know how the mouth surgery on Tuesday at 10a.m. goes.


Team Clark said...

Sorry to hear about that, Michelle. Extra expenses around Christmas is definitely not good. I can't even imagine how your family is able to get through Christmas (with all of the presents and all).
Way to go to get the bill reduced, though. That just goes to show you that it never hurts to try!
Good luck with the pulling!

Michelle Clark said...

Forgot to add that Alyssa lost two teeth in the last couple days. She asked me if she would get $5.00 per tooth when she puts them under the pillow?

I told her the tooth fairy was much cheaper than that, sorry. She said, I know, I think it's Dad that actually acts as the tooth fairy, I think I caught him once.

Whoops. :)

Jess and Jen said...

That's funny (about Alyssa...not Daniel having to get 9 teeth pulled!) That's great that you got the bill lowered. I want to know how he can eat with 9 teeth missing.


Michelle Clark said...

I'm not sure what he will eat. I'm thinking everything soft. I'm going to have several dishes of pudding and jello made up. I'm sure he will want milkshakes. I'll have to get some liquid motrin or tylenol, since I'm sure he won't be able to chew it, that's for sure.

This will probably be similar to someone getting all their teeth removed when they get dentures.

Lokodi said...

so he'll look like a redneck for a while. Make sure you take pictures. I do feel bad for him though. Ouch. I'm a total baby when it comes to the dentist. Are they mostly back teeth? Alyssa was smart to ask for five dollars. I was afraid someone in your family was going to ask for that once they knew daniel was going to get five dollars. I would have asked the same thing. Smart girl!


Mike and Adrianne said...

Pudding will work for a little bit but those teeth aren't going to grown in over a weekend. He is going to be hungry for a long time! I actually had a similar problem, although not as extreme. I had a baby tooth that wouldn't come out and the doctor finally just yanked it out. When I was 21 I got braces and when I went in for the x-ray the dentist told me I still had a baby tooth! The permenant one wouldn't come in because it was in my gum sideways and the baby tooth just never fell out. So they had to pull that one out and surgically pull the other one down. I would hate having 9 baby teeth! Poor Daniel.

chelsey said...

Yikes! Geoff's teeth don't fall out very easily either. He's lost 4 so far. The top tooth isn't growing in though. It's been almost 6 months since he lost it, and there's still no sign of a permanent tooth. Should that worry me?

Sarah's still working on her 2 top teeth. She's only lost 2. Jake still doesn't have his incisors in yet, and I don't know when that's going to finally happen. He's been drooling for months now.

We should just all go to dentures when we're born! Much less hassle and cheaper overall I'm sure!