In the Philippines, most families don’t really pay for health insurance and dental insurance. But in America, it’s very difficult if you don’t have one. The cost of healthcare without any insurance could be so high that you may end up paying thousands of dollars!
Our 4-year old son started complaining about his teeth. So we went to a dentist for a consultation. His dentist recommended that they put a crown on 6 molars – 2 on each side on the lower set of his teeth; and 2 on the upper right molars.
The next step was to ask for estimates from the dentist and our dental insurance plan how much it would cost. You see, even if you pay for a dental insurance, it would still cost a lot to avail dental services.
So we waited for a little bit. Then a letter came in the mail. To do a Pulpotomy and crown two of his lower left molars, it would cost a total of $831! I know I’ve said I should not convert from dollars to pesos, but man, that’s more than PhP41,000! I could have replaced all of my teeth and more!
To top it off, our son’s milk teeth will fall off in the next 2-3 years as he grows up. We were thinking of just taking care of his teeth by brushing and flossing and all that.
But when he kept complaining about the pain, we decided to go to the dentist.
Goodbye hard-earned $831!
That was December 2017.
Then right before the year ended, he complained of more pain in his right jaw. We checked and it was swollen. We took a picture and asked a dentist friend who is practicing in Pampanga. She said that it was an abscess, meaning there is some infection in the root of one of his molars.
And we cannot even go to a dentist because it was the holidays!
Right after the New Year, we visited his dentist–a Hispanic guy whose childhood surname was also Coco. He said that he cannot save the abscessed tooth. It needs to come off. To help with the swelling, he gave us antibiotics and then scheduled the extraction and the crowning of his other molar.
During that consultation, we didn’t know how much the extraction and the additional crowning would be.
A few days before the appointment, they called my wife and she told me how much it was going to be.
It was for $492!
Whew! Dental services are so very expensive in the USA. The 1,300 dollars we spent could have been worth one ticket going back to the Philippines where dental services are way cheaper. But, of course, we cannot just let Coco go back to the Philippines by himself.
So for now, our son doesn’t feel pain in his jaws and teeth. Hopefully, he’ll get to learn the importance of taking care of his teeth.
Right now, candies and chocolate are banned in our household–at least for him. The adults get to enjoy some guilty treats every now and then. But please don’t tell him that. 😀
With Halloween and trick-r-treats coming in a few months, I hope he’ll stick to his promise not to eat chocolates and candies.