Last month I had a cavity filled and I had to pay for it out of pocket. I saw a dentist in a hurry because I had a toothache that was getting worse. I thought something was stuck between my last two top right molars because it didn’t hurt until 2 days after I ate popcorn. The pain kept getting worse. I was able to floss and pick until a piece of popcorn kernel came out but my tooth kept hurting. There was nothing I could do but get to a dentist fast. He said I had a cavity and the popcorn kernel probably irritated it. He filled the cavity the next day and I had to pay for it out of pocket because my insurance only covers cleanings and exams. The problem is that the same tooth has started hurting again. Now I think I need a root canal and I cannot afford another dental bill. I just finished paying for the filling and it still hurts. Now I am not so sure that there really was a cavity. How do I get a root canal if I can’t afford another dental bill? – Dexter
Dexter – Although you need an affordable dentist, take a moment to consider the potential seriousness of the condition of your tooth. If you do need a root canal treatment for your tooth, it is a time-sensitive situation. If it is left untreated, your dental expenses—and possibly medical expenses—can escalate quickly.
A root canal treatment removes infection from a tooth. An untreated infection can affect other teeth, your jawbone, and in serious cases, spread into your bloodstream. A progressive dental infection can also become a medical problem. So consider the consequences of not treating the tooth.
You may not need a root canal treatment. Your tooth needs to be x-rayed and examined to find out the cause of your pain. It is possible that there is tooth decay remaining that was not removed. Have the tooth examined again. You may want to receive an examination from a different dentist, as a second opinion. Contact a few dental offices first to find out the cost of root canal treatment without dental insurance.
Another option is to find a new dental insurance plan. You might be able to find a plan that provides more coverage. Find out how soon you can start using benefits for different services, including root canal treatment. Even if a new insurance plan has a higher monthly premium than your current plan, it will probably be less expensive than having to pay out-of-pocket for root canal treatment. If you do need the treatment, your tooth will need to be protected with a dental crown, or which you will incur additional expense.
For each dental office you contact, find out what can be done to make treatment affordable for you. Most dental offices offer some type of financing or payment plans that allow you to pay for treatment based on your budget.
The condition of your tooth is a dental emergency. Don’t put it off. Find a skilled, but affordable dentist who can help.
This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.