Friday, November 21, 2008


Well, it turns out that as well as being a humorless sadist, my dentist was also a liar.

When I was told yesterday that they couldn’t remove my problem wisdom tooth and they’d have to refer me to someone else, my first question was one you’d expect from someone with no dental insurance.

“What will it cost?”

Oh, Mr. Dentist was suddenly Mr. Happy Optimist. Probably $150 for the extraction and about another $100 for sedation.

I mentioned how $250 was kinda out of my price range. I’d originally borrowed $300 from my parents to get the three teeth extracted at his office. Luckily, the two I needed extracting only cost $150…but that still left me with a hundred bucks to come up with out of thin air.

“Well, this ‘oral surgeon’ is a really nice guy.” Said the Dentist. “He does payment plans.”

Well, I called this nice-guy dentist this morning:

“Hello.” I said. “I was referred to you by Piedmont Dental about a wisdom tooth extraction. I was wondering if you could tell me approximately what it would cost to have my lower right wisdom tooth removed. Piedmont said they couldn’t extract it because it had turned sideways slightly.”

“Wisdom teeth are anything from $150 to $350.” Said the receptionist.

Shit. I thought A hundred bucks more than I was told.

“And another $250 for sedation.” Continued the receptionist. “although it could be more depending on whether you need a local or general anaesthetic.”

That’s right, kids. Four hundred bucks minimum…possibly $600…of which I have $150.

“Uhhhhh.” I said. “Piedmont said something about the possibility of a payment plan?”

“Well, all he’ll let you do is pay for half on the day of your visit, and then he’ll hold a check for the other half for thirty days.”

Did I mention it's also going to cost $25 just for a consultation to work out exactly how much this will cost?

The sad truth is I just don’t have four hundred bucks, and with Christmas coming up, I’m not going to have it any time soon.


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