Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dentist Trip

Our little trip down to Victoria to see Norma's dentist turned out to be expensive. We left home at about 7:30am and got to his office at about 11, one hour early. We had breakfast and went to see him. Norma's top teeth are held by magnets to steel rods that are implanted into her jaw bone. It was the latest technology and they have worked perfectly for seven years. The top teeth are slightly softer than the bottom and are designed to wear down easier ("sacrificial material"). They are fairly easy to take in and out and the individual teeth are easily replaceable. Two years ago we had three replaced in Mexico for $20 each. When they were new, it was very difficult to break the magnetic hold to remove the teeth. Last week it felt as if the magnets were no longer holding and that was what sent us to see him.

He inspected everything and announced that her jaw had changed shape a little over the seven years and that the tiny but powerful magnets were no longer lining up with the implanted rods. Re-engineering and replacement is in order and we were told it would cost around $5,000! He took impressions, took a HUGE deposit and scheduled us for three more appointments, starting in about a month.

We gave up our dental plan after the original job was done, mostly because they would only pay $3,000 of the total cost of close to $40,000 ($35,000 for the dentist and $5,000 for travel, hotels, etc.). That $3,000 was the maximum the insurance would pay out for one patient per year. We were paying almost $1,000 per year for the insurance so we decided it was not worth keeping it.


  1. Holy Moly! Get your deposit back and fly down to Merida and have it done just as well and for a lot less - including air fare.

  2. I can relate to your cost...many years ago in the early 80's I was diagnosed with TMJ..and required dental implant surgery..having a top of the line dental plan my biggest concern at the time was the aggravation of 18 months of dental work from start to finish..the surgery (mine was done in a hospital) to put the implants in then healing time, reopen at gum line install posts make bar etc etc...come to find out it was considered 'cosmetic surgery' and nothing was covered but the anesthetic in the OR...mine are not the magnet type (they are much older than that)..and I have to honestly say to this day they still all work excellently ~same as the day they were put in...
    Good luck..I could use a new bridge as the clips are worn and no dentist can find them..but am waiting in case I can get to Mexico and have it done...
    Good luck!!!
    Rick tucker and lilly too

  3. Yes, they used the "cosmetic surgery" cop-out on Norma as well. She could not eat but they call it "cosmetic"!

  4. Yikes! Poor Norma, poor poor Croft! You might have to cut down on your wine consumption, save some pesos!