I’m Back – I Think!

boys 2014So much has been going on since my last post in *gasp* November! We had Christmas and for a short time all the boys were home. Ian only had three days off so we did the best we could. While I miss Christmas morning with littles, Christmas Eve with mostly grown kids has its merits as well. We had so much fun!

New Year’s Eve marked Ian and Tim’s 21st birthday. It was the first time they have not been here for their birthday. It was also the first time they were not together for their birthday. Bittersweet. However, true to form, Mike and I managed to host the weirdest party ever – how do people find us? Weird, but not bad weird. Just weird.

January 9 was the day I finally got into see my dentist. Sometime in early December ALL of my childhood fillings started crumbling. My dentist takes most of December off and you all know how hard it is to find a dentist you can trust. I waited it out. Painfully. In fact, I lost about 12 pounds. Not pretty.

My dentist put me on antibiotics and gave me a five page estimate on what needed done to my mouth. (I go the dentist! I floss! I’m old, therefore my fillings were old!) The dentist portion of the estimate was Just below $12,000! The endodontist? Another $3000???? Might as well be a million dollars. I got a second estimate that matched almost to the penny my dentist’s estimate. Again, we do not have $15,000 dollars to save my 50 year old teeth. And, the thing is, there is nothing exceptionally weird that they want to do – root canals, crowns, fillings.

I panicked. Mike panicked. We are small business owners with “meh” insurance and no dental insurance. Fortunately, I ran into a woman who helped. New plan? I am going to Costa Rica next month. They can fix my mouth (the dentist went to the same dental school my regular dentist attended) for under $3000.

I cannot explain how horrifying this all is to me. I have nice teeth. People often comment on my nice teeth. Of course, they never notice my back teeth (the ones you need if you want to eat). I am now leaving the country to get my teeth fixed.

At the same time, I am excited. Aside from a quick run to Tijuana in the late 80’s and a visit to the Canadian side of Niagra Falls in 2001, I’ve not left the country. My mom offered to come with me (I have the most awesome mom ever). So we will be spending 8 days in San Jose (and the outskirts). I have to see the dentist three times.

I wont’ have a husband or kids or a house to worry about, so I will keep you all posted on how it goes. It’s insane that I have to go to a new country to get my teeth fixed in a timely manner and at a sane price, but I am so glad that there is the option.

Maybe my upcoming adventure will help someone else? I have never had a “big” dental procedure done before – outside of some monster fillings as a kid. Not a cheap fix, but for about one third of the cost here in the U.S., if I include travel, hotel and food.

I know that everyone is not on board with “medical tourism,” but I’m willing to give it a shot. I love my regular dentist, I simply cannot afford her rates. I’ll go back to her for cleanings, etc. but for this much work, nope.

If you’ve been to Costa Rica and have tips on San Jose, please share!

2 thoughts on “I’m Back – I Think!

  1. Ouch!. Physically And financially. I’m so sorry to hear about your month of suffering — twelve pounds in a month tells the tale all too well. But I’m so glad you found a more economical solution! And one including interesting travel!

    My dad was looking into travel to Costa Rica lately (he wanted an orchid tour), and was surprised at all the cautions he read about how to carry your wallet, how to not be kidnapped, etc. He’d still have gone if he’d found a tempting tour, so I’m sure he was sharing the most dramatic bits (and we are homebodies who are easily impressed by exotic adventures), but be sure to be careful!

    Ed had to have another of his teeth out in January, which leaves him with big gaps on both sides in the back. I thought he could just get a replacement, but it turned out that it would be $3,000 just for one tooth. I will keep Costa Rica in mind in case he has to have any more out — of course one would prefer to have dental care “at home,” but if that’s not possible and there Is an affordable solution (and you know this dentist is well qualified — that is very encouraging!), it would seem silly not to make use of it!

    I look forward to hearing about your adventures in Costa Rica (and how great that your mother will be traveling with you!)!

  2. So, this pretty much happened to me but over many years. Most of my back teach are crowns with a few root canals. Probably spent the same amount (with dental insurance) but less painful over 20 years.

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