Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another Wallop at the Dentist

It leaves me shaking, the bills to maintain my health; even in a province whose Pharmacare is supposed to cover people who live in very low income households; because, of course, Pharmacare doesn't cover DENTAL care. Even people on welfare, I am told, only have tooth extraction covered; no fillings, no maintenance to preserve their teeth. And so welfare recipients' overall health that good dentistry helps maintain further deteriorates and means later costs to Pharmacare.

I am just back from the dental hygienist. Cost: $120.75.

I must go again next week to finish the job because for ten years I'd been unable to visit the dentist at all; not to fix my two chipped teeth and not to keep my teeth in optimum condition to avoid problems later. The bill next week could be as much as $155.50. I left the office teary-eyed.

Thanks to SAFER, my income last August realized a 40 percent boost; from $7,200 to $10,000. That's why I paid a visit to Dr. Tom Roozendahl last November, twice, and then again in December. Those three visits totalled $572.40. By the time everything is done, I'll have spent $848.65.

Guess I've good reason for tearing up. I am still shaking from the shock and, yes, panic.

Am hoping to maintain regular visits to the hygienist in future. However, my income remains fixed at $10,000, plus annual chump change in my CPP payments for cost of living increases. Those won't keep up with the higher increases for food and general household goods or increases to my rent and Internet access payments - I have no phone, neither landline nor cell, and no TV and therefore am wholly dependent on the Internet for all my information and communication needs.

ETA: Budget shocks aside, am thrilled with my unstained bottom teeth. Danielle did a superior job to that of the hygienist I went to ten years ago (when I was at university in Bloomington, Indiana). In other words, she removed even older stains.


Daphne Moldowin said...

OMG, Ocean! The dentist is only part of it. Tomorrow, I am off to the optometrist for a long overdue check-up. (Supposed to be every two years ~ HA!)

The fee is $72. This will cover the test only, nothing else. ULP!

Melissa said...

my sister works at the cool aid society in victoria and they help people with a low income to get dentist work done for very cheap or even nothing

Chrystal Ocean said...

That's good for people in Victoria to know. For anyone up-Island, however, the cost of travel only ends up make the fee the same. Also, I received information from the clinic after you mentioned it last time, Melissa. They charge the same base rate as any other dentist. It's only that they don't charge above that, as some dentists might. An additional factor: there are line-ups that can be hours long on discount days.