This tangent is brief but worthy of mention as 2009 begins to look like the Year of the Tooth for my family. I'll get back to posting my next journal entry on web care medicine shortly but I think the private care world of dentistry functions quite well for the most part.
Recently I've had the opportunity to experience emergency dental care for my 16 year old son who managed to get his front teeth knocked out playing soccer (yes, I know mouth guards would have prevented this but how many sixteen year old competitive soccer players do you see wearing mouth guards...not a one...except for my son now that we have spent several thousand dollars repairing his teeth!).
And I've had the chance to experience the whole tooth implant business as my husband undergoes the process for an ill-fated root canal done decades earlier by a dentist who did many questionable root canals on likely healthy teeth then skipped off to South America with this assistant leaving family and other responsibilities behind.
And I've just returned from an orthodontist and periodontist for my teenage daughter who through no fault of her own has managed to grow extra teeth where they shouldn't be requiring all kinds of care after oohs and hmmms and my mys from the specialists trying to sort her out. This is on top of the $6,000 bill that we will cover for her orthodontic work...and strangely enough, her teeth look very good cosmetically it is just the lurking danger of teeth that shouldn't be encroaching upon others damaging roots etc.
And not to mention that my hockey playing middle son will be undergoing braces for the next three years at the cost of $6,000 as well just to sort out less than perfect teeth arrangement but long term effect on bite and jaw alignment so necessary overall.
Fortunately, there will be some help with private insurance to cover some of these costs but not the majority. Strangely, there are many people paying for some of their dental care and some who have private insurance combinations with co-pays. We don't hear people screaming and yelling that this is evil and will be the downfall of our society. In fact, many people like me and my family are grateful for the expertise that we can access in a timely way.
As push comes to move public dental care forward and expand the coverage in general, I think this would be good but know that a cost to taxpayers will be essential. I also worry about what kind of dental care we would have in Ontario if private dental care was prohibited. What kind of public dental care system would afford orthodontics for everyone in need of necessary alignment to prevent later complications such as dental decay, gum disease and jaw pain? How many patients would take it for granted expecting care when they drop in and how many patients would be waiting on a list as government dragged out expenses into the future?
Would there be a shortage of dentists, orthodontists and periodontists if they were only government funded? I'll bet there would....and people would be going to other countries to get their care.
Would people's health suffer because of their lack of access? Sure.
Would people be joining union groups to protest the emergence of private dental care? Sure.
I'm grateful for the care that we have been able to access in a timely way and hope that the dental profession will hold its ground against those who wish to see the socialization of this profession as well. They should be able to learn from our mistakes.
So bring on more publically covered dental care while preserving private dental coverage. It seems to work quite nicely.
Wow, this is a really sad article that some have to pay so much. My friends and me( as we live in the UK) fly to poland regularly and fix our teeth with dentalpoland(dot)com and we are very happy and one of them had to have implants fixed and paid around 30% off. We got a professional care, good service, met reliable people. Poland is beautiful too so everything was worth.
P.s. I hate dentists you know, but sedation and stuff ugh...really helped so I didn't feel anything. and more and more people are going there to save up and save some time.