We have a very large emergency fund. We have saved money over the years to feed it so that we can pay for any emergencies that come up.
We keep enough in it to pay for a new car when it is needed, new large appliances when they bite the dust, a new roof when it is needed, a large amount for necessary household repairs, money to replace carpeting and furniture, to pay for large medical and dental expenses, and a miscellaneous amount for anything else that might pop up.
Well, I got some bad news at the dentist a few weeks ago again. You all know that I have spent a fortune at the dentist over the past 10 years. We had no dental insurance up until 6 months ago. We now have a plan that my dentist offers that pays for 2 cleanings and dental exams, 2 fluoride treatments a year, X-rays once a year, and one emergency visit with an X-ray once a year. We go to the dentist every 3 months for cleanings and exams. Those 2 extra cleanings have just a $30. co-pay. We also get 20% off the standard fee for other procedures.
Fall of 2018, I had a partial denture made to replace a permanent bridge that was only 4 years old that failed. Just on those two things and some crowns to hold the partial and our cleanings and exams, we spent $XX,XXX. out of our emergency fund. We scrimped and saved to replace that money over the past 6 years. We did it.
But now, the tooth under a crown that is holding one end of my partial denture has fractured. The tooth has actually started to come out of the crown and my gum has started to grow around both of them. This must be taken care of soon because both the fractured tooth and crown could come out at any time. When I was at the dentist 4 months ago, I mentioned some pain that I had in that tooth area. The dentist took X rays but the fracture did not show on them at that time. He put some kind of medicine in that area and I never had any pain after that. I didn’t expect to hear anything but good news on this visit because I had no pain or tenderness and my gums are in excellent condition. Was I ever wrong!
To repair this I only had a couple of options: have the crown and tooth removed and an implant put in to replace it so that it can hold the partial, have the fractured tooth and the other tooth holding my partial removed and a new full upper denture made or replace both teeth with implants. I may also have to have bone grafts done if need be to be able to have the implants. That will be much more money.
The tooth that is crowned holding the other side of my partial could fail at any time. So if I don’t have it removed now, it could be even more money down the road when it does fail.
I am so sick of living in my dentist’s chair that I decided to have both crowned teeth removed and a new full denture made. I just want to be done with all of it and not have another problem down the road. It would involve going for an appointment to have an impression mold made to send to the lab to make the denture. Then when the denture is ready, I need to go have the two extractions and on the same appointment the new denture would be put in. I would never be without teeth. After I heal I may have to have the denture realigned which is done in the dentist’s office. The cost is $3286. but after my dental plan discount, it will cost me $2636. out of pocket.
I think it is the right thing to do and the dentist agreed with me especially since he knows what I have been through and the costs I have already paid out of pocket. Hopefully when this is all done over the next few weeks, I will only have to go for cleanings and exams. My lower teeth are in good shape.
So we will have to work to replace this money that we will be paying out of our emergency fund. This is another goal for 2020.
I only tell you all of this because when you are planning for your retirement, make sure that you plan for many dental expenses in your retirement years. Even if you have a dental plan, it does not pay a lot on expensive things. So this is one more expense that you have to be prepared for.
Off topic, I am still working in the basement. I am now going through our many bins of Christmas decorations and deciding what we will keep and what we will purge. Once that is done, the large storage wall is done. Then on to the other areas.