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Help please!!!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

This is going to be a long back story, but I need some urgent advice.

 

I just finally finalized a pretty messy divorce from my DD's father, but we've been apart for 3.5 years now. She will be 5 in the spring and the last time she was at the dentist was about 2 years ago. I brought her in because she was complaining of some pain and sensitivity. Her teeth were a bit gray in color and in doing some of my own research I suspected some enamel issues. The pediatric dentist she saw confirm that diagnoses. He said that she did have some enamel on her teeth but that it was week and would likely cause issues until her grown up teeth came in. She had two cavities filled that day and he advised us to come in regularly to monitor her teeth. The bill for that visit was pretty big and I wasn't able to pay it, as I've had some really hard financial issues since leaving ex. He was unwilling to help me pay the bill, and to boot he canceled her dental insurance plan and hasn't had dental insurance since.

 

Fast forward to the present: For some reason he has now decided to be father of the year and take an active interest in her teeth. After 2 years of begging him to get dental insurance for her (she has had one broken tooth but hasn't complained of any pain at all) he brings her into a dental program for low income families. Might I add that he is NOT low income and is taking advantage of the system, something I wouldn't even dare do. Anyway, he brought her into a dentist on one of his weekends (I have primary custody, he gets every other weekend visitation) behind my back. Apparently the dentist said that she has TONS of issues. They found 4 cavities, two abscesses, and two broken teeth which need to be extracted. I don't have the ex-rays or paper work stating any of this. The dentist didn't bother contacting me, so I'm getting all of this information from my ex, who ironically happens to be a pathological liar. Ex told me that the dentist said that she DOESN'T have enamel issues, that this is a clear cut case of a child who eats candy all day long and doesn't brush her teeth. I assure you all that this is not the case. DD has egg and peanut allergies, so there is a lot of candy she can't even have. She never drinks pop or juice and we do our best to brush her teeth twice a day.

So I'm certain that these enamel issues do exist. Needless to say, they didn't do any of this work at the first visit. They said that she should probably be sedated due to the extent of the work. Ex has since been trying to find someone who will sedate her through this program with no luck. He still hasn't given in and gotten her dental insurance. I'm not working, so my options are very slim for insurance. May I also mention that he is military and has some of the BEST dental available. Ugh.

 

We now have an appointment on Friday morning that ex set up with a dentist who has agreed to see her through this free program. I'm bringing her in, but ex will be there too. They are going to do another exam and then try and do as much work as they can, but they won't put her under. They have gas available, but I'm a bit hesitant about it because I imagine it could be pretty scary for a kid. I prefer to bring her to her primary dentist and have him do the sedation and all the work all at once. One recovery, one visit, and she'd be done. But I realize it has to be taken care of and ex refuses to get the dental insurance, so I'm reluctantly going to this visit. I'd like to be more informed, though so that I can say no if something makes me uncomfortable.

 

So my main questions are: What do you think/know about the gas? What are the side effects? Do you think sedation is a better way to go with this amount of work? Do you know or have any experience with poor enamel and it's effects? Should I try to get her on some sort of stand alone dental insurance, cancel this appointment and bring her back to her primary dentist, or should we suck up the ex issues and the fact that everyone there thinks I'm a monster and go get this all done for free? What would you do in this situation? I'm trying to do what's best for her, but I need to be calm and collected to be there for her as well.

 

Sorry for the long post and all the messy history. I appreciate any advice.

post #2 of 4

I don't have much in the way of answers for you but...  I have had the gas myself and it does make things a whole lot nicer.  I managed to sleep through a root canal on it once.  I don't know if it would be enough for extractions, though.  I've had extractions and root canals while awake and I think extractions are much more upsetting.  Otoh, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that pulling baby teeth is less traumatic than pulling adult teeth.  Hopefully someone who really knows about this will come along.

 

When we had our older son's teeth done (he was 3 1/2 and had 1 pulpectomy, 4 caps and two crowns), we paid out of pocket bc the dentist we felt good about didn't take our insurance, but the anesthesia was almost half the price of the whole thing and that wouldn't have been covered anyway.  IME, dental insurance doesn't always help that much -- not that I don't think your X is being an *ss, or anything. If he could have her covered on his military plan and he doesn't, that is really rotten. 

post #3 of 4

If she is in DEERS as his dependent, then your dd is automatically enrolled in Dental and the premiums are automatically deducted out of his pay.  If he does not have her in DEERS, you need to call his command and file a complaint.  Your dd is entitled to receive ALL of her dependent benefits.  You can call United Concordia yourself and they should be able to find your dd's info and provide you with a list of dentists that accept the plan.  Your dd can access all of her dependent benefits with or without your ex.  Good luck.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you both. I will make some phone calls today to get to the bottom of her dependent benefits. As I understand it he doesn't have dental coverage for himself at all. He's national guard, not active duty, so he can chose his benefits more freely. He has just canceled his dental plan all together on account of 'it's too expensive'. Now he's taken over 2 years trying to find a 'good' dental plan. Ugh. I realize that dental plans just don't cover everything and even when they do cover a procedure, you still end up paying 50% or more. But right now every penny counts and 50% isn't 100%. Also, he's court ordered to pay 40% of the remaining bill. I had an outstanding bill already, so no dentist would bill us without insurance. They wanted up front payment which we couldn't do.

 

I'm open to doing the nitrous but the whole situation just makes me nervous and sad for DD. GA makes me really nervous too. There is really no right answer here.

 

I've searched the dental forum for threads about diet effecting your teeth. Some of this is really interesting. Does anyone have any links or info regarding food allergies being a possible link to enamel  or decay issues in baby teeth?

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