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Sun Jan 15, 2012, 07:48 PM

In America, Dogs Get Dental Implants, Man Can’t Get Infected Tooth Pulled

I just saw something in the newspaper that blew my mind. You can now get dental implants for your pooch, when his teeth get broken or fall out. No, this is not an early April Fool’s prank. I did a Google to make sure. For around $2500-3000, your veterinary dentist will fix your dog up with a brand new tooth so that he does not have to feel embarrassed when he bares his fangs at the mailman.

This ad struck a nerve, because I see folks all the time in my family medical practice who can not afford to visit a dentist, even for the simplest, cheapest tooth extraction. Occasionally, I will treat the same dental abscess two or even three times with antibiotics, before my patients can get the decayed stump pulled. Forget about a crown or a root canal. These are folks like the man who recently died of a dental infection, because he could not afford the antibiotic that a doctor prescribed.

"'The (doctors) gave him antibiotic and pain medication. But he couldn't afford to pay for the antibiotic, so he chose the pain meds, which was not what he needed,' Collins said. Doctors told Willis' family that while the pain had stopped, the infection kept spreading -- eventually attacking his brain and causing it to swell."


http://main.aol.com/2011/09/03/kyle-willis-cincinnati-ma_n_947810.html

This young man’s death was shocking---but not surprising. It has happened before. In 2007, 12 year old Deamonte Driver died from complications of an abscessed tooth, after his mother was unable to get dental care for him.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marian-wright-edelman/deamonte-drivers-dental-care_b_831705.html

Medicaid is supposed to help the poor get necessary health care in this country, but Medicaid offers little or no help for most dental problems, especially for adults.

http://www.wisegeek.com/does-medicaid-cover-dental.htm

"My granddaughter, who is a single mom and lives in Louisiana, recently got a medicaid card saying dental was provided. However, when she called for an appointment they told her all they provided for a 20 year old is dentures. How ridiculous is that? She needs dental care. Where can she get free dental care in Louisiana?"

Yes, I have seen that. Young adults who are having all their teeth extracted and dentures fitted, because that is all that their “insurance” will cover. This is not at all uncommon in the public clinic where I work.

"Don't come to Texas if you are on medicaid and over 21 years old. You don't get dental on medicaid, or any help with your dental care, broken teeth or toothaches. Missing teeth, nothing. Dental colleges are 50.00 or 200.00 fee. Who in the world who gets ssi and s.s can afford that? You have to live in a certain area to get help from clinic.

"My daughter's teeth are all broken off because of the meds she takes, but there's no help in Dallas, Texas. She is on medicaid and has to go to the hospital for toothaches, and medicaid does not pay for a hospital visit for a tooth pain, so they turn it over to the credit bureau. What a joke it is."


Hmm. No wonder so many of my patients end a visit by saying “Oh, by the way, I have this infected tooth, and I can’t afford to see a dentist. Can you give me something for it?” Why is an infection a medical problem if it happens on your arm but a “cosmetic” problem if it happens in your mouth? "Bad" teeth are not the same as "bad" hair. Folks with missing teeth can not get proper nutrition. Chronic dental infections have been linked to heart and other problems. They cause lost time from work and can make it impossible to get some jobs. And, in the worst situations, "bad" teeth can kill you. That's why the Department of Veteran's Affairs has a special Homeless Veterans Dental Program.

"The dental needs of homeless Veterans are well documented. In surveys listing and ranking the 10 highest unmet needs for homeless Veterans, dental care was consistently ranked by homeless Veterans as one of their top 3 unmet needs, along with long-term permanent housing and childcare. Dental problems, such as pain and/or missing teeth can be tremendous barriers in seeking and obtaining employment. Studies have shown that after dental care, Veterans report significant improvement in perceived oral health, general health and overall self-esteem, thus, supporting the notion that dental care is an important aspect of the overall concept of homeless rehabilitation."


http://www.va.gov/homeless/dental.asp

We love our veterans, and so we make sure they have dental care. We love our dogs, and so we have vet dentists. If we really loved the poor and the chronically disabled and the unemployed, wouldn't we do something about their teeth, too?

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Arrow 35 replies Author Time Post
Reply In America, Dogs Get Dental Implants, Man Can’t Get Infected Tooth Pulled (Original post)
McCamy Taylor Jan 2012 OP
jody Jan 2012 #1
Control-Z Jan 2012 #2
jody Jan 2012 #5
enlightenment Jan 2012 #7
Louisiana1976 Jan 2012 #3
undeterred Jan 2012 #4
joshcryer Jan 2012 #6
demosincebirth Jan 2012 #12
joshcryer Jan 2012 #18
demosincebirth Jan 2012 #21
joshcryer Jan 2012 #22
demosincebirth Jan 2012 #25
xmas74 Jan 2012 #32
Bonobo Jan 2012 #24
demosincebirth Jan 2012 #26
xchrom Jan 2012 #8
Sera_Bellum Jan 2012 #31
michaz Jan 2012 #9
boppers Jan 2012 #10
demosincebirth Jan 2012 #14
joeybee12 Jan 2012 #11
Crankie Avalon Jan 2012 #13
demosincebirth Jan 2012 #15
Crankie Avalon Jan 2012 #17
demosincebirth Jan 2012 #20
boppers Jan 2012 #19
airplaneman Jan 2012 #28
Quantess Jan 2012 #16
FarCenter Jan 2012 #23
Justina For Justice Jan 2012 #27
fujiyama Jan 2012 #29
moriah Jan 2012 #30
barbtries Jan 2012 #35
spinbaby Jan 2012 #33
barbtries Jan 2012 #34

Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 07:53 PM

1. So what! In Afghanistan marines piss on a corpse and MSM goes wild but ignore innocent babies

 

being slaughtered under orders of previous and present Commanders in Chief.

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Response to jody (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:08 PM

2. While your comment

has merit, it is useless on a thread as important as this, imo.

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Response to Control-Z (Reply #2)


Response to jody (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:28 PM

7. If the OP were actually focusing on dental care for dogs,

your point would be valid. It is not focusing on dental care for dogs, but instead using it as a comparison point in the larger discussion of accessible dental care for people in the US.

Do you believe that the health and welfare of people in the US is irrelevant?

I understand your anger - but your post is misplaced. Why not try an OP instead of essentially attempting to hijack a thread to push your entirely different agenda.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:12 PM

3. K&R!

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:17 PM

4. Meanwhile, Dentists can't figure out why they aren't filling their appointments.

Their prices are too high. They learn how to do all this fancy stuff, and in the end, we will all end up with dentures because we can't afford to make the costs of root canals and crowns a priority. All they'll need to do is pull teeth.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:24 PM

6. I was quite disappointed when HCR didn't have dental for adults.

The childhood preventative care stuff is great and it will go a long way to assuring that future teeth are in better condition, but it doesn't help those who fell through the cracks and have very bad teeth. Even the ADA (American Dental Association) was trying to get dental for adults in there.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:47 PM

12. I just bought dental insurance and it is not all that expensive. It doesn't pay all of the

bill but it pays for half. One hundred forty seven a year for my wife and I.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:56 PM

18. I don't think that will cover people who have preexisting dental issues, though.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 09:13 PM

21. The reason I bought insurance was because I needed a root canal on a tooth that was killing me. The

draw back was I had to wait three month before coverage kicked in. The base price for the procedure was 1100 bucks...I paid 400. The more you pay a year the less you pay at the door (so to speak).

Google Dental Insurance--you'll be suprised what you come up with


edit: spell

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #21)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 09:15 PM

22. Thanks, that sounds good, my brother desparetly needs it.

edit: I just saw your post #20, and, my brother needs big time work, extractions, dentures, will it cover that?

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 09:34 PM

25. Check at Delta Dental, that's the one I bought. You can check on all the procedures they cover and

see if they cover what he needs. Deltadental.com

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 06:31 PM

32. Still check the policy.

Many only allow x amount of work done in a year, others do no allow any major work done until the person has had the insurance for x amount of years, etc.

A policy I had through my employer a few years back stated that in the first year no other work besides preventative was available to the holder,second year paid 10% of the bill, third year 20%, and so on. On many policies the most paid for major work is only at 50%. When some dental schools run anywhere from 50%-75% cheaper than the market it might be cheaper to save your money and go that route.

In other words: read the fine print.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #21)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 09:31 PM

24. Still... that is $400 for one tooth. What about a family of 5?

Is that really in the budget?

In Japan, I pay about $300-400/month for our family's (5 people) comprehensive health insurance.

It includes dental.

No matter what we do at the dentist, the cost will never be more than maybe a few dollars. Maybe $10 tops.

If America really wanted to do it, they could. But it is more important to allow the health of its citizens to remain a profit-maker.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 09:36 PM

26. I'm just the messenger.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:31 PM

8. So what do dogs have to do with the fact that people

Can't get the health care they need?

I'm glad people can take care of their animals & sad we don't all have access to health care.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 05:48 PM

31. Exactly!

 

My Pom had 2 fractured teeth removed recently. I am very fortunate to have been able to pay for this. Affordable health care for all I say!

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:32 PM

9. So who is paying for the dogs to have these implants? n/t

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:34 PM

10. What dogs are getting free dental care?

I think I missed that part of the comparison. Both dogs, and humans, can get expensive for-pay implants.

Did you know there are expensive cancer treatments for dogs, and that there are humans who die because of a lack of treatment? Same comparison.

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Response to boppers (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:51 PM

14. It's a shame, but that's our society. People go homeless and dogs get dental inplants

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:39 PM

11. If I could, I'd unrec this for one reason...

The part about the dog not feeling "embarrassed when he bares his fangs at the mailman."

A dog or any pet with dental problems can be very serious and lead to even more serious health issues...the original thread has a point, but I really take umbrage at such comparisons...

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:50 PM

13. Never did understand how health insurance plans can get away with providing...

...practically no dental or vision coverage.

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Response to Crankie Avalon (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:53 PM

15. Insurances will privide you with both of those if you're willing to pay for it.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:56 PM

17. Well, my employer gives us a choice of a number of them and none...

...cover dental implants, for example. They cover the cheapest stuff like routine cleanings, but anything expensive like an implant, forget it.

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Response to Crankie Avalon (Reply #17)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 09:01 PM

20. No dental insurances cover implants. Sorry if I mislead you.

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Response to Crankie Avalon (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 09:01 PM

19. US Plans have their foundation in maintaining the industrial-age workforces.

Most assembly line factory jobs do not require teeth, and the "vision" coverage was usually just a pair of glasses, in the most extreme cases... no lasik, contacts, minor prescription adjustments, etc.

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Response to Crankie Avalon (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 12:54 AM

28. Good question - Here are the facts

Cant see - Not covered.
Cant hear - Not covered.
Cant eat - Not covered.
Cant pea - well finally your covered!

edit spelling

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 08:56 PM

16. I think it's good that dogs can get dental implants. They need their teeth, too.

No point in trashing dogs' dental care just to make a point about humans going without. Nobody's going to do dental work for free, whether the patient is a dog or a human. If dog owners want to pay the $$$$ for dental implants then great! If humans can't pay the dentist, then yes they'll go without.

We humans need a single payer health care system like the rest of the world.



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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 09:28 PM

23. Small animal vets will employ most medical procedures and use most drugs available to humans

People will spend outrageous sums on pets, even though the prices charged by vets are lots lower than those charged by MDs. It is a pretty good business for the vets.

Treatments for non-pet animals are much more limited, since the owner is unlikely to spend more than the animal can be sold for.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 12:25 AM

27. Great Post, We Need Universal Health Care for Human Beings.

I am appalled to read how some pet lovers are spending enormous sums to provide medical treatment for their dogs and cats when millions of Americans do not have access to affordable health care. Lack of health care results in the unnecessary deaths of thousands of Americans a year.

I love animals too and all my pets have been rescued from shelters, but I wish some well off folks would donate to groups fighting for health care for all rather than paying huge sums to vets to clean their pet's teeth. Suffering human beings should come first, then our pets.

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Response to Justina For Justice (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:09 AM

29. The consequences of increasing income inequality

and a lack of vision in our political and economic elite in addressing it.

We are a greedy society and people will place value on what they feel is most important to them. Usually that's them, their family, and their immediate circle of friends. In a country so vast and with so many so isolated, pets come in as a very high priority. They bring a lot of joy to many people so its understandable people pay so much to take care of them.

I do wish there was some stronger sense of a social conscience though and people cared as much about poverty, hunger, and the homeless...but when something is distant and not personal, there is bound to be a disconnect.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:20 AM

30. A dear friend of mine died of an abscesed tooth this fall.

He had no health insurance, had just gotten back from doing migrant farm work and was waiting on his paycheck so he could get it fixed.

Many ERs will refuse to treat teeth, even refuse to just write antibiotics, because they think people who have teeth problems are druggies.


----


I don't care if people can afford to give their dogs implants -- yeah, it's conspicuous consumption, but I've spent a hell of a lot on my cat. At the same time, I don't mind paying my taxes or paying more taxes if it would have meant my friend would have lived.

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Response to moriah (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 07:25 PM

35. i'm so sorry for your loss

and your friend's.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 06:44 PM

33. I'm seeing more bad teeth

Just from casual observation, many people I see in public nowadays have very bad teeth. A cashier at JCPenney who waited on me recently had a mouth full of broken teeth--and she was relatively young, too, which is sad. Thirty years ago, the only really bad teeth I remember seeing were in very old people.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 07:24 PM

34. excellent post.

we are a sick country.

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