Fillings or Deep Cleaning? : Dentistry

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I am a student (albeit an older one at 29, yay poverty!) and can only work part-time due to pretty severe mental health issues. This barely covers my rent. I am also out of work until the school year starts because of some intense mental health treatment/ being a risk for covid. I am on my state’s medicaid plan, but can only receive up to $1500 in dental work per year starting every July 1st. I went in for a cleaning yesterday after my initial exam and was told by the hygienist before I even sat down that she wouldn’t be doing a cleaning because I have some minor bone loss at the very back molars and that I need a deep cleaning with antibiotics. This was the first I had heard of this at all and it was never even mentioned to me at my exam at the end of January. In fact, I was never given a plan by my dentist because I needed a root canal (that was cancelled due to my dentist closing and then had to have an emergency extraction because said root canal was cancelled and I wasn’t given any antibiotics and it got infected a few weeks later.) I know that I need more fillings, I just don’t know how many or any cost estimates for how much it will be taking out of my insurance. Once that $1500 is met, I can’t do anything else. I live below the poverty line and my credit is terrible from medical bills I couldn’t afford five years prior to getting on medicaid, so loans are out. I am scheduled for three fillings tomorrow which should still leave quite a bit of the benefit left, but which would you prioritize first? The deep cleaning or getting further fillings? The hygienist wasn’t very helpful at explaining anything to me yesterday and actually made me cry at one point. The whole thing just caught me really off guard. Sadly, there aren’t many other dental offices that take my insurance nearby and driving far isn’t an option for me. They won’t give me a price for the deep cleaning or what it would be out of pocket since I have insurance, so I can’t even try to figure out what I can get away with as far as rearranging treatment. I also don’t have a plan for treatment and that makes it hard for me to see what is most pertinent in this situation. To my knowledge none of my remaining cavities are very large and I don’t think I need crowns on any of them, but again I’m not sure because the only thing they ever really talked to me about was the root canal that was cancelled due to a closed office in March.


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