Brandon’s Gold Tooth

I took Brandon to the dentist today for a couple of reasons. 1) It’s been a while since he’s been to a dentist because of the move; 2) He had a huge hole in one of his molars that he just told us about; 3) I don’t want to raise a kid who is scared of the dentist.

I knew that he had a few dental problems (I mean, he had a huge hole in one of his teeth that even I could see), so when the dentist called me back to the exam room and started going tooth by tooth, I knew there was trouble. The first question the dentist asked me was, “Did you live in an area that didn’t have fluoride in the water?” To which I wanted to answer, “We lived in Oklahoma, you wouldn’t believe what was in our water!” However, I didn’t. We did have fluoride in the water. Among other things: we used to get warning letters in our water bill that the trichloro-something levels were up and if we had weak kidneys or something to watch out and think about using bottled water. Scary.

Anyway, since that didn’t give him the information he needed, his next question was whether I had a really high fever while I was pregnant with him, or did he have high fevers as an infant. I told him that Brandon ran very high fevers as an infant, often reaching 104.5. They always ran at least 102 if he was sick. He said that because of that, the enamel didn’t form correctly on his teeth, so he will be prone to tooth decay FOREVER.

In all he will have to have 6 fillings and a crown. Yes, a crown at 9 years old. Grand total: $1250. The dentist and his hygenist told me that we practically have to cut sugar out of his diet if we want to save his teeth. Yikes. And right before Valentine’s Day, too.

To top things off, the crown is going to be gold. Luckily, it’s on one of his back molars and not one of his front teeth. Brandon couldn’t be more excited. He can’t wait to go to school and tell his friends about his gold tooth. Of course, it will be awhile before he gets his gold tooth, but he’s excited all the same.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any dental insurance. However, calculating out what we would have spent on dental insurance (which is $100/month at my company), we’re actually spending what we would have spent on a year’s premium anyway. Plus, the insurance wouldn’t cover all of the crown, we’d have to pay $500 on top of that. So actually, we’re coming out ahead of not having the company’s very bad dental insurance. I think from now on, I’m just going to put what we would have spent on dental insurance in our savings account and pay for it all out of pocket. At least until we find some decent dental insurance.

Meanwhile, Brandon will be brushing his teeth more often, using fluoride every day and starting a no sugar diet February 15th (it’s too cruel to start it tomorrow, don’t you think?).


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