Dental bills are ruining my finances and life – where is the government?

Dental bills are ruining my finances and life – where is the government?

Dental bills are ruining my finances and life - where is the government?
  • Braces took away three months of my income
  • Dental insurance is too expensive
  • State subsidized dental treatment

Being a father of two children and having a wife to support, it can be quite difficult to keep control of my finances at times. One of the biggest problems I’m having, and that I see a lot of others have, is that dental bills are way too high; dental bills cost thousands of dollars; dental bills are ruining my finances and life. As an American who works hard for his country and to support his family, I now wonder: where is the government? 

Braces took away three months of my income

A few years ago, our family’s dentist discovered that our son’s teeth had become significantly crooked since our previous visit to the clinic. If we didn’t give him braces, the doctor said, the teeth might become even more crooked, to the point where it would be difficult to eat and his teeth would be more likely to become weaker with time. 

Fast forward 2 years and my son’s teeth are now straight – something we are very grateful for. But I feel the cost was unbelievably high: in total, I had to cash out $6,000 for the ceramic braces that had to stay on and be tightened regularly during the 2 years. 

Paying for my son’s braces took away three months of my income; income I could not afford to lose. I had to take on credit card debt, and it will take me several years to pay it down. At the same time, I’m sure there are many others who have struggled even more than me…

US dental insurance is too expensive compared to other countries

Being curious about how things were done in other countries, I browsed the internet for the best dental insurance companies. I’m quite fond of Norway’s political system, and was drawn towards this company called Din Tannforsikring. Their insurances are regulated by governmental supervision, and their tannhelseforsikring costs about $15 per month. In addition, Norwegians don’t even need to pay for other medical insurance, which makes it easier to finance their dental insurance. 

In as rich a country as Norway, $15 is quite cheap, compared to the $45 I pay for my own dental insurance in the states – something many others do as well. On top of all of the other costs I have, this extra cost makes a big difference to my finances. 

According to my opinion, dental insurance is way too expensive, and dental bills remain a huge problem. 

State subsidized dental treatment

Having outlined my problems, here are some of the things I believe the government could do to help: 

  • Cover 50% of dental expenses. This would greatly reduce the financial burden of unexpected costs that prop up. 
  • Apply for coverage when a low-income family faces large dental expenses. Middle- and high-income families can often fend for themselves, but for those in extra need, it should be possible to ask for help. 
  • Cover 50% of dental insurance. As the insurance itself is quite high, a more affordable solution (from the government’s perspective) might be to cover half of the insurance, instead of half of the costs.