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Pre-SHTF Dental and Medical Care

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by GOG, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    I think getting dental and medical needs taken care of before the SHTF is critical. What are you doing to handle this?

    Here's my latest episode on dental care:

    I've been trying to get my teeth taken care of before SHTF. I have an upper partial that is almost 14 years old and some teeth up there that should be removed so I can get a full upper denture. I've been trying to time it so I have what's left of this years insurance money and all of next years. That means now.

    However, one of the support teeth for the partial has gotten so loose, that it abscessed and at the same time, the rear molar also started in with pain. It's been loose for a long while.

    I couldn't get in to my dentist until January and I couldn't get into their other office in another town until January either. I only have a limited amount of insurance coverage, so I didn't want to go to a different dentist and pay for new x-rays etc. while I'm trying to get the denture handled.

    So, last night I got fed up and pulled them both with a small vise grip pliers. Man, do I feel better and I saved the cost of two extractions. ;)
     
  2. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    I was just talkin about this with the wife last night over dinner as I have a feeling my upper left molar is in need of attention. While she has all dentures and I have (-1) of my teeth but seems that every year I am having to go to the dentist for something or another (old fillings removed or crowns) and it is damn expensive to say the least.
    I feel your pain GOG & have done the same a few times in the past. I am seriously thinking of pullin them all and getting dentures.
    What are the pro's and cons about false teeth?
     
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  3. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    I recently had severe pain (but no visible abscess) that resulted in a $1200 root canal. It solved the issue but I was almost ready to yank the molar myself. The inflammation was so bad that pus was draining up through the root after the dentist started drilling...

    Whatever you do, don't leave it too long. I was completely useless for 2-3 days with the pain that was resonating through my jaw and head.

    Peter
     
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  4. gaijinsamurai

    gaijinsamurai Beaverton Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I'm currently off work and waiting to collect Workers Comp, due to an on-the-job knee injury. Part of me is bored and wants to return to work, but in the long run, it is in my best interest not to rush things, and let the injury heal. That, and the current cold spell, have given me reason to pause for thought regarding how I would deal with these issues when SHTF.
     
  5. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    I've worked nearly every weekday of my life since my pre-teens and the only health insurance I can reasonably afford has a $10k deductible. Assurant. So anything this side of a broken back or cancer is on me.
    It does pay just about everything once $10k is hit though.

    All I care about are the life-crushing expenses.

    Even that is probably dumb. A buddy of mine got testicular cancer in the 90s and WA state paid for everything even though he was full time employed.

    Looking at the waiting room inside just about any hospital they look like a parasite convention.


    Past the rambling, YES it is smart to have anything fixed now because you surely won't be able to get it fixed THEN.

    Lasik is also a great idea - needing glasses/contacts post-SHTF will suck.
     
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  6. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Damn I never thought about this!
     
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  7. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    I'm in my early sixties and this stuff is important now. It never mattered when I was younger.
     
  8. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    People don't think much about it, but an abscess tooth can affect you heart or your brain.
    A truck driver was found in the sleeper dead from an infection from a tooth that had spread into his brain.
     
  9. BigDaddyDMD

    BigDaddyDMD Albany, OR Member

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    I have a very unique perspective on the dental care aspect for pre-SHTF as a currently licensed, practicing dentist. And before you go poo poo here is a silly dentist I was an Infantryman/Infantry officer for 14 years before I went to dental school so I'm cut from a different cloth than your average dentist. post SHTF skill will be a necessary tool for bartering. Pain is quite a motivator and being able to fix and relieve oral pain will be a handy skill to trade. I have seen grown men who can walk around on a broken foot reduced to tears by an abcess. It has to do with how the pain fibers from the mouth are wired into the brain. Myofacial pain is wired into the brain differently than the peripheral nerves so it is much more intense. I will address a few things I saw asked here. If anybody has anymore questions feel free to ask. I'll give you my 0.02.

    pros/cons of false teeth:
    pro: limited maintenance needed, no issues with future cavities/abscesses etc.
    cons: they are a substitute not a replacement for teeth. They don't work as well, and you are limited on your chewing ability. in a SHTF environment, diet will be based on your preps, what you scavenge, and what you can grow. A paleo style diet is very difficult without teeth anchored into bone. It is difficult (not impossible, just has to be prepared well ie boiled) to properly chew and break down fibrous and protein based foods with a set of "plates" This will cause difficulty in digesting and extracting all the nutruients from your food in what will most likely already be a reduced calorie limited variety diet. Just something to think about. The other con is that when they break (they will eventually) repair of a denture may become very difficult.

    Pre dental care is quite critical. heading off issues and problems when they are small will pay dividends if SHTF. Yes, infections from an abscess can get to the heart or brain and kill you. If it doesn't kill you the pain will completely incapaciate you and you will be combat ineffective. A lot of people dont realize dental abcess was the 5th leading cause of death in the United States at the turn of the 20th century.

    Teeth are quite resilient and people can have cavities for years without symptoms. A cavity is a slow spreading lesion. By the time you are having pain and discomfort the problem is quite bad (hence more money to fix). I usually tell my patients its like have rust in the body of your car. you may not really see it or notice it until it gets really bad, or you may see it, but since it doesn't affect the driveability of the car you ignore it until you get to smell the exhaust coming up thru the floorboards and freeze your butt off in the morning. If SHTF I have no doubt people will be wishing they had done preventive maintenance on their teeth. bottom line, get it checked and issues addressed. Its no differnt that changing the oil in your car and maintaining the engine rather than waiting for the head to blow.
     
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  10. BigDaddyDMD

    BigDaddyDMD Albany, OR Member

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    True. cost is very prohibitive and the cost of dental and medical continue to skyrocket. My profit margins continue to shrink yearly, so its not going into my pocket. We can have a great discussion on why the costs are rising, but that is for a differnt thread as its a huge complex issue with multiple opinions. An oil change costs $30 and a blown head costs $1000. A check up/xrays/cleaning costs $200 but 2 crowns and build ups costs $4500. I have seen full mouth rehabs costing up to $25,000. The investment is relative to the cost.

    -Digital cost far, far more than the old F speed films. they are quicker, far less radiation exposure, easier to transfer data, and are nicer to have, but one sensor will cost me $2-6K depending on the make and manufacture and they don't last forever.

    -I disagree with "If SHTF tomorrow good dental care wont matter as your teeth will not be able to be maintained well at all". Preventive oral hygiene (brushing/flossing) is 95% of what is needed. You will see an immediate reduction of newer cavities due to the reduced availabilities of simple sugars, starchs, sodas etc. Its all the folks with existing sleeper cavities that will need the help come SHTF.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
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  11. BigDaddyDMD

    BigDaddyDMD Albany, OR Member

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    And I agree with you that "it should not be that way". Should have made that clearer. Come SHTF and I trade dental treatment for a chicken then the cost will equalize since I no longer have to pay disability/malpractice and all the other myriad of cost sucks on my practice.
    P.S. Gold for SHTF is always up for debate since you can't eat it, but keep in mind it will be one thing all those fledgling barber dentists will need for providing treatment should you ever find yourself needing dental Tx post SHTF. It is still the best restorative material for longevity, wear etc. I will eventually run out of pretty tooth colored composites or amalgam alloys, but I can always wax and cast gold for fillings/crowns using 14K wedding bands.
     
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  12. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your perspective Big Daddy. :thumbup:
     
  13. clambo

    clambo Vancouver, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your input Doc.
     
  14. OLDNEWBIE

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

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    For this reason I keep all my old serviceable glasses (5 or 6 pairs I think) even if they have scratched up frames or minor lens scratches. Luckily my RX hasn't changed much over the years although I'm starting to use readers.
     
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  15. bellarum

    bellarum beaverton Well-Known Member

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    I had a chipped molar patched a few weeks ago. I put it off for a few months until It bugged me enough to go to the dentist. Here's the BS part....They patched with tooth colored whatever and billed me $170 when the repair would've been covered 100% if it was done in silver or whatever it's called. I wasn't given the opportunity to choose. They are looking into it. Either way I'll let you know the name of the dentist and office after they get back to me with their explanation.
     
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  16. stratbastard

    stratbastard eugene oregon Active Member

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    Before the advent of civilization, people commonly died if tooth infections in their 20's. I spent a lot of time in the chair this year, and my yaggers are now right up to snuff. Got a LOT of floss, toothbrushes, and tooth paste in the stash too.
     
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  17. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    I will be happy to pull any bad tooth for a fraction of the price you would expect to pay.
    No pain killers and no antibiotics, any major or minor infections are your problem. You must leave premises within 15 minutes of operation!
     
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  18. kickstart my heart

    kickstart my heart South King County, WA Active Member

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    I was just thinking about this today. I haven't been to a dentist in about 11 years. Teeth are in pretty good shape as far as I can tell. I know I have some cavities though. I'm hoping around tax return time to get some stuff taken care of (cost of deductible still has to be covered). Better to know my teeth are good then be in the middle of some situation where I can't fix them or have to pull my own teeth out.
     
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  19. YoungBlood

    YoungBlood SW Washington Active Member

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    This thread is useless without pics...grin... (pun intended)
     
  20. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Bondo and white paint! LOL! Actually, not funny!