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Dental -update

jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2011

Oncologist gave us a dental surgeon's name to get teeth extrated since they are crumbling. Called insurtance company and said the cover 100 percent and to file under medical. Insurance person  at dental surgeon's office said they do not file medical, only dental. I called a regular dentist listed on the insurance network. Guess we will get a dental surgeon from her. Problem is all dental surgeons we could find in network were 1 hour away in Orlando and Jim refuses to go to Orlando, the traffic makes him nervous. Pray he will give in and go that far.



hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Is there a local hospital with a dental sugeon on staff that bills medical vs dental? Grasping at straws........ 

Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012

Hello Debbie,

I had to go to a stranger, and had this done in the surgical room at the hospital.  But of coarse was done 1 hr. prior to resection of neck.  My insurance carrier, (medical) did pay 100 % because it is a surgery....not normal extractions.  Good luck, let us know how it goes !  Hugs sent !  Katie

Duggie88's picture
Posts: 703
Joined: Feb 2010

Key word is sugeon or surgery. Mine was covered at the Oral Surgeon.

Good luck


fisrpotpe's picture
Posts: 1349
Joined: Aug 2010

might consider what i am doing. 

the oral surgeon pulled 4 teeth out over a years time, since then i have necrosis of the mandible. i am not saying this happens to all but is the risk with pulling them. 

so now what they are doing for me is doing root canal, then cut them off at gum line or just below, the following that with a mounding filler. 

the hope is to keep the teeth from breaking down. and lesson the risk of necrosis. 

just a thought


donfoo's picture
Posts: 1644
Joined: Dec 2012

You may want to consult with a specialist who can advise if HBO is recommended. It does reduce post extraction issues from my understanding. Lessens chance of ORN maybe.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

An option for the drive maybe and the anxiety associated with having the dental work...

ljoy's picture
Posts: 94
Joined: Dec 2007

I posted have this before but thought it would be helpful to re-post for your information.

Four and a half years after tonsil cancer treatment another phase of the cancer journey entered my life. While eating I bit down on a piece of food and felt what I thought was a loose crown.I immediately made a dentist appointment.

A quick exam revealed a loose tooth as opposed to a loose crown. The x-ray showed tissue and bone deterioration around and under the tooth. It is my right lower jaw tooth. It is also the side I received the most radiation (7200 rads). My dentist referred me to an Endodontic specialist for a root canal. Based on the x-ray and oral examination he was not sure the deterioration was caused from a root problem.

I decided to seek a different opinion at this point. I met with the Radiation Oncologist at the cancer center where I volunteer and serve as a mentor for Head and Neck patients. He referred me to an oral surgeon who treats a lot of cancer patients. After further examination he has determined it is radionecrosis (tissue damage from radiation treatment). Even a lay person can see the change in the bone and tissue around the tooth on the x-ray.

the oral surgeon schedle me for HBO treatmens immeiately. I will have thirty treatments and then oral surgery to remove the tooth. Another ten treatments will be necessary after the surgery to help promote healing of the bone and tissue. If they pull the tooth before the hyperbaric treatments they are convinced it will not heal.

The good news is the treatments are painless. However, I have a 75 mile commute one-way to the facility. The treatments are an hour and fifty minutes. The chamber holds 8 - 10 patients per session. I have had a little problem keeping my ears clear from the pressure. It is suppose to get better as I complete more treatments.

Hopefully, the hyperbaric treatments will restore circulation to the damaged area. This will reduce the amount of dead bone to be removed during surgery and help the area to heal properly afterwards.

This has nothing to do with good oral hygiene after treatment. So everybody please continue to be diligent in checking your mouth for any potential problems. I feel my regular dentist could have done a better job. I had a checkup and cleaning in early December and the loose tooth was not detected. Perhaps we all should consider annual x-rays to look for tissue and bone deterioration from radiation.

It has now been four years and my mouth continues to be fine. It healed very well.

The HBO treatments and dental surgery was all filed and paid for on my medical insurance. The surgery was do to radiation treatment not a dental problem.

You should located an oral surgeon who is familiar with Head and Neck cancer issues. Even if you have to drive some distance to get the correct treatment.

Best Always


Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

I went to just about every Dentist here in Lafayette and none of them would touch me. When I finally found an Oral Surgeon who would help me, he was not in the network. I was told by the insurance company I need to find one who is network, I told the lady I did and they will not touch me. So I had to pay out of pocket but it was worth it..

I hope and pray that you can find one closer so Jim can get the teeth pulled and go fishing the same day


Tim Hondo

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