Thursday, August 20, 2015

Dental Economics, or the Tooth, the Whole Tooth, and Nothing but the Tooth

Let's talk about the economics of teeth, shall we?

There were two things that led me to ... uh ... sink my teeth into this topic. The first was a letter from my dental insurance company, proudly announcing that I can get dependable and affordable dental coverage* when I retire (I have dental insurance through my employer now). This is one of the many things I have to worry about as I approach the age of full geezerhood, along with finding affordable medical care, affordable food, affordable housing, and pants that belt up under my armpits. I'm just glad to know that my elected reprehensives of both parties are working hard on the issue: the GOP is working hard to maximize profits and minimize costs for the insurance companies and the medical care industry, while the Democrats are working hard to provide Real People with the best possible care without regard for how it gets paid for. Good luck with all that.

The other thing that got me to thinking about teeth was this article: Tooth Fairy Tightens Purse Strings, Pays Less Per Tooth.

It seems that the Tooth Fairy**, that cheap bastard, is cutting back on payments to children for their lost teeth. According to the article:

"After hitting a high of $3.70 per tooth in 2013, [the Tooth Fairy's] average payout dropped to $3.43 in 2014 and is down yet again to $3.19 this year, according to a new survey by Visa. And she clearly favors the rich. Kids in families who make less than $75,000 a year are getting just $3.07 per tooth, while kids in families who earn more are averaging $3.46, reports UPI. She also has a thing for the Northeast, where kids enjoy the highest average return of $3.56 per tooth; kids suffer the most in the South, where a tooth goes for just $3.07."

Well, hell! ... I remember Little Bilbo and his siblings back in the 50's getting a dime for a regular tooth and a quarter for a molar. Times change, don't they?

And - believe it or not - there is also a "Tooth Fairy Calculator App" available at the iTunes app store to help you calculate the proper payout for a particular tooth, based on gender, education, state, age, family size, marital status and household income.

And finally, there's the GOP tooth fairy ...

But that's enough biting sarcasm for now.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* Luckily, eye care is presently covered under my medical insurance (also provided through my employer), which will help me read the fine print in the offer from the dental insurance company.

** Not to be confused with the somewhat more sinister "Tooth Fairy" in the Thomas Harris thriller Red Dragon.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

The tooth fairy meets The Trumpster - scary! I got a dollar, in quarters or (amazingly) two 50 cent pieces.

eViL pOp TaRt said...


Big Sky Heidi said...

Can the I.R.S. tax income from the tooth fairy?

Mike said...

That $1500 limit (or whatever) per year doesn't help much when you have a bridge (50% covered) that needs replacing and oh by the way you need a root canal too.

Kristen Drittsekkdatter said...

Dental insurance is a necessity nowadays, if it is still around with some programs.

Linda Kay said...

Heidi might have a point...I know my grandson gets more than $3.75.

allenwoodhaven said...

I am, but shouldn't be, surprised that there is such an app. I have a vague recollection of getting a few small coins - probably around 50 cents.