So it looks like I am getting my second root canal next week due to a filling that went too deep. It is, sadly, one of my front top teeth (which makes the "just pull it" option unappealing).
There has been a lot of talk of health care, per se, at sites like the Incidental Economist and Marginal Revolution. But I am finding dental care to be shockingly expensive even with good dental insurance and a reasonable salary. Having experienced severe tooth pain (repeatedly), I wonder what happens to people who cannot afford care.
I will also say that free market options are limited when you are in blinding pain with a tooth abscess. One is willing to pay almost anything to make the pain stop and worry about things like rent later. Certainly it is a poor time for comparison shopping. Nor does the fact that many patients pay for most of their care seem to do anything to control prices.
These episodes have made me increasingly tough on my dental hygiene (flossing, brushing, ultrasonic toothbrush, prescription tooth paste). But I fear that some aspect of my diet or lifestyle still seems to be out of whack because dental decay appears to be accelerating at an alarming pace.
But it does make me wonder why dental care is treated differently than, for example, back pain.
Paul Krugman: Rock Bottom Economics
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