All went well with me yesterday, btw. Looks like it was the last of the lower jaw work, but Monday I'll know for sure when I go for my follow-up. Once I get that green light, we start on the upper part, which in comparison will be a walk in the park.
My part of the tab so far: $7,650.00, with about another two or three grand to go. This is very reasonable -- another doc down in South Florida wanted to charge me twice this -- and I've been setting money aside for it for the last year.
My situation is not unusual. Like most writers, I have to insure myself. I carry major medical, because it would be insane not to, but I shop around and currently I pay about $170.00 a month for the coverage, which is fairly comprehensive (and, oddly, about what I pay for car insurance.) My medical insurer is CGI, if you're interested in checking out their rates.
The rest of my medical expenses -- including the oral/dental -- comes out of my pocket. Much of the work I'm having done is considered "cosmetic" so it's not covered under my policy or would be covered by any dental insurance I might obtain. I never thought of being able to talk and chew as optional, but there you go.