When I was growing up, our dentist took whatever it was that the dental insurance provided by my mother's job and my mom never had to worry about paying additional bills whenever we had to have something done. Nowadays, it's a totally different picture.
I have three girls too, just like my mother did. I have a relatively decent dental insurance from my job too. But the similarities stop there. I have to have what is called a health reimbursement account through my job so that I can save up for any health care cost like prescriptions, co-payments, and additional expenses. Additional expense like procedure cost over what is covered by the insurance. The girls will be finishing this year's round of dental checkups by the end of next week. Total out of pocket cost, almost $500. It's a good thing they won't be going back again for another 6 months. I think it sucks that I pay on insurance every month (and it's not a small amount either) and still have to pay additional at the doctor's office. But, what can you do. They need to have their teeth cleaned and cavities filled. It's just a fact of life, they need to be able to smile :)
Here's a tip if you're in the UK and are looking for a place to brighten your smile, check out Dentist Ealing.
Next on the round of doctors, the orthodontist. Yikes!