* At age 74, I have rotten teeth --which is 3rd world "normal". I get them pulled, one at a time, when the pain won't go away. I was last quoted $2500 to save just one of them (meaning: a root canal and maintaining it as a dead tooth). That same dentist office (and the one before) was charging about $250 (with X-ray and such) for the extraction. More recently I found a local branch of a dental chain (Advantage Dental) which does extractions for about $100, doesn't try to up-sell me on expensive work, and the dentist there seems skilled at extracting teeth with minimal pain.
* Proper dental repairs are simply not in a Social Security based budget. I have two molars that still meet. After that, it will be soft foods for both of us. (My wife has a very old set of dentures, which she only uses for photos.)