I am self employed. I pay for health insurance, even before Obama care required it of me. But I don’t have dental insurance. I pay out of pocket. I know that it is smart of me to visit the dentist at regular, twice annual visits. And to be honest, I really do like getting my teeth cleaned but I can’t stand the actual dentist. Here is what happened on a recent trip to the dentist.
I sat in the chair and had my teeth cleaned by the nice hygenist. She had a conversation with me – which I believe I was a brilliant conversationalist back…(most would agree the stunted ability to speak when some instrument is stuck in my mouth or my face agap so they can get to those back teeth would actually help quell my constant jabbering). I felt like we were getting to be “friends.” But then she “turned me over” to the dentist. The dentist had about 10 minutes with me to speak in tongues (Tooth number 15 has an icclusial, E-O on 30). Seriously what do they MEAN by that – other than to make me feel totally stupid? Long story short, one of my teeth had a chip – I needed a crown. I knew this. I broke it on a popcorn kernel and brought in the chip. Duh. But the other one just befuddled me. Another tooth was going to crack to pieces because the old filling I had was expanding, so I should have the dentist rip out this perfectly good filling to get a new one that won’t expand over time. Keep in mind it has been YEARS since I’ve seen a dentist and I’ve been dealing with the tooth now for a while…I’m not getting tooth “bits” when I bite down on things – so I think I’m OK.
As I sat their contemplating my gummy smile (as all my teeth are apparently going to fall out) and the subsequent cost and upkeep for a good pair of dentures, I was scared. I like to smile people. It is what I do. And the dentist was telling me that this was going to just disappear one day! YIKES. But then the thought occurred to me. Dentists are a bit like a used car sales person trying to get you to purchase the lemon off the lot so they could get a paycheck! Really has dentistry become the up-sale of all upsales? “Would you like fries with that”? Uh…”Would you like a filling with that crown”? And we wonder why people don’t love going to the dentist….what is this really gonna cost me? Does going to the dentist have a timing to it? Don’t go in January when they are planning their summer family retreat to Maui and certainly don’t go in November or December when they are plotting what kind of amazing Christmas presents their darling (spoiled) children will get this year under the tree (while you deal with how to pay for your wooden block smile).