Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Since I before moved to Texas I haven't gone to the dentist once. That's more than 10 years of no dentistry; a really long time to ignore your teeth. There just hasn't been the money for things like that. Well, actually, that's not exactly true. When Jerry has had to go in to get THREE root canals, the money has been there. My biggest problem with going to the dentist is not actually going - I like going to the dentist, or at least I did when I was a kid. It was generally a pleasant experience. It's having to ask for the money to go. It really irks me.
However, I am tired of saying things for me just aren't that important when I need it just as much as my kids and Jerry. So, I buckled down and made myself a dentist appointment. It's odd how medical and dental works down here because it's more a business than a practice. I contacted a dentist on the list of approved professionals that my insurance company gave me, set up an appointment for this morning and headed on in after I dropped my kids off at school. All I was slated for this morning was a consultation, which meant that all they were going to do is take some x-rays poke around in there and let me know where we were to go from there for free, which always sounds fantastic. I was pretty confident in this as I have never had any issues at the dentist before. BAH!
First of all, from the time I walked in the building till I strolled on out - AN HOUR. They moved at a snails pace. I seriously wanted to just grab the bite strips from the tech, slap them on, zip the machine ... but noooo. It was like this woman was moving in slow motion. Moving beyond that though. When the dentist finally came in, he grunted over my x-rays ("Is everything alright?" I inquired. "Oh, everything looks great!" He replied. Liar.), poked around my mouth calling out random numbers and words (which I knew couldn't be good) then exclaimed, "For someone who hasn't been to the dentist in over 10 years - your teeth look great. However (how does a "however" come after "great"?) you have 5 little cavities in your mouth." I looked at him, totally stunned. FIVE cavities? I have never had ONE cavity before, let alone FIVE! He looks at me dubiously, "You seem to have a problem with that..."
Me, "Of course I do! I've never even had ONE cavity before, it's a shock to hear that I have FIVE."
Dentist, 'Do you chew gum?"
Me, "Yes, I go on a lot of long road trips. I chew gum instead of drinking caffeine to keep me awake."
Dentist, "Well, the gum grinds in a lot of little unwanted particles into very small spaces. AND you haven't been to the dentist in TEN years."
Me, "I know ... it's still disappointing."
Dentist, "I'm sorry to hear that."
... he's sorry to hear that? What kind of platitude is that?
So they ring up how much it will be to get the stupid things fixed ... $653. I almost choke. "Would you like my first born too?" The lady looks ready to write up the bill of sale. I am rather confused. "Does that include a cleaning?"
Lady, "Oh, you'd like a cleaning too? Let me go calculate that price...$703"
I have FIVE cavities and you don't think I should start getting my teeth cleaned too? You know, the whole preventative maintenance thing? Bunch of bologna.
I didn't get the work done today, as I still have to tell Jerry how much the damage will be. It's not like I can put it off. Don't cavities turn into worse things? Don't they get bigger or something? Either way, I'm rather annoyed. Five cavities. I wonder if they have white caps instead of those silver ones.
Ms. R will be proud of me, she's been rather distressed that I am not like other adult she knows with silver in their mouth. Apparently that made me a failure. I tried to explain to her that NOT having silver in your mouth is better ... but no, *sigh*, now I am just like all the others.


Jenie said...

Yuck! I don't like the dentist.

Jenie said...

Yuck! I don't like the dentist.

Dawn said...

White will cost more=(... ironically (considering what I went to college for) I haven't been to the dentist...since I stopped working for them...crap, I have to go make a phone call...

mom said...

I've never liked dentists I think they're evil with thier buzzing little drills

Anonymous said...

You might wanna get a second opinion. My wife was told the same thing by a new dentist. She went to her old dentist in a different town who told her she didn't have any! :(

Lindsey Rae said...

It's good that you could go!

Health care really is a business down here. I have so many thoughts on it...I couldn't even get started.

You could double check with your insurance about what the "reasonable and allowable" (I think that's what they call it) should be. I will double check with my insurance on a lot of things before I pay, because I think they screw up a lot. Our dentist's billing has overcharged my husband a bunch of times, small amounts, but just because they were too lazy to do things the right way.

I am trying to figure out some stuff right now because I'm supposed to get some oral surgery...mostly preventative, that my dental insurance is gonna charge about $2000 for. I went for a consultation and then after I figured out that if I can find the right kind of Dentist that is covered under my medical, rather than dental, they will pay 100% after a $40's difficult to figure all the right stuff out. It might be more difficult to find someone, So, hopefully I can find the right kind of Dentist, because $40 is better than $2000!