To each his own. To me my own.

Poor Molar

I don’t know what I expect out of life sometimes. Vague? Yes.

I have always had health insurance, but as of the past 5.5 years I have not had dental. Not only do I miss having it, but the older I get I’m beginning to feel the repercussions of being without it. I’m seriously going to have to look into getting a personal policy since it’s not a benefit my employer offers.

All those years I did have dental, I guess I took the benefits for granted. I always took advantage of the bi-annual cleanings. When I did need something done, I’d often bitch about the $50 deductible per year, or the 20% I’d have to pay of the remainder of the bill. Believe me, I won’t do that anymore.

So yesterday I got to experience how a person might be made to feel that doesn’t have health insurance. I had to be the only person in the dentist office at the time that didn’t have dental insurance. Upon noticing the raised eyebrows and looks of pity, I was ready to split the joint and go hide under a rock somewhere.

The ‘doctor’ proceeded to suggest all these wonderful procedures that would need to be performed in order to save the tooth.

Dentist: You will need a root canal, yada yada yada, yada yada, then  a crown. Yada yada.
Bon: (yeah yeah, finish your schpill lady… I don’t have two thousand plus dollars to save the tooth, I just want the damn thing out and be rid of my pain) Well, doctor – the thing is, I am without dental insurance and this tooth has hurt me for upwards of six months now, I need some relief. The pain is tremendous.
Dentist (with not-so-convincing look of pity): You know, there is a free dental clinic in insert-town-here, USA.
Bon: Excuse me?? (shock) Uh, no. I am fully prepared to pay YOU to remove the tooth. I am not in need of the services of a free clinic. (more shock)

Now, I was still in my office clothes as I came to this place straight from work. I did not have straggly hair, and I do not have teeth missing. I am carrying a designer purse and I am wearing Born shoes. I am not telling you this for any reason other than to say that my appearance should not have made me fall into the homeless or meth-addict category.

I didn’t go there for a root canal, yada yada yada, and a crown… I went there to get the offending tooth extracted. It’s that simple, really. But, since I didn’t have the necessary money (or supporting policy) to afford all the work they would like to do in order to line their own pockets, I seemed to weigh a lot less on their scales of importance. I’m sorry – that’s just how I see it. Free clinics are not going to jump through hoops to ‘save a tooth’. I feel pretty certain they don’t do many if any root canals, and crowns? Well I think not.

If you’ve ever had a free clinic suggested to you, then you know how it makes you feel. If you haven’t, let me assure you that it doesn’t do much to lift you up.


8 responses

  1. planejaner

    Oh, sweetie. That stinks. Feel better soon…and I know how having the free clinic suggested to me feels…

    been in your shoes, for sure.

    September 16, 2010 at 11:15 am

    • Bonnie

      Thanks so much, Jane – makes me feel better to hear I’m not the only one. Hope your weekend is great!!

      September 17, 2010 at 11:47 am

  2. We must face a dental appointment for my hubby today. All we want is to have the tooth extracted and only if necessary. Crowns don’t work for him; they break and fall out. And even if they didn’t, we don’t have dental insurance. I know how you feel, Bonnie. We are forced to see an oral surgeon because of my hubby’s health problems. Curiously, had my husband been willing to pay for three root canals and three crowns, the dentist would have taken the risk. Hm. But since we only wanted extractions, he’s out of it and told us to go to an oral surgeon. General anesthesia is bad on Alzheimer’s, advancing the disease. We are going for the appointment only so that if an emergency happens, we have a place to go that will treat him. How we will pay is another matter! The good news is that the three teeth that suddenly hurt him all in one day have not hurt again since. Perhaps we should invest in a dental policy, too, although insurance and non-insurance dental plans usually cover half or less of major dental work.

    September 16, 2010 at 12:14 pm

  3. Bonnie

    Oh Carol, I was sorry to hear that your husband is facing that kind of dental dilemma as well. I messed up and did a post for today before answering my comments, that was rude of me and I apologize! I do hope all went well yesterday on his visit. Yes, it IS curious of how they are willing to do certain costly procedures that involve a whole lot of work, but not a simple extraction. And I’m not talking about ‘true’ oral surgery, but just that – a simple extraction! Things are just not like they used to be, that’s for sure.

    September 17, 2010 at 11:52 am

  4. Oh, Bonnie, you were not rude. I wanted to kick myself right after I posted. Do you ever do that? Post and then think you shouldn’t have? Thank you for your kind reply. All is well that ends well and I trust that your infection will subside and the extraction will be a breeze.

    September 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    • Bonnie

      I don’t comment near as much as I’d like to Carol Ann, but I know what you’re talking about. However, I love hearing of others experiences and opinions, and I always appreciate yours. I love the small blogging circle of friends I’ve made, all of you are so sweet and I adore each of you. 🙂

      September 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm

  5. izziedarling

    Bon – so feel your pain. Several yrs ago had to have 3 procedures before crown. And said crown is currently being replaced. Tell your dentist to sit on her drill – after your procedure is over … happy weekends

    September 17, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    • Bonnie

      That has to be frustrating. I know there are times that warrant the effort to save a tooth… this one of mine just doesn’t, plus my ship has not come in yet. I’ll be sure to tell miss dentist-with-the-wonderful-bedside-manner just that! I got a huge laugh out of it myself. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

      September 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

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