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.