The Dentist Dilemma

I experienced the dentist for the first time in over 7 years today. Yes, quite an embarrassing amount of time. I took my daughter this morning. I decided to make an appointment for myself due to the extraordinary amount of cavities she had. I'm not sure if it's me, or dentistry policies have changed.

Upon arrival, the hygienist let me pick out the cinnamon paste, which I love. It was my first time at this dentistry so I'll point out where the confusion comes in.

What does my insurance cover?

We did a full set of x-rays and a very excellent teeth cleaning. The dental hygienist was extremely nice throughout. She explained that she did see one of my teeth had a cracked filling.

My insurance was not accepted here since it's medicare insurance, which is understandable. I worked in the healthcare industry throughout college and we quit accepting Medicare patients. This was due to the fact that Medicare didn't reimburse for many services and when it did, it wasn't much.

Being on disability does not provide the amount of money one needs to live and raise a child on in this environment. I continue to live close to her father in case something happens to me. My daughter doesn't need to be uprooted from her friends and father.

Confusion at the dentist

I became quite confused when the dental hygienist explained I needed to return for a comprehensive visit. I asked if the dentist would still be in to examine my teeth for any cavities I would need to be filled. I've never been to the dentist where the actual dentist didn't come in after your cleaning to check the work and point out any cavities I may need to return for. The amounts charged for my daughter and I were the same, yet the dentist didn't stop to see me.

Instead, the dental hygienist told me at the end of the teeth cleaning about the additional visit. When I questioned what I would need the appointment for, she explained that all new patients are required to have one and the visit will last about an hour so I could see the dentist. What the what?

Should I stay or should I go?

I'm already paying out of pocket. Now I'm learning that I have to return for a visit to talk to the dentist for an hour before I could find out where the cavities are. Had they told me about this extra "required visit", I would have requested my records to go elsewhere and get any cavities filled.

So, while I was checking out, I made more inquiries into this additional visit where there would not be any work done on my teeth, just talk about where to go from here. The receptionist explained that I only had to do it once and it lasted about an hour and we would map out my long term dental care.

Making medical decisions right for me

I started laughing. I must have looked like a complete lunatic. Having Stage 4 lung cancer for 6.5 years and needing a long term plan? Surely they must be joking. What do I need a plan for? I'm 39 years old and my cancer just returned. I had it radiated, but I just want my cavities fixed.

I'm not putting a long term investment into my teeth. Forcing me to return for an extra $145 for a consultation is ridiculous. What happened to the days where you could just have your teeth cleaned, the dentist check it, and make an appointment for each cavity to be filled? Now I have quite the conundrum, should I stay or should I go? I'm thinking I should wait for the 6 months, get my records, and go to another dentist.

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