Thoughts on Dental Coverage

I’m not afraid to admit that I hate going to the dentist.  I never really liked going, but my hatred of the dentist started in 8th grade.  The Dr. was filling a cavity and didn’t wait for the novocaine to kick in, so I felt the whole thing.  That sealed the deal, and I never went back.  My wisdom teeth came in, and they weren’t crooked or sore, so I just ignored them.

Until last year, that is.  The molar with the filling broke after getting a raspberry seed stuck in it.  I waited about two years… then finally couldn’t stand it anymore and went to get it fixed.  Then I decided that it was time for a cleaning.

As a teacher, I have great insurance.  It’s one of the real benefits of my job, and I have full dental coverage.  I decided it’s ridiculous to fail to take advantage of my insurance, so I made a cleaning appointment.  I was afraid of what I’d find out when I went.  I had images in my mind of having to go back for filling after filling.

Turns out, thanks to genetics or frequent flossing… I have no cavities.  I do, however, grind my teeth.  Here I was, thinking I handle stress perfectly fine, don’t worry, and don’t particularly get nervous.  Turns out, I do it subconsciously or in my sleep.  If it doesn’t get better, she says, I may need to wear a mouth piece at night or I could wear away my jaw bone and lose my teeth or something.

The dentist came in to check my teeth.  He said “You still have your wisdom teeth?”  And I replied “Yes and I’m keeping them.”  All he had to do was mention pulling the teeth and I’d never go back! Fortunately, he said I just need to keep them clean and they’ll be fine.  Good.

All in all, I guess it wasn’t so bad.  My gums are “weak” which I guess means they bled a lot.  Now I have this rubber pokey thing I’m supposed to use on them everyday.  We’ll see how realistic that is.

So I suppose the moral of the story is that I should suck it up and not be afraid of getting my teeth cleaned.  I also shouldn’t take my insurance for granted.  With so many people in need of health care, I should appreciate the great coverage that I have and use it.


Filed under Sustainable Living

4 responses to “Thoughts on Dental Coverage

  1. I went years without dental insurance and as a result just didn’t go to the dentist. I have great teeth, so I just figured it would all be fine. Then, when I was visiting my grandparents house with my father, we were sitting down to a meal and I realized I was the only person who didn’t have to “put their teeth in” to eat. Um, yeah. So I signed up for dental insurance at the next opportunity and have gone every 6 months ever since 🙂

  2. I’m a dentist’s daughter so I can tell you this much- your gums will bleed much less if you get your teeth cleaned once or twice a year. He probably had to dig around more than usual because it had been so long since you’d had it done. Pretty soon you’ll be thinking nothing of going!

  3. Hey! I’m a dentist’s daughter too!! I concur with what my commrade in flossing had to say. Also, I had to do the mouth guard thing while I slept for college and law school. Now that I have kids, though, I never grind my teeth in my sleep. Same with my sister. We’re too tired to be worried at night. 😉

  4. Yeah… I still have my wisdom teeth too. I’ve had dental insurance off and on and now how some coverage but I don’t think it would pay all of the cost to have them pulled. They haven’t bothered me much, only twice did they make my mouth sore for a couple days. I guess I’m hoping I end up like you and don’t have any problems. I have heard my friends say they were fine and then one day started to hurt terribly and hurt the whole week or whatever until the dentist could take them out. I’ll hope for the best! 🙂

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