Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

True Confession

I am a dentalphobe. I hate dentists, I hate anything to do with dentists, and I do not go to dentists unless I am absolutely dying of dental pain. I am a terrible mommy, because I also do not take my kids to the dentist regularly. Neither of them has ever had a cavity, they have had their teeth sealed, and they brush fairly regularly. The Boy went to the dentist within the last year. The Girl has not gone in years. 3 years, to be exact. I took them to a dentist but I hated him, and I haven't gotten it together to find another one that takes our insurance (hardly any do). The Boy is supposed to get braces, and we actually have an orthodontist that I can tolerate, but have I taken him? Nope, I haven't. See, bad bad mommy.

But, the deal is, I have a wicked toothache. I've had it for months, but now it's getting to the point where it's interfering with my life. The entire right side of my mouth hurts like hell. I'm sensitive to hot and cold. Searing pain going right to my sinuses. I suck. And not only that, but I can't afford dental work. See, my kids have dental insurance, but me, nope, not happening. When my health insurance was cancelled (oh, I have a meeting in a couple of weeks to argue that stupid decision) I didn't even lose dental coverage because they don't offer dental or optical coverage for adults, only kids. That's why my glasses are 6 years old and so fragile I barely touch them at all, and that's why I'm walking around with an aching tooth.

Tonight I finally bit the bullet, as it were, and started looking for low cost dental services. Ha! Like that's possible in a city with 3 dental schools. I found a service that provides free service for the disabled in 34 states. Guess which state wasn't listed? Yup, mine. Asshats. There is one clinic that I might possibly get into, but it looks like they only take Boston residents, and I'm not a resident. So that leaves the fricking Dental Schools. I've got a choice of BU, Tufts, or Harvard. You have to pay for all of them, but you get reduced prices if you allow a dental student to work on you. Sure, what the hell do I care? I need a crown on my frigging tooth and I need it now. I'll be calling around tomorrow to see what I can get and when I can go. I hate this. It's a choice between food and my GD tooth next month. This so sucks.
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Blogger Tracy said...

Oh Margalit! I feel your pain. I have such a fear of the dentist myself. I have had at least one cavity in my mouth for 10 years in need of a filling... Argh! I know at some point...probably soon I am going to be in a lot of trouble with it.

My poor children, there is another story. They have had state health insurance since they were born because their wonderful father can't seem to hold a job or any kind of insurance for them...('nother story, 'nother time..lol). it's pretty hard to find a dentist that takes that insurance. They have been showing commercials on TV lately for "Healthy Smiles" dentist that takes the state health insurance. I think there are 4 locations in MA. Worcester, Lawrence, Matapan (I think) and one other place. I am thinking of calling them. Luckily the kiddos get flouride and sealants at school through some kind of program but they still need an actual dentist. I don't know your situation with your kiddos health insurance but maybe it is something you can look into for them? It really sucks that something so important as a persons dental health costs so much. I think that's half the reason I dread the dentist so much.
Take care and good luck :)

26/1/06 7:41 AM  
Blogger blackbird said...

I am just back from the dentist this moment --
today I paid $1600 for a post and crown!

good thing my face is still numb - too bad they can't numb my brain!

26/1/06 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Claire said...

Sorry about your tooth. I sort of think our dentist now is okay but I really really miss my San Jose guy :(

26/1/06 11:36 AM  
Blogger Debby said...

I'm so sorry to hear you are suffering like this, hope you have better luck with the dental schools hon!!!! BTW, can you give me the link to the site that tells about the service that offers dental work for the disabled? Maybe it is in my state. I just broke another tooth myself - LOL

26/1/06 1:46 PM  
Blogger mar said...

Sorry to read about your tooth... but I am the type who regularly goes to the dentist. I had a time I needed a gum treatment so I was there every 3 months. I rather go too often to have a check up than wait for pain to show me the way... it's just a point of view. Hope you find the right way.

26/1/06 3:42 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Here from Michele's today :)

I so identify. No insurance for dental care and eye is a pain-- as much so as the pain in the jaw. I hope you get it taken care of soon though. A little trick when they give you the shot: Take a deep breath and hold it just before they apply the needle. It relaxes your nerves and you'll hardly feel a thing :)

27/1/06 3:13 PM  
Blogger L said...

Ugh, I feel your pain (literally).
I just had my crown put on after an extensive root canal and four (FOUR) attempts and correctly fitting the crown in my mouth. I HATE everything about the dentist. I hate the whir of the drill, the ironic halitosis that most dentists breathe on you while you are stuck lying in a chair, the jabbing and scraping, I hate all of it. The next time I go to the dentist, my tooth better be broken or black.

My insurance barely covers anything so I ended up paying a nice hefty sum for the root canal/crown combo. UGH. Horrible.

Ok, I am really here trying to help not vent all my dental hate. Sorry. heh. My friend is currently in medical school at Tufts. I can ask her if she knows anything about the dental program there, if you'd like.

Hope you are able to manage your tooth pain somehow.

(wow, I must be catching up on some reading becasue I just commented here three times in 20 minutes)

30/1/06 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not having the means to pay for medical stuff sucks. Not having good medical practioners sucks. I have Medicare and Masshealth now, but that doesn't mean I have found good medical practioners.

I have to pay for dental out-of-pocket and have been lucky to finally find a dentist with whom I am comfortable, though I didn't care for the fact that he wouldn't even entertain my respectfully asking for a sliding scale. He is generally very nice, and reminds me of the good medical practioners I had in my previous life. I can only afford a cleaning once a year, though.

I had orthodonture growing up, but it all got messed up once my wisdom teeth came in. I'm so angry about it.

My glasses are in a state that similar to the description of yours. Even though insurance won't pay for glasses, it's a moot point because I can't get a good opthamologist who will give me an appropriate prescription.

Lenscrafters has a program for free glasses, however, if you get a letter from a social services agency.

It sounds like you also are on SSDI and have had Medicare and Masshealth, is that right? Why did the insurance get taken away? The SSDI didn't as well, did it?

It's so stupid that the Medicare and Medicaid programs do not recognize the importnace to the whoel body of dental health. It also makes no sense to me that they won't pay for glasses every couple of years.

8/2/06 2:59 AM  

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