Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Oh My Aching Teeth

Painting by Thomas Kinkade.
I told my mother I posted the pictures of the Thomas Kinkade Gallery in her hallway. She was pleased with that. I think it is so cool that by now he has met He Who inspired the Paintings of Light.
Last week, I finally went to the Dentist.
Not because I didn't wish to do (now that I really did) but because up until now, we didn't have the money to go. But thanks to Tricare, we now have dentist care and I got to once visit the Dentist
I already knew the lay of the land; the two wisdom teeth on the right and one on the left were broken and I had been spitting out tiny pieces every once in a while for years. So I already knew they were going to be pulled. I also knew there would a a few fillings in my future.
What I didn't expect to hear when I open my mouth, my nerves wave back at you.
Long story short, oral surgery was in my future.
Like Saturday morning. Passover.
I decided to bring Harriet my Pink Hippo with me for support.
And though our insurance would cover most of the visit, we did have to dig up 80.00 dollars for the co-pay.
Which we did.
The staff of Artful Smiles, is awesome and I adore my dentist, Doctor James. They knew how to put a nervous patient like me as ease.
I did have a bad experienced at the Dentist years ago, the issue wasn't fear, but money.
The last time I had been to the Dentist was a good six-teen years ago and then only because my mother paid for the extraction of a bad tooth.
Like many Americans, I could not afford to go to the Dentist, let alone afford the insurance. With the choice of paying the rent, putting food on the table, clothes on my son's back or cleaning my teeth, the needs of my family won out.
It is a choice many Americans still have to make.Unlike health care, oral health isn't covered by Medicaid or low-income clinics. While there are dentist who do offer their services for free or lower cost, they are few and far between.
I remember nights, crying because my mouth hurt, bathing my tooth in oral jel and praying for relief.
Now as I relax on the sofa, the right side of my mouth filled with stitches, minus two wisdom teeth, I cry again. Not for myself. But for the people who don't have the blessing of dental insurance and must take care of their tooth aches the best way they can.
I wish I knew what the answer was.
Affordable Dental insurance would be a great start.

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