So, I haven't seen a "dentist" in 10 years--since I had my braces removed when I was 16 years old. And, really, I haven't had my teeth cleaned in about 12 years (right before I had my braces put on). This was hard for me to admit to anyone as I figured they would think I was slovenly.
My reasons for not going to the dentist for those all-important cleanings are that I was either under-insured, un-insured, or just hesitantly lazy. I never had health insurance when I was in Atlanta because I was working retail. I can't remember if I was offered benefits being a part-time employee, but I would have declined them anyway. Being a full-time student and part-time retail worker, I needed every penny I could get my hands on. That meant taking the risk that I wouldn't break an ankle climbing up the stairs at Amicalola Falls.
But, I've been fully insured since I've been fully employed here in Cincinnati. I've lived in this fine city for one and a half years now. My reason for not going to the dentist was purely laziness and hesitation--ten years, folks. I couldn't imagine what they'd find, not to mention I had a wisdom tooth poke out in July.
Today, I took the trek to a dentist in my neighborhood for a good ol' fashioned cleaning and to hear any bad news. The only bad news I heard: I need my wisdom teeth pulled. Um, I knew that. I knew that when my braces came off and my orthodontist took one last x-ray. All of the teeth were there, waiting patiently in my gums. He recommended they be removed. The good news: my teeth are in pretty darn good shape for not seeing a dentist in 10 years. That is, no cavities, no problems, and such mild build-up that the dentist said I could come in for a cleaning once a year as opposed to every six months, but he said it was up to me. I told the receptionist I'll come in once a year. She'll be mailing me a postcard in about ten months.
This leaves me to wonder: how much will my dental insurance company save on me?