It’s been another six months, and that can only mean one thing — another visit to the dentist.
Normally, I wouldn’t mind so much. It’s just another trip to the dentist, right? It should be nothing more complicated than a simple check-up, right?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last couple of years, there’s nothing more serious than that.
I went on Tuesday to the dentist for my regular six month checkup. I had fully expected that this would be something simple. I had digured that this would be as routine as most of my dental checkups have been over the last 31-odd years. I had hoped that this would be nice and easy.
You’d think I’d learn, eh?
Part-way through my scaling process with the hygenist, Dr. Chen walked in and decided to conduct his inspection. What to my horror should he find than not one, not two, but three new cavities. THREE! What the hell?! How on earth can I get three cavities? That just doesn’t compute.
Let’s get realistic. My dental hygiene hasn’t really changed in the last 30 years. It’s pretty much the same from when I was a kid. For 29 years I went without a cavity. In the last three years alone, I’ve had five cavities. That’s an average that I’m not particularly happy with.
At the time, we discussed my imminent return, along with changes that have happened to my insurance policy. These are proving to be much larger issues than I ever could have dreaded for.
Let’s be honest. No-one really wants to deal with a bad insurance situation. Why? Simply put, because ultimately, the payments come down to your pocketbook, which is why you have insurance in the first place.
Once upon a time, I had a good insurance plan. That was what the dentist was planning on. He figured, along with the hygenist, that I would get at least eight units of scaling a year. That was the sort of thing that they considered normal. As I’m finding out of late, normal is far from it.
In the last round of negotiation, our dental plan went from once every six months to once every nine months. Our units of scaling (a unit is 15 minutes long) went from whatever the number was to a mere one. One solitary, single unit of scaling every nine months. I don’t know a single adult who uses less than two per visit.
So now I need to plan how to handle going every five months, which means part of it comes out of a health spending account I have, and the rest out of insurance. Especially if I’m getting that many cavities.
Which brings my back to my original point. So I’m sittting in the dentist’s chair, having Dr. Chin bury yet another implement of medieval torture to try and dig out the decay that apparently has entered into my mouth, despite all my efforts to prevent such a thing.
And did I mention no freezing this time around?
Okay, these are tiny little cavities. Next to not even worrying about. Except that they’re cavities, of course. That means having to pay some attention to them. Which means having to have them drilled out and filled before they turn ugly.
Vibrations are the only thing that do me in. I hate that. They make my jaw squirm, and my gag reflex really kick in. But nearly as much as having the ultraviolet light that’s supposed to set the gel that’s injected into the newly-drilled holes into some solid material. I gagged so badly that one tooth almost had to be competely reset.
It’s annoying. Dr. Chin has no real idea why this is happening. He says it could be a chain of events. I wonder if perhaps it’s an issue of lack of flouridation of Calgary water and that my favourite toothpaste of years past (Aim) is no longer being made.
But this is just a guess.
Either way, I’ve got more holes drilled in my head (peanut gallery can keep comments to themselves) and have to deal with the future. I just hope it means less drilling. I don’t think I can deal with that kind of pressure.