This past weekend I was at a house party. A friend of mine recently had a tooth ache and found that she needs multiple root canals, crowns, and fillings. So the talk of course turned to dentistry, my favorite topic.
Two things I’d really like to stress after having talked to my friends, who are well educated, middle class, responsible people: Interproximal cleaning (AKA flossing) and taking advantage of dental insurance benefits.
Let’s start with insurance. Not everyone is lucky enough to have dental insurance and many who are fortunate enough to have it do not take advantage of it. This particular friend, who now needs about $10,000 in dental treatment, has $2000 per calendar year in dental benefits, and has had these benefits for years. For the last few years she has not bothered to go to the dentist, even though her insurance would pay $2000 per year.
So she found out that she needs thousands of dollars of treatment and if she had just gone to the dentist in November or December, a scant three months ago, she would have been able to use $2000 in benefits last year and $2000 this year. Since she neglected it for so long now she only has $2000.
Imagine if she had gone 5 years ago before cavities became larger necessitating root canals and crowns. This would have saved her thousands of dollars out of pocket. I am so sad to see my friend suffer with this huge dental bill when I know that if she had gone to her dentist 5 years ago, and taken advantage of her benefits, she could have saved a small fortune. Every year she didn’t go to the dentist she might as well have burned $2000.00. Take 20 hundred dollar bills and torch ‘em, might as well if you don’t use your benefits.
Please, if you have dental benefits, go to the dentist and use them, NOW. Waiting will only make any dental problem more costly in the long run. Even if you don’t have dental benefits, please go to the dentist at least twice a year and take care of small dental problems before they become large ones.
I did want to talk about interproximal cleaning as well but this blog entry is too long. More on interproximal cleaning later.
Update: I found a video of Whoopi Goldberg saying pretty much just what I said above. Check it out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdhuByi5d_0&feature=youtube_gdata