Today, I Go to the Dentist

dentist chairSome dread going to the dentist, but not me. I finally have dental insurance again, which means I can afford to actually go to the dentist for preventative care. My new plan is a good one, and inexpensive. After years of not being able to pay the cost of going to a dentist, I am glad to be able to go today.

The last time I saw a dentist was sometime during 2009. At the time, I had the type of job that offered not only health insurance, but also coverage for dental. As you may recall, 2009 was right around when the recession hit, and thousands of people were lost their jobs. That is exactly what happened to me. When I lost the job, I also lost access to health insurance coverage.

It took until 2011 for me to finally make enough money to buy dental insurance again. Unfortunately, that did not work out. After paying for the plan, I learned that my dentist was not considered to be a participating dentist.

My insurer would have paid 100% of the cost of seeing a participating dentist for preventative care, but would pay no more than 80% of the cost if I got that exact same care from a dentist who wasn’t a participating provider. Obviously, this extra cost pushed the dental plan right back into unaffordable for me. I had to cancel the policy. This was disappointing.

I went completely without dental insurance until this month, February of 2013. I highly recommend using an insurance broker to help you find a health plan or dental plan. My broker found me an excellent dental plan that was affordable enough that both I and my husband are now covered through it. Oddly enough, it came from the exact same company that the unaffordable plan came from!

To make this plan work, I needed to switch dentists. Typically, I am hesitant to do this. My fear (which is based on experience) is that a new dentist will want to re-do all the dental work that is in my mouth, for reasons I do not understand. What convinced me to try a new dentist is that this one is highly recommended by people who have seen him.

The receptionist said she knew all about my dental plan. Today, I will be getting a checkup and a cleaning. I will get x-rays done so the dentist can see how my teeth are (after years of being unable to afford to see a dentist). All of this is completely covered by my new dental plan, because my new dentist is a participating provider. This may sound strange, but I am actually looking forward to my dental appointment today.

Image by Michael Coughlan on Flickr