An Army Wife's Life

Once upon a time I was a college student, then I was a teacher, and now I'm a mother. Technically, I'm currently a freelance writer... but really I am an ARMY WIFE. Expect to find... funny (at least to me) anecdotes, thoughts about la vida military, hopes, anxieties, dreams, commentaries on current events.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Need a Better Dentist

Last night I lost a filling.

When I woke up this morning, I called for an appointment at Smile Care on post.

They gave me one for an hour and a half later.

So far, so good.

I go out to get in the car. Dead battery. Jump car. I was wondering when the deployment gremlins would make their reappearance.

So, not the best start, but I'm on my way.

I get to the office and wait. And wait. And wait some more.

They call me and as I am on my way back, she asks if I am pregnant (which I was just about to tell her when we got settled). I reply that I am. Apparently they were about to x-ray me.

So, she sits me in another room and I wait.

Then another assistant or hygeienist or whatever comes in. "Can we take a few pictures? We'll double bib you."

No explanation as to why this is necessary.

"No. I would prefer not to have X-Rays done."

So, I wait.

About two hours after my appointment, the dentist makes an appearance to verify that yes, I lost a filling. She starts talking about scheduling me for a filling.

She explains that there are other patients...

I love how they always act as if you being selfish.

Ummm... why when I called would they schedule me for an appointment when there was not enough time to fix the problem about which I called?

Her answer? "Well, I guess they thought you were in pain."

Why? I never said I was. They never asked. If I was in pain, she would have just suggested some of that puddy they sell in the drugstores anyway...couldn't they suggest that over the phone?

When I get up to the desk to make said appointment, they now try to explain that the dentist has to look at it first in a separate appointment.

So, now I am selfish and stupid. I can't tell that a glass-hard filling came out in my mouth?

Please. I have been to many dentists in my life and every time they scheduled enough time for the expected procedure.

Anyway, she observes that I have chosen the tooth-colored enamel. No, I haven't chosen anything. The hygeienist asked what I had before and I told her. Then the receptionists mentions the "two fillings." No one told me that.

No one told me anything. No one told me there was a two hour wait. No one told me it was just a diagnostic. No one told me about the different types of fillings. No one told me there were two. Most disturbingly, no one told me why an X-Ray would have been so necessary to perform on a pregnant woman.

The end result? Two hours down the tube and in a week I will have to shell out $106 (even though I have dental insurance) to get my fillings done.

UPDATE: After getting over the stupidity of a non-essential X-Ray, I started to think about the stupidity of not covering composite fillings for pregnant women. I have e-mailed TRICARE Dental to ask why they do not cover the composite fillings and why they make no exception for necessary fillings in pregnant women. Asserting that I have a "choice" between silver and composite is ridiculous given that there is a controversy as to whether or not silver fillings are safe in pregnant women. Of course I will spend $106 if there is even the slightest risk the silver fillings could harm my baby...but with insurance, a standard, medically necessary procedure should NOT cost that much. I'll let you know what response (if any) I get.


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