Our teeth are a pretty integral part in our survival as human beings. They help us with digestion by allowing us to chew food so we can eat more things other than just “mush.” If we don’t properly maintain out teeth, it can lead to tooth decay and eventually tooth loss. This can hinder our ability to chew a variety of foods.
Our teeth also help us with our speech. Speech is affected by the way our teeth meet and by the movement of our tongue around our teeth.
Our teeth also help us trim our nails and open beer bottles – okay, don’t do either of those with your teeth – and they help us become approachable and find a mate by showing our teeth to people in a non-creepy way.
Many of us have dental insurance through work but either forget to use it or are too lazy to make a dentist appointment. Others just hate going to the dentist and put it off for years. This ends up costing us hundreds of dollars a year.
Not only are we wasting money, but if we wait a long time to go to the dentist things are going to happen to our teeth that will force us to go to the dentist and then the bill is going to be bigger. I know because it happened to me.
Why I Forgot About My Teeth
When I first got my job I was very happy for various reasons: It was my first “real” job and it came with benefits. I have a dental plan through work for which I pay about $25 per month and at first I used to go for my cleaning every six months and my mouth was happy.
I then decided to move about 40 minutes away from my old dentist.
I made the first cleaning after I moved, but it was such a hassle that I decided to ignore the second cleaning with my old dentist and find a new dentist close to my new place. Which I did.
I went to my new dentist for about a year or so and then I moved again… back to where my old dentist was.
I could have gone back to my old dentist, but since I moved in with my mom for a “few months” before I decide where to move again, I decided to just keep the dentist that I had.
Those “few months” turned into “a lot of months” and I went without going to a dentist for two years! And the reason why I went back was because I chipped a molar. Who knows how much longer I would have waited if that didn’t happen.
My Visit To The Dentist After A Two Year Hiatus Was Not Fun
When I went back my dentist took some X-Rays and gave me some not-so-good news. I not only had a chipped molar, but I also had to re-treat a root canal, replace a crown, and get a deep cleaning because I hadn’t had a cleaning in a long time!
I had to go to the dentist every week for about two months to get all these things done and the part that sucks the most is… I had to pay around $2,000 out of pocket for everything. That hurt more than all the drilling he had to do on my teeth.
But I Have Insurance, Right?
Well, yes, but it didn’t cover everything that I needed to get done.
That was over a year ago and I promise you I won’t be making that mistake again.
I have gone to my last two semi-annual cleanings and haven’t had to pay a cent… well, besides the $25 per month for the insurance, but that comes out automatically from my paycheck before I see it so it feels like I don’t pay at all.
The point that I’m trying to make is: don’t forget about your teeth, especially if you have insurance. Regular cleanings and filling in a small cavity here or there will be much cheaper than if you have to pay for a big procedure after years of neglecting your teeth. If you don’t have insurance, get some otherwise it will be a lot more expensive when you really need to go to the dentist.
Going to the dentist every six months will keep your teeth healthy and looking nice. Maybe nice enough where you can show them to people in the form of a nice smile.
Are you taking advantage of your dental plan?