Yesterday I took full advantage of my dental insurance and got 4 cavities fixed.  That might seem like a lot, but psh I got 5 more to go.  I did pay $278.90 for the 4 cavities, but considering my insurance paid $534.10, I feel not so bad.  The dentist office people gave me a sheet that says by the end I would end up paying $692.50 for the 9 cavities, but my insurance will pay $1382.50; if I had no insurance I would have to pay everything which comes out to $2075.00.

Before you judge me for my cavities (or maybe it’s too late), I have to tell you that they really didn’t seem bad to me.  I didn’t have any tooth pain, there were no visible black cavity spots, and I didn’t have bad breath (at least I don’t think I did…).  But now I’ve learned that cavities don’t have to be black and brushing my teeth regularly isn’t good enough.  If it weren’t for my wisdom teeth, I would have never known I had so many oral problems.

In November, my impacted wisdom teeth were pushing out again and started to hurt.  I’ve known for years that my wisdom teeth were very slowly growing out crookedly but they didn’t bother me enough so I just let it sit.  I was half in denial and half trying to convince myself that waiting for them to come out more would make the job easier for the dentist (that’s how much of a nice guy I am!).  But this time it hurt so much that I would wake up several times in the middle of the night.  So I found a dentist.

Confession:  until this time, I hadn’t been to the dentist since probably middle school (or maybe I went one time in high school?), which is like minimum 8, maximum 15 years ago…  People I’ve told this have been unanimously horrified.  Apparently it’s a thing that people actually go to the dentist.  After all my baby teeth were out, I didn’t get black cavities and nothing hurt so I never felt the need to go.  Also, for most of my adolescence my family didn’t even have health insurance; so what makes you think we had dental insurance?  To the doctor I would go once in a while because I needed to get some forms signed for participating in sports or to get into college etc. but nobody made me go to the dentist.

Anyways, in November I got my 2 wisdom teeth pulled out (Thanksgiving was fun) without insurance which cost ~$1000.  But more urgently my dentist said I really needed a deep cleaning lest I develop periodontal disease which is apparently something scary, and that also cost ~$1000 without insurance.  That was a lot of money, but apparently even if I had signed up for dental insurance they wouldn’t cover expensive things like those until 6 months of being insured.  So I paid everything out of pocket and thought it was the end… until my dentist said now I gotta get my 9 cavities fixed, which would cost another $2000.

So that is the story of why I have dental insurance (cavities are covered immediately when your insurance takes effect, unlike deep cleaning).  I am now a new creation, a dentally insured grown-up gentleman.  Since November I have been brushing my teeth with much more vigor, flossing every night, and using a mouth wash every night.  Learn from my experience and join me, friends, in taking care of our oral health.

Simeon Koh

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