Omission: Yesterday I went to the dentist and got my first cleaning in over 6 years.
I know, gross, but this is a bare-all blog.
When I turned 18, my parents' dental insurance no longer covered me. We squeezed in my wisdom teeth removal and several years later I had a cavity patched out of pocket. And that was it. Without insurance and spending most of the last decade as a student, well, you know. It wasn't a priority.
I did attempt a cleaning in 2008. At that time, I learned I had TMJ, which is a jaw muscle condition that causes a host of issues. Mayo gives a good overview.
It was so bad at that time all they could do was X-rays: no cleaning but no cavities.
So we decided once Mike's GI Bill showed up, I needed to get my butt to the dentist. Like most preventative care, it's all about saving you money in the future. And dental work always seems to be expensive.
I, quite thankfully, have dental insurance. It's through MetLife, it comes out of my paycheck pre-tax, and it costs $26.36 a month.
Overall, the dentist wasn't hideous. Having my mouth open really made my jaw unhappy and produced an afternoon-long headache, but the technician was super nice and helpful.
Things I learned from the dentist:
- I have 2 cavities behind my two front teeth. They're small but they need fixin'
- I have a small amount of gum disease near my back molars
- My TMJ was diagnosed as severe
- I will thusly need a custom mouthguard, which I agreed to
The TMJ, however, has now gotten to the point where it needs to be professionally addressed. Because I can't get my mouth open very far, it's preventing me from properly taking care of my pearly whites. Hence why the gum disease is only near the back -- I have difficulties getting the toothbrush/floss back there.
So they're going to set me up with a mouthguard. I tried the over-the-counter ones but because I'm a clincher (not a grinder), it only caused me to clench more. These mouthguards are specifically designed for conditions like mine: they only fit on 6 of your bottom and top teeth, allowing your lips to close around it but your back teeth won't touch.
|I'm pretty sure this is me at work when a story isn't going right|
I think the part of all of this that concerns me the most is: how much is it going to cost?
I've never had dental insurance and this is my first time using MetLife. My plan says that the cleaning, examination, and X-rays should all be covered 100%. Apparently one of my cavity fixes will be covered 50%, but I don't think the other one will be. I have no clue about the mouthguard, but the dentist priced it as $250 without any coverage (note, this isn't bad, most will cost $400 and upwards).
I'll just have to wait until the claim gets processed and I'll let you know what the damage was!
You should floss before you brush.
You need to brush for 2 minutes total.
An electric toothbrush, even the el cheapo ones, spank a manual brush any day.
Enamel can't grow back. So if you have a toothpaste that's supposed to help with that, it's a bunch of malarkey (it can help harden it, but all tootepastes/mouthwashes do that).