Am I the only person haunted fairly frequently by the “Me and My Llama” song from Sesame Street? The one where the girl and her llama are “going to the dentist to-day-ay-ay-ay”? Maybe so. Regardless, it was the first thing that popped into my head as I brushed my teeth this morning. Because, today I went to the dentist, albeit sans llama.
For those of you with longterm excellent insurance, this is probably no big deal. You probably go every six months like clockwork, have your cleaning, and head out the door with a sparkling smile and a new toothbrush. But this girl? Well, it’s been a while. OK. It’s been eight years. EIGHT years.
The last time I popped in to get my chompers checked out, I had a temporary job that came with dental insurance. And the dentist berated me for not going every six months, made fun of me for being not-so-hot at the x-ray thing, and I may have, um, thrown up on him a little. Overall, it was not my most shining moment.
My current job has great insurance- the kind I feel lucky for every time I hear Congress debating healthcare reform and cringe a little for not using mine more regularly for maintenance. I’ve had the dental insurance alone for almost three years and paid a lot in premiums not to use it. But, one of the things on my pre-baby checklist is getting the ol’ cuspids in working order, so with a recommendation from BC, I headed out to see just how bad the news would be.
And, well, it’s not great. It turns out, I should have had the wisdom teeth yanked years ago, so that’s two that have to go. Plus another four in the back that I ground down over two break-ups and law school. Oh, and next week, a root canal. I think they just decided to throw in the root canal for free once I agreed to send the dentist’s great-grandchildren to Harvard on my dime. It didn’t help that the whole time the dentist kept raving about BC’s teeth- they’re perfect, apparently. My best friend is clearly sucking up to the dentist.
But, actually, it’s not so bad. I have insurance. And many Americans don’t these days. I used to be one of them. So, while I’m not looking forward to spending lots of time eating soup and smoothies and my entire spring wardrobe budget on teeth, it could be a lot worse.
Me and my llama will be spending a lot of time together.