Time flies when you’re having fun (or not)

Had a short day today for two reasons:

1. A rather fun staff meeting broke up a good portion of the mid-day, which gave me something different and non-linear to do with an hour or so (our staff is ultra-cool and so meetings tend to be collaborative, light-hearted productive activities instead of the soul-sucking, do-nothing time wasters you often hear about).

2. I had to leave at 2:30 (about 20 minutes after the meeting broke up) to go to…*cue menacing music*…the DENTIST!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Okay, so it really wasn’t that bad, although I was half expecting it to be awful. Turns out they didn’t actually do anything, since it was a get-to-know-you-and-your-teeth new patient kinda visit. I was thinking they were going to jump right in and start poking sharp things into my nerve cavities or something. I’m really pushing to get stuff done soonly so that hopefully at least some of the work would be covered by my soon-to-disappear Americorps health insurance (which actually has a nice, if limited, dental component).

To my vast relief, it turns out I don’t actually have any cavities – some time in the last year or so I had been, apparently erroneously, informed by a previous dentist that I did have a few, and I was dreading having to deal with them. So that takes a big weight off of my shoulders. That just leaves a butt-load of tartar for the hygienist to chip out, which has built up quite impressively since I never have money to go to a dentist for regular cleanings, although the dentist did say that it was best-case-scenario tartar, in that it hadn’t degraded the bone or otherwise created any real problems. And he complimented my brushing skills. So that’s a plus.

So, the only real work I need, happily, is to replace one old silver filling to fix some small cracks in the enamel around it (shouldn’t be a big deal) and, not so happily, to have a series of 4 under-the-gum-line perio cleanings. Ouchie. Double ouchie considering that perio work isn’t covered by Americorps until your second consecutive year. Which I won’t be able to do. To the good, even though it’s all going to be coming out of pocket, they’re going to be cheaper than I thought (although not, of course, inexpensive by any means).

Since we actually have a practicing dental clinic at the local technical school here in Asheville, the future of my teeth looks somewhat brighter. With luck, I should be able to use the students to do regular work at a big discount and save the “official” dentist for the scary, important stuff.

Gah. Not having health insurance sucks. As John Scalzi so accurately noted, among other things being poor is hoping the toothache goes away. God knows I’ve done enough of that in my life.

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