Back in 2012, the dentist I was seeing had such a strict attendance policy that I got kicked out for missing two appointments (I missed one because I was ill and called during the night to say I couldn't make my morning appointment, and I missed the second one because my GPS sent me to a fast food "restaurant" and refused to admit that it wasn't the dentist's office. I called to say I was lost and was told I was so far away that I couldn't make the appointment and it was my second missed appointment, so farewell). I was disappointed because I liked that dentist and his staff, but really? Two appointments and do not pass go? Do not collect x-rays and a cleaning?
So where to go next? I don't like to miss my every-six-months toofer cleaning.
If only I could find a dentist as devoted as the elf on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Dude gave up a great full-time toy making gig, including health insurance and all the candy he wanted, in favor of fixing teeth.
No elves came my way, but I did receive an advertisement in the mail for a new dentist's office that was opening near my home. I called to ask if they accepted my insurance. Yes! was the enthusiastic response. I made my appointment.
Got to the office without any problems. It was a brand-new building with a Keurig in the waiting room, comfortable chairs, and many exam rooms––most of which were dark. They had just opened, after all, so they didn't have many patients. I liked the hygienist, liked the dentist. He wanted to replace some of my old fillings that I'd gotten when I was a child. Made sense to me. Some of those fillings were forty years old (amazing since I was thirty).
One of the billing people called my insurance company to check on coverage for the replacement fillings and told me how much I'd have to pay. Insurance covered most of it.
The appointment for the new fillings fell on Halloween. Everyone dressed up. The hygienists were all cats. The dentist wore a chicken head. All was well. I gave the office a stellar five-star review on Google.
And so the years passed. I kept my appointments and my teeth. With each visit, I saw the business grow. The exam rooms were no longer dark. Each one had a patient. Several dentists worked there, along with a large staff of hygienists and people to handle billing and appointments. After a couple of years I had another procedure that required another small partial payment from me.
Then I went in for my second cleaning appointment of the year during 2016. Finished, with clean teeth and minty-fresh breath, I went to the desk to make my next appointment. The appointment and billing person looked at her monitor. I could see she was confused. Just a minute, she said, and dashed off to talk to someone in a private office.
She returned to tell me, We don't accept your insurance. We've never accepted your insurance.
To be continued.
Infinities of love,