Today, Hannah had a dentist appointment to have her teeth cleaned. As usual, she had no cavities but we were handed a business card with a picture of a smiling, cartoon family on it. The card proclaimed boldly across the top .... "Spectacular Smiles & Confident Tomorrows!" We've always known (based upon observations of her birthmom's teeth) that sooner or later, we'd be asked to call an Orthodontist to begin the process of braces. It's no big deal to us. It's one of those things that as a parent, I just assumed we'd deal with if and when the need arose. Similar to needing glasses or taking medications for being sick.
I dialed the number and spoke to Perky Holly...
ring ring ring...
Holly: Hello! Thank you for calling Blah Blah Orthodontics. This is Perky Holly speaking. How can I make you smile today?!"
Me: Well.... er.... Holly....(first of all....calm the fuck down), my name is Sheri and my daughter's dentist gave us Dr. Blah Blah's card to schedule Hannah for a consultation.
Holly: Great! Wow! This is such an exciting time in Hannah's life! All her teeth are growing in crooked and we can help! Why don't you give me your mailing address and I can put some forms in the mail to you! WEEEEEEEEE! Then you can fill them out prior to the appointment. No need to wait any longer than necessary on appointment day! (I relay our mailing address to her. I can hear her shuffling papers around) And what dental insurance do you have so we can pre-approve you?
Me: We don't have dental insurance. (shuffling stops. I hear a fist slam on the table) Being self-employed, you know, we have to pay $6,492.87 per month for health insurance with the world's highest deductible. You know... just in-case anything should happen to one of us. Nothing like paying out the ass on a gamble to stay healthy!
Holly (not so perky anymore): You don't have any dental insurance? What kind of people are you? Do you have any idea how you will pay for these braces?
Me: You mean to tell me there are parents who wouldn't put braces on their kids teeth, if they need them, because they don't have dental insurance? Then I guess we will pay out of pocket for the braces. Maybe we'll eat macaroni and cheese for the next 10 years but if my daughter needs braces, believe me, she will get them. I am not going to have her live a lifetime of not enjoying her own smile because I couldn't scrape the money up somehow.
I loved how prior to knowing we did not have insurance, she was so happy and thrilled to help me. But then after.... she could barely stomach speaking to me. I wonder if some people go to the appointment, listen to the doctor's speech about braces and then decide they can't do them because of cost. What the heck do braces cost anyway? Does anyone know what kind of cost I am looking at here? I'm don't mean to be a bitch about it but why do people judge me because of our insurance? WTF is up with that?