I would like to preface this with a warning. Today's blog is littered with bold text, capital letters and plenty of adult language. Parents and grammar buffs beware.
As I type this, my mother is holding her head in severe pain, and right now I can't tell if it's because of the dental visit or the bill.
Friday, she cracked her tooth. It was a molar, previously filled by some "genius" who decided that he was the Superman of dentists, and could "save" the bad tooth. Well instead of just pulling it, me made a lovely hole in it, and now it's cracked in half.
So she called all three 24-hour emergency dentists.
They closed at 7 and are not open on the weekend.
So much for that 24-hour bit!!
So she called all the other dentists in the area.
All of them not only close early, they refused to return the calls and left us with an answering machine, stating that you need to plan emergency visits at least 3 weeks in advance.
...I will say that again.
You need to schedule an emergency at least three weeks in advance.
How in the name of all things holy with cat piss can you plan an EMERGENCY THREE WEEKS IN ADVANCE???
So we place a call to 1-800-DENTIST
... Who promptly dropped the call.
Saturday evening, 1-800-DENTIST calls her back on her cell phone.
"So! Didja find anybody yet? You didn't?? Well, we can't be BOTHERED to do AAAALLLL this work for you you know. Sheesh, don't you care about your health?"
Gee bitch. DON'T YOU CARE ABOUT DOING YOUR DAMN JOB??? Have you seen the snarky ads from these people? Here, here's a good one:
Did you catch what I did?? That's right. In your snarky ads, you claim to find the dentist FOR ME. You have therefore failed your job, by not only trying to pass the mess along to the customer, but you did it with an insult and an attitude!!
1-800-DENTIST IS A SCAM!!!
Sunday, not a single dentist was open within 100 miles of my house. For serious??
Finally, Monday morning (today) Mama gets through to a live person at the Sears Dental, now Dentalworks.
She asks how much will the extraction be. All she's told is "don't worry about it."
Does that sound ominous as all hell to you? Good, I'm glad. Because it SHOULD.
So at the sign in, she keeps asking, how much will this be. "Don't worry about it."
Get her into a room. How much will it be? "Don't worry about it."
So she talks to a dentist, who has absolutely diddly shit to do with the extraction. In fact, we never see him again. He was polite and had great manners, but for the life of me I can't tell you who this was.
So we speak to the dentist/nurse she will be seeing. And then the actual Dentist. Both a friendly faces.
How much will this be?
HOW MUCH WILL THIS BE??? I don't think we could have stressed enough that we're on a tight budget and she has no insurance. (Thanks asshats in the GOP for outsourcing her job overseas.)
Finally we see a woman with a ponytail. She changed her name several times in one conversation.
"Like hiiiiiiiiiiii! Like my name is Angela, and I'm with Dentalworks *muffled name* Credit care, M'kay? So like I need you to fill this out, and if like you have any questions, my name is Ashley. M'kay?"
What is this?
"Well like you know, we can pre-approve you for some credit and stuff. And if you have any questions, my name is Angel. M'kaaaaay?"
Shorten the story. Mama wasn't approved for whatever the hell this was. So she comes back as "Christina".
"Right, up front that will be $412. Cash or credit?"
I sat up straight. "I'm sorry WHAT??" Off go my sunglasses and i stare this woman in the face. "And why are you charging her this much? We don't have this kind of money lying around."
Well "Annie" broke the price down for me.
Exam: $79 including the emergency fee since (like UGH) you're a walk in.
Extraction and doctor's fee: $279
The rest of the price?? The right to have someone step in and say "Hello".
.... I swear to God that is the most expensive "Hello" I have EVER had in my life!!
So after clearing out a bank account, Mama has the operation. ... OPERATION??? Yeah, apparently that tooth was jammed up in there. I stayed for the entire procedure. I have no reason to trust anybody in the medical profession, especially not with my mom.
They shot her four times with Novocaine, and used some pretty ancient tools that I swear I've only seen in textbooks from the 1950's.
Mama could still fill the whole damn thing.
So they shot her twice more with the stuff.
NOPE! No good.
Oh, and anything stronger would have cost another $50. Problem being? The only other thing they had was "the gas", but they are prevented from using "the gas" anesthetic in Illinois, since the last few years it's made several children sick and a few of them died, and horridly I might add. O_O;;; Novocaine it is!!
So now, thanks to Dr. Ancient Tools and the not working Novocaine, she has a migraine that shoots through her eyeball.
As I was watching her squirm, I remembered a weird part in my life.
Before I was homeschooled, I remember being in a first grade class in Virginia. For career day, they had a fireman talk to us about escaping a burning building, a cop talk to us about child rape, guns, how a toy gun can be mistook for a real gun, stranger danger and drugs, some D.A.R.E. groupies talking to us about the environment and how drugs kill, and then we had a dentist.
The dentist played in a loop a ton of those old Dinosaur tooth ads. But the one I remember is one about losing an adult tooth:
"Get to a dentist in 30 minutes if you want to save your tooth."
Yeah, 30 minutes is not even the initial phone call. >_O If you follow this advice, you're screwed.