I had one of the worst experiences at a dentist’s office. That is why I believe that health care does not belong in the private sector.
The worst visit to the dentist of my life.
I woke up with a bad toothache. The truth is that it was being built for some time, but I thought it was manageable as it always has been. I called our insurance teledentist and got a prescription for an antibiotic. Monday was unbearable. The antibiotic wasn’t working.
I made an appointment with a dentist in Kingwood on my plan. As soon as I got there I knew there was a problem. It was the same dentist who IMHO scammed my wife, forcing her to have a procedure she didn’t have to have and overcharging her for a crown. But it hurt, so I went to the office.
The 22-year-old coach was excellent. She took all the x-rays. We had small talk, but when it came to health care, she volunteered: “If Canada can provide all its citizens with good health care, how come we can’t?” She was pleasantly surprised. But my experience in that office will show why it’s so hard to switch to a Medicare for All system that covers all your health.
The dentist did some cold and hammer tests on each tooth to get the actual teeth that were causing the severe pain. Although I thought a major pain was an upper molar, it turned out to be the lower one that radiated the pain. Although he claimed that the one above also had nerve problems.
After that 5-minute exam, it was time for diagnosis. “You need two root canals,” the dentist said. “And you’ll need a crown on both.”
“Really,” I asked him. “And why do I need a crown? In Panama, we do root canals and we call it a day.”
“Well, if we do a root canal here,” the dentist said firmly. “We have to set a limit.”
I have it. It was a massive bill in the works. By the way, they have a machine that prints crowns right at the entrance of the establishment. It was clear to me: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail”, was his modus operandi. And they charged a premium for that nail.
When he saw that he was worried about prices, he said, “Maybe we just need to do the last one.”
Really? I said, “I don’t want a crown, just the root canal.”
He asked me to let the business office submit the quote. Next is the quote.