A Personal Story: Can It Wait? – Beth, Strafford

Beth is 49, lives in Strafford, Vermont, and has a job in health care. She feels fortunate that she and her family have dental insurance and have always gone to the dentist regularly. She and her husband have started needing to get their teeth crowned, as their old fillings deteriorate: “As a matter of fact, I felt a little twinge of something yesterday.” Because their insurance covers half the cost, Beth and her husband take turns getting their teeth crowned in order to afford their dental work. Then they use a payment plan with a monthly payment to pay off the work.

Still, Beth and her husband tend to put off dental work as long as they possibly can. Whenever the dentist tells her there is more work to be done, Beth says, “I ask, ‘Do I have to do it now?’ because there are always other pressing needs.” Beth knows it can be dangerous to delay care: “An abcess can kill you if it goes to your brain…some things happen really fast.” But, she admits, even with dental insurance, most people can’t afford to do all their necessary dental work at once.

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