A Personal Story: Won’t Take Teeth for Granted – Sarah, Topsham

Sarah feels really lucky about her family’s dental care. Living in Vermont, her children have been covered by Dr. Dynasaur since they were young, “I feel like we got in with a really good dentist… and then I started hearing about this shortage.” Sarah used to see the same dentist as her children, but she had a lapse where she didn’t go for three years. When she tried to go back and re-establish regular care, they weren’t accepting new patients, so she had to find another dentist. The lapse in care occurred because Sarah herself was uninsured and paying out of pocket for her care: “Fortunately, one of my wisdom teeth was impacted so I got medical insurance coverage for that.”

Sarah had a few complications from her wisdom teeth removal: some of her soft tissue healed in such a way that it formed a pocket next to her molar, making it very difficult to clean. She got a crown on her molar because of the decay. Sarah was able to pay out of pocket for her crown, and sees this kind of dental work as an inevitable part of growing older. “I have older friends who said, oh – my partner didn’t take care of his dental situation when he was in middle age and now it’s really giving him problems… I’ve had friends telling me, get your teeth taken care of now, because it just gets worse if you leave it.”

Sarah and her family used to qualify for VHAP and Dr. Dynasaur, but now they don’t and now they pay for all dental care out of pocket, which Sarah doesn’t mind: “I really feel like my teeth are worth investing in. I feel really lucky that I inherited these genetically strong teeth and it would be really foolish not to just continue to take care of them. I can’t take them for granted.”

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