A Personal Story: If I Had Insurance – Lisa, Chelsea

Lisa, 49, lives in Chelsea, Vermont. She does not have dental or health insurance. She knows that it is recommended for her to see the dentist every six months, but she prefers to take charge of her own health. She is self-sufficient in her health care, even to the point of making her own toothpaste. “My personal philosophy is that I’m not missing too much by not having health care and by not going (to the dentist) too much, but, I am in a position where I am a really healthy person, and my teeth are perfectly fine. There’s hardly any cavities in my family.”

Because Lisa pays out of pocket for all of her dental and medical care, regular cleanings go by the wayside. She feels that if her teeth are not hurting her and she doesn’t have any cavities, it’s OK to let the cleanings slide: “Why go in and pay $90 just to have your teeth cleaned? Why do that?” Lisa cannot afford to pay for cleanings, and the last time she went to the dentist for a cleaning was four years ago, right before she left her job that had both health and dental insurance. “If I had insurance, I’d go once a year.”

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