A Personal Story: No X-rays, No Cleaning – Alyson, Corinth

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Alyson stopped teaching in 2005 to be home with her children, and when she did that her family lost the dental insurance she had had with her job. Because she lives in Vermont, her children are covered by Dr. Dynasaur, but Alyson and her husband are not. Consequently, Alyson has not been to the dentist for six years. When Alyson tried to schedule an appointment with her dentist, after she no longer had insurance, the office  informed her that it was time for her to have x-rays done. “I said, I would like to forgo that because that’s more expensive and I’m pretty sure my teeth don’t have any cavities and I just want a cleaning.” The policy of the office was that if Alyson wasn’t going to have the x-rays done, then she couldn’t just come in for a cleaning.

Alyson’s sister had had some work done at the local free clinic. Alyson applied to get her teeth checked there, but she was never called back. “I called back again and they said, well you’re on a list. Do you have an emergency? I said, no I just really need my teeth cleaned.” Alyson felt bad, like the clinic was really only for people with dental care crises, not for preventative care. “I would love an opportunity to get my teeth cleaned. I have really good teeth. I would just love to be able to keep them clean and healthy and good.”

Illustration by Dennis Pacheco.

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