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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A ludicrous dental story if there ever was one

Well gosh dangit, the dentist. The olllllllll' dentist. Going to visit the chomper doctor was such a miserable experience for me growing up, I've become numb to the experience. Every single time I go, there's something new and negative to report. A filling here, a filling there. "Looks like you've got a little gum disease, Nicole!" I've even had a root canal - THAT I GOT WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL! That's sick! Anyway, don't like the place. When Chad and I got married, we had dental insurance and therefore went every six months. I started to have trust issues with our office though - they had Chad coming in every 8 weeks! How stupid, I thought! Those blood sucking, insurance squeezing liars! Chad's teeth were phenomenal, the man did not need to go in every 8 weeks - ha! So when it came time to renew the insurance, I told him to just skip it for a year - we were fine! That year turned into two... or seriously maybe three, I can't remember.

Anyway, last year, trying to be responsible adults, we got ourselves some good ol' fashioned dental insurance. Then, I never made ANY appointments. Not for me, not for Chad, not for our two children who's mouths were sure to be racked with bone loss (thanks to my 50% contribution to their genetic make ups). Last week, Chad and I were kind of laughing about how we just never made the appointments and how insurance renewal was coming up. Then he said, "Welp, we wasted a few hundred dollars this year with that insurance, having never gone in. What a bummer," which, if you know me, got my fire going. OH SHIT! I certainly was not about to squander money in the name of dentistry. So I immediately made appointments for all four of us before the end of our insurance year was up. Take that, dentists of the world!

So I go on in last night. Me, all by my lonesome, KNOWING that there was going to be TERRIBLE news waiting for me on the other side of this appointment. Surely my mouth was going to be bearing the Armageddon of tooth decay given my hiatus. It was a KNOWN. Simply a FACT. So I go in, fill out the paperwork, then head back for x-rays where I counted my own fillings, which came out to be less than I thought there were in there - cool! Legitimately I thought every tooth in my mouth had been drilled upon. So then we went back and my doctor had the hygienist test my gums for disease, which is exacerbated during pregnancy anyway so I wasn't worried about it. THEN the doctor came in to tell me what was up with my current teeth. Some maintenance on my existing fillings and possibly a crown, which I was actually fine with because that would mean I could get rid of the gross looking metal in there - it would be replaced with a delicate, beautiful white. Win!

THEN. THEN! THENNNNNNNNNN!!!!!! She tells me she was going to send in the office manager to go over how much everything will cost before anything is done. The lady comes in and starts spewing numbers. I was glancing at the paper, and in the TOTAL area I saw $400. So she kept talking and all of a sudden, at the very bottom, I see clear as day that all the work was going to come out to NOT $400, but 


Bahahahahahahahahaha! $4,032 after insurance!!! I started laughing and said, "I'll tell you right now, that's not going to happen, so is there anything you want to whittle this down to?"

"We can't do any of this unless you get the laser treatment which is the majority of the cost. You need to get rid of the bacteria under your teeth."

Bahahaha! Yeah lady, no I don't. Not that bad. Haven't humans housed bacteria in their mouths since the cave man days? What about the gingivitis on the May Flower? What was with this ludicrous level of cleanliness? Bahahahaha!

"Well can I get a cleaning today and then go over this with my husband?"

"Well you certainly can talk to the doctor about that." 

Doctor comes back in, right as I hear an advertisement for this laser treatment come on over the loud in-office radio. Suspicious, right????! Was there a commission to be made off this?

"I'm sorry, you must have the laser treatment. It's the only way. And this other gum treatment is a must, where we will give you local anesthetic."

"Yeah, I'm not getting laser treatment while pregnant and I will not be shooting myself up with local anesthetic either. Let's do a cleaning today and figure it out after that."

"No, if you let the bacteria stay there until after you have the baby, it will get into your blood stream and into the baby. If you wait the five months until your due date to get this taken care of, it will be WAY too late. Also, your insurance wouldn't pay for your cleaning until you get the laser treatment." Pretty sure I haven't been to the dentist in years, 5 months was nothing, sista!

"So woah. You're not going to give me a cleaning? Is there zero value in a regular cleaning?"

"No. Not today. But let me assure you all of the treatment is FDA approved, we will just need additional clearance from your doctor."

"Okay, I'm not doing $4,032 worth of work. Is there anything you want to cross off the list that I'll be showing my doctor to get the 'okay' on the fillings at minimum?" (I was asking her to cross off laser treatment permission and local anesthetic.)

"Well, we can just ask your doctor, you never know, he may say yes to all of it."


Front office after a shocked-drenched walk from my dental chair to the front doors. The lady at the front stopped me:

"Wait! Let's put you down for 6 months out!"

"Well if I'm putting myself down for an appointment and I'm telling you right now that none of this except the fillings will be 'taken care of,' then what is the point? I'm not coming back in here if nothing is going to happen."

"Well it's always good to have you in the system."

Okay lady!!!!!!

Then I went home, all while texting my sister hilarious jokes about my $4,032 mouth. My brother-in-law asked me if I was getting diamond implants. Chad immediately asked me how expensive it was to get veneers and I answered, probably a few thousand, to which he said, "Let's go get fake teeth!" Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! 

Then we delved into the online reviews of this place, something I had lightly skimmed over initially. We found one fellow who was quoted $10,000 for a little plaque. Another guy was told that he wouldn't be able to get ACL surgery because his gums were slightly inflamed. Several people reported, in all caps, that their insurance never even covered what they had done because it was all cosmetic. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

So we won't be returning there. 


But in good news, the kids' appointments showed ZERO CAVITIES AND ZERO GUM INFLAMMATION! I mean, woooooooooooo!!!! Thanks Cisneros clan, for the all-star genetics. A true proud day for a few Paplia offspring.

Which by the way, my parents were very diligent in their "taking the kids to the dentist" lives. We went every six months, were told to floss and of course, brushed twice a day for as long as I can remember. My faulty dental life is an enigma! I have no idea what the deal is. It's so annoying!!!!!! Oh well though! What can ya do?


  1. You need to talk to Coleman about this/come to him when he has in own practice!!

    1. Right?!!!! Oh my goodness! I couldn't believe it! It was so shocking! Hahahaha!!!

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  3. Oh wow, Nicole! That's crazy! It's so hard to imagine that some medical professionals actually try to take advantage of people like that; it's just terrible. You handled the situation perfectly, way better than I probably would have. In the future, I'm definitely going to be checking out social media and reviews so I don't end up in a similar situation.

    Eunice Greer @ Downtown Dental SC


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