It only became aware to me a few weeks ago that, as teaching assistants, basic and preventative dental care is DOCH covered by my state-provided health insurance. Sadly, it had been--how do I put this-- quite a WHILE since my last visit to the dentist. Keep in mind that the United States is not necessary the most caring country in the world when it comes to health care, so I was cut off from my parent's health and dental insurance the moment I received my degree from the University of Minnesota.
I knew I was going to get a mild scolding in German when I visited the dentist, but I was completely unprepared for the amount of "problems" I actually have. The dentist quickly shooed me away and gave me a slip of paper with the list of cavities that need to be filled and told me to make another appointment, as she could only offer 30 minute slots. That is one of the downsides of socialized medicine here; the doctor only has so much time for you.
Since I didn't want a mouth full of ugly medal (the first dentist I went to only offered silver fillings), I made an appointment with a friendly looking dentist whom I made sure speaks English and offered a really friendly website. Another downside of socialized medicine: I had to wait a few weeks to find a time that would suit us both.
So I finally made it to the new dentist today. Immediately I was greeted by a friendly assistant, who led me to the modern waiting room with Michael Buble playing over the speakers. It was relatively quiet and relaxing, the opposite of my experience at the BVA health insurance clinic, where 30 or so patients paced the room waiting for their appointments.
After getting another set of xrays, I met with the dentist, who informed me that it was dringend (or urgent) that they work on one tooth right then and there in order to save it! The only good part about it was that he spoke in English to me and was really friendly. I was not expecting at all for him to pull out the drill and start to perform a root canal. On a side note, I would like to add that I take care of my teeth really well. I have TERRIBLE genes, that's all.
After it was all said and done, he told me I have to come back in to fix everything else. And basically I have about 2.5 weeks to do this under my full insurance, as my insurance becomes "limited" after the end of the month. And I'm going to Scotland for 5 days. Stress + frustration-- I have no idea how this is going to pan out.