As I mentioned, I made an appointment to see the dentist. I haven’t seen the dentist in years. I went to see Dr. Cahn, who suffered from that awkward desire to have a conversation with his patients while there is stuff in their mouth (I don’t really want a conversation, I want clean teeth, and I want you out of my personal space as fast as possible), and the same old dentist soundtrack playing, but otherwise was pleasant. I don’t know if it’s a Connecticut thing or what, as Sarah encountered this too, but the dentist actually does the cleaning as well as the check-up, so the hygienist doesn’t spend the whole appointment destroying your gums, which is nice. In any event, he started looking at my teeth and said “Wow, nice clean teeth!” and then about 20 seconds later said “Oh, but there’s a cavity. That doesn’t make any sense, that tooth is sealed.” Long story short, several x-rays later, there was a cavity indeed.
He then proceeded to show me that you could see the cavity clearly with a small oral camera. That was neat. He was also able to show me the stains on my teeth up close, which he suggested were probably from coffee drinking (as there was a camera in my mouth I could not refute the claim). I didn’t really want to come back again anytime soon, so I had him drill and fill the cavity on the spot, which was a new experience for me. It started out as “well, my x-rays originally said this was a pretty small cavity, but now it seems to be a medium-sized one.” Two minutes later, it was “well, this is bigger than I thought.” He also warned that there were all sorts of little cavity growths between my teeth. I think this was just a tactic to scare me into flossing regularly. Finally, apparently I’m grinding my teeth and I need to stop that. Whatever works. I still don’t like dentists, and will avoid that place for the next six months, if I can help it.
On the way out I had a chat with the receptionist about the state of insurance coverage. We talked about how much pain there is in order to figure out what coverage a patient has, what their varying deductibles are, what procedures are covered at what percentage, and so forth. On average, this takes her between 5 and 30 minutes per patient, and even then things are going to end up being incorrect and require re-interpretation by the insurance companies later. This is insane! Somebody needs to sit down and make it so you can just take your insurance card, scan it through a bar code reader, and then all of the insurance coverage information pops up relevant to that patient. This isn’t one of those privacy issues so much, because we don’t store any personal information on the card, just a reference sequence that corresponds to an Internet database of insurance coverage information for a certain policy. It should be that easy, if we’re going to continue a national system of health coverage in the same manner. Time to draw up a business plan, I guess.
Now it’s Loki’s turn for a check-up tonight. She yesterday figured out that her water dish is mobile, and can be slid across the floor, even while containing water. So she pushed it all around the living room, upturning it and dumping all of the water out right next to the stack of electronics. This cat is too smart. I don’t know if this is a signal that she wants fresh water, that she wants more attention, or that she’s just screwing around to see me scamper. Time to get a new water dish that weighs more than she does, methinks.