Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Won't Miss #223 - multi-stage dental work

The last time my husband and I went in for a dental check-up and teeth cleaning, he paid in cash and I used the Japanese national health insurance. For him, he got a good chat with the dentist and a full cleaning all at once for about 500 yen (about $5) more than I paid once the deductible was paid. For me, I got a (literally) 10 second glance in my mouth and my cleaning split into two appointments (one cleaning for upper teeth and one for lower). If you use national health insurance, your dental work takes on the longevity of deep psychotherapy. Once you start your relationship, it will take many, many appointments to complete the procedures and sometimes it seems as if they will never finish.

Because of the billing loopholes in the national health insurance and the uncertain nature of dental work and when it is actually done such that a patient can't know what is really happening, dentists string out procedures so that you have to make multiple appointments, sometimes over a series of months, and I won't miss it.