We sure do know how to pick em. Well, actually, that’s not true since we have so few to pick from. I am talking about health care providers that take AllKids Insurance or as so many people still call it; public aid. So warm and cozy a term that makes you feel so special.
I remember talking to an aide of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky who reassured me that when Obamacare kicked in, those of us on Medicaid would have so many more choices. Liar, liar, pants on fire. That is not true for my kid nor for my husband and me.
We were able to find a dentist close by who accepted AllKids dental insurance. I liked her well enough; having a child with sensory processing disorder (SPD) makes going to the dentist even more difficult than for the average child. My son is ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED OF NEEDLES and because of his SPD, he hates to brush his teeth. This is extremely common amongst sensory kids. Here’s what I have learned about pediatric dentists. Some are great with kids with special needs, some are jerks and don’t care. No surprises, there…and in the course of my son’s 14 years of life, we have seen at least 6 different dentists.
The worst one was in W. Rogers Park. He produced a needle with novocaine and was just about to insert it into my son’s mouth. My son took one look at it, jumped out of the dentist’s chair and kept going out the door. It got even uglier from there and the dentist blamed my husband and me for not controlling our child. He also told us our son had a cavity and needed a deep cleaning. We never went back. The strange thing was that the next dentist we saw disagreed that he had a cavity and said he didn’t need a deep cleaning. We didn’t know whom to believe.
Anywho, a few months ago, we noticed our son’s gums around his front teeth were swollen. My first reaction was that it was gingivitis due to his excellent oral hygiene…NOT EVEN CLOSE. We took him to the dentist, one whom we liked, although she did try “shaming him into better oral hygiene” which really doesn’t work for this kid. I called her before our latest appointment to explain about his special needs and to tell her not to “shame him.” She was very understanding and I made my husband go in with him at my son’s next appointment, expecting to be told that his inadequate oral hygiene was to blame for his condition.
He came skipping out of his appointment with that “in your face” attitude. He was very happy to tell me that he had no cavities, his oral hygiene was fine…you’ve got to be fucking kidding, I thought, but we should see a periodontist about his gums. And BTW, the only one she knew of that accepted Medicaid was at fucking UIC and we live in Rogers Park. The prospect of schlepping to UIC through the snow was not very appealing, so I didn’t do anything for a couple of months.
In the meantime, my son’s gums got bigger, puffier and starting hanging downward and some of the gums of the adjoining teeth started to get swollen. I decided it was time to act. I also decided to try and find a closer periodontist. To make a long story short, I was able to find a periodontist that took AllKids insurance that was in Logan Square. Not too bad. The good news was that she saw patients on Saturdays. The bad news was that she didn’t exactly do well with kids with special needs. So, I made an appointment and asked my husband to come with us.
We arrived to find a large and clean waiting room and were told to go through a door at the side that took us down a long corridor and into a very small receptionist room. We were given paper work to fill out and sent back into the lobby. We were called and my son and husband went in while I went to the bathroom. When I entered the dentist’s office, I found my husband sitting on a chair next to one dentist chair and on the far side of the room was my son sitting in a second dentist chair. I saw only the back of the dentist sitting at a computer and she was facing away from my son. She didn’t move. I stood there, expecting her to introduce herself. Niente, nothing, nada. Dead silence. Let’s call it a pregnant pause by this time.
The dentist continued to sit in her chair for about 10 minutes while I looked at my husband; you all know the “look” I am talking about, and mouthed to my son “what’s happening?” They both looked at me with puzzled expressions. Finally, the dentist, sitting on a chair on wheels, managed to squeeze her large frame past the dentist chair with about a quarter of an inch of room to spare and just kept going to the other side of the room. She rolled herself back to my son, put on latex gloves, told him to stick out his tongue and examined his mouth. Within minutes, she gave us her assessment, still glued to her chair. It was truly odd. I’m pretty certain she had Asperger’s Syndrome. Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with that. Despite her lack of people skills, she seemed to know her gums. But, she had absolutely no sense of humor, either. I have a problem connecting with humorless people.
The outcome was that he has an unusually large frenum. What the hell is a frenum, you ask? I bet you never expected to read that word, today. It’s the connective tissue between the gums and the inside of the lip. Genetics. Nothing to do about it. He is also a mouth breather which dries out the gums which irritates them into producing excess gum tissue. His oral hygiene also exacerbates the problem. His health is not affected. It’s a cosmetic thing. She wrote a prescription for a mouth rinse and we got the “hell outta Dodge.”
Anyone on AllKids insurance have a better or worse experience? I would love to hear your comments.
If you enjoyed this post, you might like this one even better…
10 Great Things That Happened After My Son’s Rampage
Or this one which got the most views, ever…
Just Another Day with My Son with an Invisible Disability
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