Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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To Tell the Tooth

Inconveniently for someone who has been trying to work on Hawaii time to make it more convenient to take conference calls with his Australian colleagues, I had an 8 AM (Pacific time) dentist appointment this morning.

After the routine cleaning, my dentist had a look at a tooth he's been watching for a while now. It has an old filling that is wearing out, and there is a tiny crack in the tooth that leads up to the filling. He doesn't know how deep the crack is, and x-rays won't show it properly. So in a couple of weeks, I will come back and he'll remove the old filling, drill out the crack, and (we hope) put in a new filling that will avoid having to crown the tooth.

Thank goodness for dental insurance! I just wish I'd put more money into my Health Care Spending Account last year so the co-payments would be covered with pre-tax money. I ran out of HCSA money in August. Mind you, I can't just double the allocation, because the spending is skewed toward the start of the year on account of having annual deductibles to meet; once those are met, out-of-pocket costs go down. Unfortunately, at the end of the year, unspent HCSA money is lost and doesn't roll over to the next year, so there's an incentive to not put more than you might need; alternatively, if you come to the end of the year with a bunch of unspent money in the account, there's a perverse incentive to go buy things you don't really need. I would, for instance, probably go buy extra diabetes test strips because I tend to want to test more often than the twice a day my doctor says I need to do.

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