Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dental . . .

. . . nonsense

I have a loose crown on #4 (upper right pre-molar), so I went to the dental clinic in our very nice, new Navy hospital. Of course, I couldn't make an appointment, so I had to go to sick call.

I had gone to sick call last week, and filled out all the paperwork. However, I had to leave because there was no dentist available for my problem. Since I didn't actually see a dentist, they shredded my paperwork, and I had to do that all over again.

After an hour's wait, I was ushered in for X-ray, and had a very thorough exam by a very qualified dentist. The clinic has all the latest equipment, including a direct-to-computer X-ray machine. I stood in a framework, a scanner made a half-loop of my head, and the X-rays showed up on the computer screen.

At this point, I'm pretty confident - then, the results . . .

Dental Tech: Since the crown is loose, we cannot fix it, because that procedure is only allowed for uniformed service members. However, if the crown were detached, we could re-cement it, but cannot do any other remediation. (Flashback to Catch-22).

So, I go to the front desk for a reference and referral.

Desk Clerk: You will need to see an Italian dentist.
Me: Can you recommend one?
Desk Clerk: We have a list, but we cannot ethically make recommendations.
Me: OK, then could I have a copy of my exam and the X-rays?
Desk Clerk: We can't give you a copy of the X-rays. The equipment is new, the only people who can repair it are from the U.S., and it has been down for about 8 weeks.
Me: Any idea when a repair is scheduled?
Desk Clerk: No clue.

Government at its finest . . .