No, I don't have an issue with my dentist or his practice. I've only had two family dentists in my life, and I've been with my current dentist's practice for almost 40 years.

Late last week, I received a letter in the mail from the insurance company that handles my dental insurance. It started off with the usual thank you for choosing us type niceness, and then hit me in the face with the news that my dentist will no longer be in the plan.

With that, the letter stated that they understand how difficult this change may be, but I will now have to find another dentist in the plan. The letter listed a website that shows dentist practices in our area that I can choose from. There are several options. A few are small practices, and there are many in practices that employ a lot of dentists. I imagine they are all very good at what they do. If I were to choose one of the larger groups, do I get to choose my dentist or do they just assign one to me? I'm not sure how it works.

The whole thing makes me nervous, because I am very particular about who my dentist is. I am sure there are many others who share my concern. My first visit to a dentist was when I was around 5 or 6 years old. That first trip resulted in the discovery of about 20 cavities.

I have had issues with my teeth for much of my life. There was about a 10 year absence between my first dentist and my current dentist. It was an excruciating tooth ache that got me back in the chair, which unfortunately resulted in the tooth being pulled. That was in 1982. I have been with this dentist and dental hygienist ever since that first visit. He knows my entire dental history and I am comfortable with how he treats me as a patient.

And at this point in my life, I don't want to change dentists. Sure, change can be good as people keep telling me, but I would prefer it not include my dentist. It's a whole different kind of pain.

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