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Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
Store and its social media channels. He is a regular contributor to Agent Straight Talk, the
only consumer blog explaining the ins, outs and in-betweens of dental insurance and
discount dental plans. READ MORE

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A Sure Cure for Odontoplanphobia

Apr 22, 2014

By Dean George

“Hi, can I help you?” I asked the man poking his head around the door of our meeting room. I was just setting up to begin a group therapy session in 15 minutes.

“Is this the meeting place for people with commitment issues?” he asked in a quiet voice.

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“Nooo,” I said trying to think of what room he might be looking for. “This group is for people who have odontophobia. You’re looking for a singles group?”

“Singles?” he said while shyly coming out from behind the door. “How’d you know I was single? And what’s ordo, ortho, orthodontophobia?” he asked.

“Odontophobia,” I said slowly, emphasizing the different syl-la-bles. “Odontophobia is fear of the dentist. Sometimes it’s called dentophobia,” I added.

“But what does that have to do with singles counseling?” he asked, screwing up his face like I’d suggested we consider extracting a tooth without anesthesia.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with singles counseling. I just thought you said you were looking for a group therapy session for singles with commitment issues,” I said.

“Yes. I mean, no. I mean, well kind of,” he stammered.

Glancing at my watch, I realized I still had a few minutes before the folks in my group filtered in. Since it was a help group for procrastinators, maybe even a couple of hours.

“Sorry, but I have no idea what you mean by that,” I said with a friendly shrug. “Could you be more specific?”

Sighing, he walked into the room and plopped down in the nearest chair.  It was actually my chair, but that’s okay – I’ve got some issues of my own I’m working on. “I meant I’m not afraid of committing to someone. In fact I have a girlfriend now,” he said proudly. “That’s why I’m here. I’m here because of Betty Lou.” 

“Betty Lou?” I queried. “Is she the girlfriend that believes you’re afraid of couple’s commitment? Did she encourage you to come down and explore the reasons why?”

“She told you that?!” he bellowed, catching me totally by surprise. “Isn’t there a doctor-patient confidentiality code or something?” he said, his face getting flushed. “I can’t believe she told you that!”

“Sir, sir, I’m sorry, but I haven’t seen or talked to Betty Lou and she hasn’t told me anything. Besides, I’m not a doctor; I’m just a community counselor.”

“A lawyer?” he huffed. “What did she do, call you and start blabbing about me?”

“Sir, no sir, we haven’t ever talked before. I’m not an attorney, I don’t know anyone named Betty Lou and I've never met yours. I wouldn't know Betty Lou if she was the next person to walk through that door.” 

Sighing, he sank back in his folding chair with a resigned look and mumbled, “What difference would that make, anyway?” Looking me in the eye with an embarrassed grimace, he added, “She says I must not care enough for her because I won’t commit to…won’t commit to a…dent…(mumble)

“Won’t commit to what?” I ask, straining to translate his last mumble. Detox? Detention? Dentyne gum? I guessed.

Looking up, he says just barely above a whisper, “A dental plan. She says I won’t commit to a dental plan because I have issues with the $100 or more monthly premium. And she’s right; I do have issues with that!”

Wow, is this guy in need of help, I thought to myself. “Okay, so you really don’t have a fear of commitment with Betty Lou. And you really don’t have a dental phobia. You just don’t want to “commit” to paying more than you should for dental coverage. Is that right?”

“Yeah, that’s it alright,” he said glumly.  “I just can’t make myself commit to spending hundreds of dollars a year in premiums for a couple of dental visits every year. I mean, you’ve got to rotate your toothbrushes four times a year, there’s toothpaste to buy, mouthwash, water to brush your teeth with, floss…add $1,200 or more a year to that and pretty soon you’re talking real money!”

“Uh, huh,” I said, thinking that Betty Lou may have him in for more counseling than just “commitment” issues in the near future.  “Have you heard of the Dental Insurance Store?” I ask.

Looking at me surprised, he said, “No. You mean there’s a store that sells dental plans?” he says, cocking an eyebrow in what I thought was a fair Dwayne Johnson impression.

“Yes there is,” I say. “And I guarantee that they have all kinds of plans for well under $100 a month.”

“They do?” he says, surprised. “But do they have dentists that accept their coverage?” he asked, skeptically. “I’m not driving 100 miles to have my teeth cleaned!”

Nodding, I reply, “Lots of dentists in 48 states take their plans. And they offer HMOs, PPOs and discount dental plans. Some of their plans even cover orthodontia and cosmetic procedures.” 

“Well geez, that’s great! Where is this Dental Insurance Store? Is it far from here?”

“No, not at all,” I said. "You just get on the Internet, go to and click Enter. Once there, just enter your age and zip code and they’ll do the rest. Or if you want, they have friendly customer service agents that can help walk you through the process over the phone.”

“Isn't the Internet also called the Information Super Highway?” he asked nervously.

“Yes,” I said.  “It’s sometimes called that.”

“But this Dental Insurance Store has people I can talk with on the phone?” he asked.

“Yes,” they have excellent phone representatives.”

"Well, that’s good,” he says, obviously relieved.

“Why’s that?” I ask. “You don’t have access to a computer?”

“No, it’s not that,” he confides. ”It’s that Information Super Highway.  It scares me silly! Haven’t been on it since last fall when I was involved in a bad pileup. It was horrible. Crash after crash after crash,” he says, shaking his head at the memory.

“Wait a minute,” I say slack-jawed. “You were involved in an accident – on the Internet?”

“Yep.  I tried enrolling in the Affordable Care Act last, and every time I got on the Internet I kept getting messages there was a big crash because lots of people were going to the same place at the same time and to try again later."

Glancing at me skeptically, he asked, “Geez doc, don’t you ever watch the news?”

Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk, and as we explained to our confused friend above, we've got all kinds of dental plans in all kinds of places.

To see plans available in your area, click here and you’re always invited to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn – if you dare!

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Copyright 2014, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC   

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