Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dental Woes

I can recall several unpleasant dental visits from my childhood. It took a long time for me to break the negative association I had with going to the dentist. When I was a little kid you didn't watch TV or listen to music in the dental chair, you just looked up into the dentist's hairy nostrils and feared for your life the entire time. I usually ended up with a mouth full of fillings which didn't help either.

Over the years dental visits got easier and less scary. Dentists have tried to make the environment as comfortable as possible for their clients. Aside from getting my wisdom teeth out, which I might add was one of the most painful experiences of my life, my visits have gone quite well and cavity free for the last 15 years...until I got cocky. I thought I was invincible so I slacked off with the flossing efforts. Several months ago I broke a tooth and when I had it checked out I was told that I needed a crown and a root canal. I have never really known exactly what a root canal is, but I have always associated that phrase with the torture device used in The Princess Bride.
The dentist I went to put some kind of temporary cap on it for now, but for the last several months I have known I need this lovely procedure done and I don't currently have dental insurance. I was told I could pay around $1,600 for the root canal or $100 if I wanted him to "extract" the tooth. I figured if I was just going to pull the tooth then I might as well let my wife do it and pay her $50 instead. I'm always thinking win-win.

It has been kind of stressful as I have felt my tooth slowly melting away like the Wicked Witch of the West. The cavity creeps seem to have have won the battle but the war is not over yet!

10 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I HATE the dentist! I've never had a root canal, but my mouth is full of silver fillings. I usually only go when I get tooth pain.

Kelly said...

Oh Chaka! Please don't let go of your tooth. As a dental hygienist this post really pains me. In the long run you will miss your tooth so much more than the money. It may be too late already. Run, don't walk to the dentist. I am sure they will set up a payment plan for you. Most of them are understanding. Promise me you'll go!!!!!

Polka Dot Moon said...

I"m a dentists dream! I was once told he could send his kid to college on my teeth!! He was kidding of course, but I do have 4 Crowns and equal amount of Root Canals, silver and now porcelain fillings. I've had and not had insurance and they've all been happy to work with me.

You don't want to have false teeth now do ya?! Get back in there and "git r done"!!

Judi said...

I'm right there with you. About 18 months ago I had a tooth BREAK and my very skilled dentist fabricated this fake... topping to get me through temporarily. As I said, that was 18 months ago. I'm glad it's still working but every day I'm aware that it, too, will break and I will have to figure out how to come up with the cash to fix it in a more permanent way! Hang in there! You have my sympathy!

Raine said...

Another example of our lousy health care system... Im not going to get on my soapbox today, but you really should try the root canal and set up a payment plan. Good luck!

Hillbilly Duhn said...

Eweeee...>Dentist....cringe...

I actually need work done, but the cost alone and having no insurance reasures me that I will have to deal with my cavities and tooth losses like a Super hero.

I feel for you...

Fran Hill said...

I was told I was having some teeth out when I was fourteen. I thought they were nearer the front of my mouth than they were, and practised smiling closed-mouthed for ages in the mirror. Then when they took them out, they were some from further back. My friends must have wondered why I one day went back to proper smiling. It must have looked quite sinister all of a sudden.

Big D said...

only a few things you'd be needin your teeth for anyway. So less you plan on pullin apart some legos that are stuck together or loosenin up a knot in you kids shoes. I can't really think of anything you'd be needin them for anyway. Sides, you could do both them things with a dull knife anyhow. Most people carry one a them round with them in they pocket. So long as you keep one tooth presentable like you can still look good for when the policeman takes you photo.

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Julia Smith said...

Very good information, great article. Thanks for sharing.


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