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Monday, April 13, 2009

Teeth Minus Two

No…I didn’t say “T” minus 2…I said Teeth minus 2. I had a tooth pulled this weekend and as it turned out I had to have essentially 2 pulled.

I had broken a tooth a few months ago and had been trying to work up the nerve and money to go to the dentist and have it repaired. I never could come up with the $1500 out of pocket expense so I was mulling over a decision to just have it pulled. Suffice to say I’ve had some back experiences and ‘bad luck’ with my teeth…and dentists. I think I may be in a bad gene pool for teeth!

The exposed nerve was causing me so much pain for the past three weeks that I finally broke down and went to the Dental Depot close to my home on Saturday (after I went to the requisite garage sales) and sat waiting for the ‘death of #16’. The hubs was with me or I probably would have left after the hour wait. Eventually I proceed on back to the x-ray machine then to the chair for MORE x-rays (the uncomfortable, gag-reflex-inducing ones) and another wait.

The dentist popped in to shake my hand and fight his case for the root canal/repair job, and I said only that it wasn’t in my budget at this point. I think his eyes visibly narrowed and his friendly handshake became a vice like grip as he said… “I understand.”

Why do they lie? He has NO IDEA about dental costs, because I’m quite certain he gets his services free. In any event, the request was made, the dentist left and I waited another hour for the ‘finance’ person to come explain my exit cost as I prayed that my nephew would choose a dental career so the family could reduce these expenses and wait time.

The finance lady came in and explained how much it would be, apologized for the wait. She asked if I was having nitrous and I explained I usually just get shots. She just told me if I wanted to it would be an additionally $45.00.

Then one of the dental assistants came by and stuck some NASTY tasting swabs in my mouth to help deaden it for the upcoming shots. I guess my lack of budget for the root canal/crown resulted in removal from the nitrous oxide program. Then ANOTHER dental hygienist came in and sang to me while she gave me several extremely painful shots. I had scooted almost to the bottom of the chair as she just sang and said… “This is going to sting a little bit.”

By now the train has rolled round…oh about 483 times and I’m so OVER the whole train on the track and I just want to go home and pretend I’m just fine!

But eventually the pain subsided and I didn’t feel the final plunge of the needle as it dug into my jaw line and everything from mid-lip to my EAR went numb. I’ve never had an ear go numb and initially I wondered if that was a problem.

Finally the doctor came in and easily extracted a root and remaining tooth from the bottom tooth that was a ‘failed’ repair from years past and then started working on this pesky molar on top. He pulled and pulled and dug and dug and pulled some more…then he said ‘Hmm, I think we’re going to have to cut this one out.’

“WHAT?????????????” I said internally? This is where I’m thinking, “If this sucker wants to stay in that bad…leave it.” Of course there’s no sharing because they’ve got the bite block in and my mouth is filled with hands and needles and apparently scalpels.

Another 10 minutes and I’m sewn up, filled with gauze and headed out to the ‘finance lady’ to pay my $100.00 bucks. I remember to ask about my prescriptions, which they don’t hand over until AFTER they run your debit card, I might add.

I went to the lobby asked the husband to take me home and go fill the pain prescription. I tell my husband as we’re leaving…well at least my deductible is met now. I also said I would do whatever is necessary to keep from EVER experiencing that again.

…and so 6 pain killers later…lesson learned is…remember to floss daily! And to save for any extra dental work!

Is it Monday already?


GiBee said...

Oh, why - oh WHY did I read this? I have a dental appt next week -- and I'm NOT looking forward to it! I think I have one nerve still in a tooth I had a root canal in, and I have two other caveties... Ugh!!!

Stefne said...

Reading this blog post literally made me sick to my stomach! I hate going to the dentist!!!

Joy said...

Ouch! My 13 year old can sympathize with you. She just found out today that she has to have a root canal. Yes, at 13! I just gotta wonder if this dentist of yours thinks he has to have gold instruments or something. We were told our dentist charges $500 for a root canal.
I hope you are feeling better now.

Rachel said...

I *just* had 3 teeth pulled.
I went under, and still have not recovered--a week and a half later. Dry socket. Bless you dear one. Sorry I not been over here in so long!