Thursday, January 19, 2012

Teeth Or Another European Vacation? Ooooh, It's A Real Toss Up.

I love my dentist. And all the girls in her office. They're not just your garden variety "nice", they're kind. And compassionate. And genuine. Every single member of the staff, within minutes of saying hello, said they were sorry to hear about the loss of my step-father. That's more than some friends and family have done.

They're a different kind of human, these girls. They're special and I think all of their personalities represent the office in a very cohesive manner. In this office, you can tell that direction comes from the top down.

Loving my dentist and her staff does not carry over to my loving the dental procedures. I don't. Ed and I were talking last night about how we've become less tolerant of pain and being uncomfortable. I don't at all like the idea of needles and novacaine, I don't like laying there with my mouth propped open, I don't like the high scream of the drill and I don't like the suction and the water they use to rinse. It's always way too cold.
Today I was there for a cleaning and to get a temporary crown. Yesterday's exam revealed a few cracks in one of my teeth and rather than risking it breaking, the dentist suggested a crown. I had one a few years ago and it's no big deal, so I agreed.

The cleaning was brutal. I know that sounds harsh, and it's no reflection on Maggie, the person who does it. She's great - gentle, informative, and thorough. But since I hadn't been in a few years, I had a little more tartar buildup and she had to do a lot of scraping. Which means she had to numb almost all of my mouth, upper and lower. My tongue got all caught up in the numbing, and I felt like my lips were seven sizes bigger than they are. The only place that wasn't numb was my cupid's bow.

The needles are beyond unpleasant for me. What I think I hate even more than the initial pinch of the needle, is feeling it going in. I can feel the rush of deadening. I can feel the liquid traveling through my skin. And I always think the needle is going to poke right through my cheek. There are so many aspects of the cleaning procedure that I don't enjoy; the water they use for rinsing is always too cold, the sound of the tools drive me insane and the stuff she uses to polish my teeth, the minty paste, gives me chills. I hate the taste and texture of it.

After my cleaning was done, I had to see the dentist for her to make my temporary crown. That part wasn't any better than the cleaning. She had to grind down my tooth to put the crown on and the drilling does my head in. The sound is enough to make me go crazy and the air that whooshes off of it, onto my sensitive teeth, is too much to bear. Because of that sensitivity, she had to give me another needle to numb that area more.

By the time I was done, I had been in the office for five hours. Some of the numbness from the cleaning had subsided a little, so my tongue wasn't all out of control, but my jaw ached from having it propped open for the majority of the time I was there. Oh, and I was out $2,309.00.

But that's not the worst part. After my appoinment yesterday, my dentist referred me to the periodontist across the street to have her look at my gums. I don't have gum disease, just recession, and my dentist figured I'd need a
gum graft. After the periodontist examined me, she agreed. And since I don't want to be a toothless sixty-five year old, they put together a treatment plan for me, telling me what I'd need and what the cost would be.

Are you sitting down?


But...because I don't have insurance and I'll be paying cash, she gave me a deal.

Are you still sitting down?

With the cash payment discount, she's only going to charge me $8,000.00.

Smokin' deal, huh? (Smoking crack is more like it.) Well, it looks like after four weeks off, it's time to get back to work.

I refuse to join the ranks of toothless truck drivers.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Not So Wacky After All
2 YEARS AGO: Spreading The Word
3 YEARS AGO: He Had A Dream. Tomorrow We See It Come True.
4 YEARS AGO: Who Do You Know?
5 YEARS AGO: South Beach Blue
6 YEARS AGO: Jawl Spake Anglesh??


Evil Pixie said...

Yikes! Great discount, but still a big chunk of change!

I'm not a big fan of going to the dentist. In fact, I absolutely hate it. But, it is a necessary evil (and not the good kind of evil... like me) if I want to avoid the denture brigade. It is no fun getting older. :(

ELH said...

Ouch, what a price tag...nice discount but still,that's a lot of miles to pay for that one..I can sorta relate, before I went on the c-pap machine for sleep apnea, my gums were receading due to mouth 4 yrs since my gums have gone back to near where they should be..sorta..i too do need some work,but i'm waiting till (this may) junior finally graduates college and maybe the ol" man can spend money on himself for a of luck on your gum situation...

The Daily Rant said...

Pixie: I know, right?? I used to love going to the dentist - but now, I just know too much. I'd do better if they put me completely under. Maybe next time.

ELH: Isn't it insane?? That's interesting, about the mouth breathing thing...I think I breathe through my mouth sometimes also when I sleep, but I don't have sleep apnea - I wonder if that adds to it? Is this the last one in college? You better free up some of that money to start treating yourself! :)

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way about the dentist. I am 49 and teeth age just like the rest of our body.

I actually had a "good time" at a dentist...told them I don't like pain or even the thought of them hitting a nerve that isn't numb and even if its not rational its a real fear to me. They gave me ether, (laughing gas) and put a set of headphones on me with great music. I didn't hear or feel a thing! Dee

The Daily Rant said...

DEE: I always think about bringing my iPod, but maybe it's the ether I need! :) said...

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