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Friday, October 14, 2016

Just Yank It Outta There! - Another Dentist Story

After an extremely stressful week in August, I had a dentist appointment the following Monday for the next step of my treatment plan; yeah, another crown (this time, #18, all the way in the back).

So, I'm sitting in the chair after they take my x-ray, fretting about the AC work that needs to be done, when Dr. S comes in.  I need another damn root canal!  For those of you playing at home, this would be my third root canal. Okay, four if you count the one I had when I was a kid.

He said that they could either refer me to the endodontist, or they could pull the tooth. He tried to discuss the pros and cons of each option, but the more we talked the more irritated I was getting and I told him to just yank the damn thing out of my face (this is pretty much word for word what I said). After a minute, though, I asked him if I could have a moment to think about the situation.  I think he was glad to leave (I can get kind of mean & spooky when I get mad & irritated).

I sat in the chair for a bit, deep-breathing and trying to calm myself down and think rationally.  I could hear Dr. S talking to Cassie (the hygienist) about me, and soon she came in (I think he sent her to be the Voice of Reason). She said that I should definitely consider the root canal because, eventually, I'm going to need a partial (I'm missing multiple teeth on the bottom). A partial needs to have two teeth on each side to anchor the harness.  If I pulled this tooth, I'd just have to have a fake put in anyway, when I got the partial. So why not save money and save the tooth at the same time?  I saw her logic, and I apologized for my attitude, and I was given a referral back to Dr. Tyler.

I was able to keep it together until I got to the car. When I got in, I knew I was going to lose it, so I raced around to the side of the building, where no one could see me, and man! I just let it go.  Full-on "Ugly Cry," smacking the steering wheel, letting it go.  The AC. The dryer. The root canal. The crown. THE COST OF ALL OF THIS SHIT. I just lost it.

It took me about 5 minutes to get myself back together, but I did and I called Dr. Tyler's office for an appointment. They had an opening on August 17th, so I booked it, straightened myself out, grabbed some lunch and went to work. Later that day, I met with the AC guy from Bertie and signed the paperwork to get the process started.

On August 17th, I headed to Dr. Tyler's office, and due to some heinous traffic, I was over an hour late (I'd called them multiple times to let them know I'd be late).  I'd forgotten my referral paper, so when the receptionist didn't ask for it, I figured that they'd had a copy sent over from Dr. S.

Luckily, she was able to fit me in, so into the chair I went. My sunglasses broke somehow when I took them off my head, so I had no glasses to protect me from the lights and flying spit.

It took many, many tries to get me fully numbed this time around.  I'd feel numb, she'd go in, and I'd need more drugs. Shot, numb, drill, more drugs. We did this like 10 times.  She tried to make me feel better, saying sometimes when a tooth is really infected, it takes more drugs, but I was still feeling guilty, like I was a wuss or something...  Eventually, though, I think I was numbed to my knees and we could finally move along.

Since my root area as so inflamed (according to Dr. Tyler), she gave me a temporary filling and told me to come back in two weeks, once the swelling was gone.  I wrote out a check for a whopping $308 bucks for this root canal (apparently prices, even with insurance, vary depending on which tooth is worked on, who knew?) and got an appointment to return on August 31st.

I returned to Dr. Tyler on the 31st and it was a quick numb, drill, and fill.  The next day, I went back to Dr. S to get the permanent crown started and as he began working, he noticed that Dr. Tyler didn't leave room for a post.  (Remember how I didn't bring my referral? Yeah, the referral specifically said to leave room for a post...).  Dr. S thought that he'd be able to do it himself, but halfway through, he broke the distal, and had to stop.  I got yet another temporary filling and was sent back to Dr. Tyler on September 6th.

Now with a shiny new hole in my already falling apart back tooth, I returned to Dr. S to finally get fitted for my gorgeous gold tooth.  There were no issues at this point, and after a month, I was able to return to Dr. S and get my new crown.

I've never had a meltdown like that before (back in August) and hopefully I never will again.  But holy shit was it needed!