Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tooth gloom

So this week was a little trying.

I'd been having some pain in the upper right side of my jaw every time I chewed and couldn't figure out what the hell was going on.

On Tuesday, it was so excruciating, I couldn't wait for Wednesday morning to come. Yeah, that bad. First thing I call my dentist. An appointment is made. Problem solved.

Fifteen minutes later, dentist's office calls back and says he's had to go home.

Doesn't want to see me, huh?"

"He's very ill."

So they arrange for me to go to a specialist and have an examination. I get there and first thing I'm asked to do--screw that I'm in pain--is fill out a bunch of forms.

All about payment of account and limiting liability. What a load of bullshit! Pain was so bad now I'd have bartered a first born. This is the good old USA. Roll on Obama and hopefully reform.

After forms were signed, I'm X-rayed and then told I have an infection that won't ever clear up (teeth infections don't as the white blood cells can't get up there to do their job) and the choice is a root canal at $1500.00 or extraction. No price on that because they only do root canals.

"A root canal is preferable because you'll still have your tooth." Subtext. We get the $1500."

"Do something. I'll have the root canal with a strawberry topping."

"Very wise. Just one thing. I can't guarantee complete success because the back molars have four roots. Sometimes the pain returns and extraction is the next option."

"Let me get my mind around this. You are a specialist, yes?"


And you charge $1500.00"


"And you can't say it'll be a success?"


"I want a second opinion. I'll see my dentist tomorrow as they said he'll likely be in then."

"That's fine."

Next morning, there is no pain and I'm chomping breakfast like a horse in a field of fresh grass. Amazing how $1500.00 and no guarantee of success focuses the mind.

I go to my dentist. Yes, it's an infection. And the pain goes away often, but it will return at some point and sometimes with a vengeance."

"Can you do the root canal?"


"There's no guarantee of success, you know? Not with back molars."

"Oh, just pull the damned thing. Enough already."

And then the huge injection looms. I close my eyes and think of the Queen. (Joke.)

So I'm now almost recovered. And pain free. Did mourn the loss of my tooth, though.
He was a faithful little bugger, loved a good juicy steak and a thick hamburger. Now he's gone. Into the medical waste bin. Next, off to the landfill with a bunch of other stranger's teeth. Nothing in common with them. And no more steak.

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