Dentistry has been a great adventure for me every since I landed a job with dental insurance. Before dental insurance, I would wait for a filling to fall out before heading off to the tooth fix it man. Turns out my pre-dental insurance frugality would not pay off.
My first insurance covered appointment led to about eight fillings. My new dentist, though, is a great man. I love him in a platonic kind of way. The man even gave me shoes!
Of course I love my wife and family more, but few others rank as high as my dentist. Yet I dread each visit as he finds more and more problem teeth
Back in mid-May I had an ordinary cleaning. Everything checked out great. Then near the end of June, my gums are sore around one of my front teeth. I figured it was just a canker sore or something else mundane and benign. Then a few weeks ago, this red spot appeared. The tooth felt fine, but red blotchies are bad, so I eventually made an appointment with my favorite dental office.
The looks on their faces when they saw my tooth . . . were quite serious and troubling. My tooth was a darn right dental oddity. So rare they had only see two like it before, ever in their entire careers. My dentist, God love him, called a dental professor as a consult. How proud I am to have a tooth of academic inquisition. Here is the lowdown from what I understood – you should understand that this is all what I remember hearing and not actual fact from a real expert – my body is eating my tooth. I've rejected my own tooth, and now it is being absorbed form the inside out. I think the dentist called it "resorption".
Can "absorption" be cured? No. There is a big hole in my tooth and the red stuff is actually the pulp as seen through the paper thin layer of my tooth that is left over. My tooth never hurt, so I had no idea. Maybe the hole can be filled but more likely the tooth is lost. The best dentist ever, a.k.a. my dentist, is going to give it his best tomorrow afternoon. (He is so awesome!) But if the tooth is too far gone, then an oral surgeon will have to pull it out and put in an implant.
I did some research on dental implants. They are not like Borg implants or something cool like that. Instead, they are titanium screws drilled into the jaw bone. After the jaw bone heals in a few months, a tooth is glued onto the end of the screw. The sources I read said that the procedure is less painful than getting teeth pulled. LESS PAINFUL! That's not saying much! The last time I had teeth pulled (and I had 6 pulled, two eye teeth and four extras) it was the worste hurting I could imagine feeling. I remember my old dentist putting his hand over my mouth and saying that I should stop screaming because I was scaring his other patients. See my Quick Tip on dentists. So I am looking forward to massive pain and many thousands of dollars in dental costs (did I mention that implants are usually not covered by insurance).
Damn my teeth, damn them to hell.
Tagged: personal stories