Since I was kid dentists have been taking the "Mik" out of me about my teeth. Lines like.."Where were you when God was passing out the teeth" or "Did the tooth fairy forget to visit?" It has been a hoot and a holler...with an emphasis on holler! I was born without four of my adult teeth. My last "baby tooth" was extracted at age 41. I have held on to any tooth in my head with a veracious tenacity! This week I had an abscess in a root-bed of a tooth that has now cost me almost $6000...one tooth...$6000! And the the death toll has been given...yet again...to one more tooth!
Argh! Blast and damn-it,she cries!
I spend as much time being obsessed with it as I do avoiding it. I have experienced it all...all the thoughts,emotions and excuses... "Too busy to go the dentist" or "No dental insurance" or the inevitable..."That is NOT covered in my policy!" My mouth has been the bane of my existence all of my life. I resist exposing my big smile because of the "trailer trash" exposure of two missing gnashers. "What is a gnasher?" A molar...in short. The teeth we use to pound chewy foods into submission. The masticators. And I like to "gnash." I like steak,beef jerky,raw vegetables,licorice and foods that generally take a little work.
I thought I had found a solution. A local Endodontist offered me implants and I jumped. The procedure was insanely grueling. Four implants with two bone graphs. It was done at UCLA and the chiseling of the bone from the bottom jaw and the graph to the either side of the upper jaw took about three hours and then the four "bolts" had to be placed. I was in the chair for almost four and a half hours.
The bone graphs held and the bolts are secure. Great right?
Now all I need are the prosthetic teeth to go on top of them.
The estimate: a whopping $2500 per tooth. No insurance company in the world covers dental prosthetics for implants. So I have been sitting with four bolts for three years searching for a way to afford the prosthetic teeth.
And now I am facing another bolt and another prosthetic.
Friday my son had surgery on both feet and after I got him home I had to rush to my dentist because the left side of my upper jaw was throbbing so bad I had a migraine. After two dentists and a dental CT they confirmed an abscess. Just six weeks after we got the final crown in this same tooth...the $6000 tooth.."that" tooth... got a terminal diagnosis.
So instead of using that six grand for the new teeth I was guided down a path to spend my money on a "lost cause." And I am going through some emotional turbulence over my thinking during this experience. I feel like Dr's and Dentists have it in their "indelicate" nature to assume that those of us without "Dr." in front of our name or "PHD" behind our name as total and complete "divot heads."
Assuming we have no ability to think of or ....dare I say..."suggest" our own treatment. The nerve!
I mean...why can't I say..." I want to do this or that with my body or my mouth without the "God-complex-riddled" physician or dentist looking at me like I am a rude and petulant child?
Who are these people?
Certainly not God.
God is much nicer and less rude...in my addled little brain anyhow.
So here I am ...back at the drawing board of my "Dental health" and I want to take charge...aggressively...and get some damn teeth.
Between last Friday and today (Monday) I have talked to two sources about:
a) Getting the "bad" tooth...the (sorry for saying it again but I am still digesting the bill on this one!)...getting the $6000 tooth out and getting the bone graph and the implant in.
b) Getting the now FIVE prosthetic teeth onto the lovely-stainless-steal bolts aching to be topped in my poor little tooth deprived mouth.
Don't you feel absolutely wealthy right now?
Well...that is if you have good teeth.
Or perhaps you feel the pathetic camaraderie of my plight and perhaps we can help each other in some way. I won't drink over it but I will cry.
I think we all have a right to a decent set of nashers. And a lot of us let this detail of our health go because of finances or simple neglect.
I want to be able to smile wide and chew with gusto. I like to eat and smile! And I intend to!