Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Dental drama – that wasn’t

I cracked a filling out of one of my bottom front teeth a couple weeks ago.

I was eating a ball of frozen cookie dough (homemade!) and I suppose one of the chocolate chips hit it at just the right angle to knock it out. Last time I broke a filling it was on a frozen Twix bar so you’d think I’d know better but some of us it seems are just doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

This particular filling was a long skinny one on the side of my tooth. Not very deep at all. It didn’t hurt & was just mildly annoying because it was something for my tongue to worry at. But since I had some of my teeth filed a bit for the InvisaLine braces I had a couple years ago, my tongue had been worrying at those teeth anyway.

So the 2 week wait to see the dentist was no big deal. Even my usual dental terror didn’t bother to go into it’s usual overdrive 3 days before the event. I was feeling fairly certain there would be a minimum of drilling or just roughing up the area & then a new filling and done. Maybe 20 minutes. Probably $125.

I get there early, they take me fairly quickly, which is good because the waiting room is where the dental terror kicks in every time. They took a quick xray and left me to sit in the chair. And sit. And imagine all the ways they are going to hurt me. And remember all the ways dentists have hurt me in the past. I have sensitive teeth, just cleaning them with that whirling rubbery thing can send shocks up my nerves. And I can feel that pain right now just typing about it, so you can imagine what being in the chair does. I’m usually borderline hysterical and in tears when I need a root canal and often unable to open my mouth of involuntary fear response when I need a filling. 

Waiting is not good.

But I was able to talk myself down this time because really…I didn’t think it would be that bad. The shot would hurt but it’s the endless drilling that gets me and I just couldn’t see how there could be much necessary in this case.

Then at last the dentist came in. She looked at it and said.”Oh, all we need to do is dry out the space, rough it up and bit and refill it. No numbing needed”

and I said “AMEN!”

And then she said “That apparently was a more or less cosmetic filling and given your teeth line now really isn’t that noticeable. It’s not going to trap food and if it doesn’t bother you, you don’t actually need it done.”

and I said “HALLELUJAH!”

And the she said “Here is the sheet with the prices if you want it done.”

and I said “SWEET JESUS!”

$193 to get the tooth filled now. $78 for what had been done so far – a xray and talking to the doctor. $115 for the filling.  If I came back in the next 6 months they would only charge me the $115 total.

We have no dental insurance. Do any of the proposed universal coverage plans even mention dental? I have about $2500 of non critical but needed dental work hanging out there hoping someday I might have dental insurance that will cover at least some of it

and then I said “Well, I’ll be going now.”

Because it doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t bother me and it’s only noticeable if you look closely and if the tooth is not going to fall apart from decay without it,then, I’m good for now. 


Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I am laughing!! I take the kids to the dentist next week...it will make a great blog post...

Enjoy the Ride said...

At first when you mentioned the "dental terrors" I kept thinking of little tiny gnome people running around with drills. Glad it wasn't as bad as it could have been!

Sian said...

I'm laughing..I know, I know going to the dentist really isn't funny. But a great story!

Elizabeth said...

It is a great story. I had a lot of bad dental experiences as a child so I feel the same way you do about going to the dentist.

debs14 said...

I sympathised so much with this post! I hate the dentist and have to drag myself in there for my 6 monthly check ups! At least in England we have National Health Service and don't have to pay loads for the pleasure of being terrified or put in intense pain!
Hope you manage to escape having anything further done for years and years and years and .....

Anonymous said...

love you description of the dentist they fill me with dread too happy blogging

SciFi Dad said...

I hate going to the dentist. I never used to, but recently for whatever reason I've developed a huge anxiety about it.

We're fortunate, I guess, in that we have 80% coverage for dental through my work (Canada has no national dental either). I always thought paying 20% was a lot.

Too Many Hats said...

Bummer, the dentist didn't look at it first, you may have saved the cost of the x-ray. So glad it went better than expected.

Creative Junkie said...

I just had a cavity filled last week - first time in over 20 years that I got a filling and I could not believe how nervous I was! I didn't think I'd be like that, because I don't remember being like that before, but holy crap... I was literally shaking in the chair. I got through it but I think it took two days for all the tension to leave me body.

And with all the stuff they come up with today, can't someone invent a dentist drill that does NOT make a hideous screeching noise?

Aunt Becky said...

Now that is an awesomely anti-climactic post! Hooray for anti-climactic posts!

Nellie Mae said...

I like this post.

Nellie Mae said...

I like this post.