Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oh My Pearly Whites

Today was Dentist Day. I summoned the courage to go to the dentist and I have to admit that it wasn't that bad. The hygienist cleaned my teeth very quickly and then the dentist looked at my chipped front teeth (actually they were worn down from eating hard candy). He decided that the best course of action would be to grind them down so that the front tooth layer and the back tooth layer were even. Because the back of the tooth was worn more it gave the appearance of dark spots on my teeth where they were translucent. So, for $50, he ground my teeth and made them look pretty again even though they are a little bit shorter. No more crunching hard candy with my front teeth. It he grinds down any more they will look funny and the other remedy he spoke of sounded very expensive.

I was thrilled to get out of there for only $50 but I also got a referral for an oral surgeon to get my wisdom teeth extracted. Now that's going to be the expensive part...and painful. I'm not sure when I will have it done but I know sooner is better than later. I have already put it off for many, many years.


Dave said...

I feel your pain, so to speak, about the wisdom teeth.

My regular dentist had, for about 10 years, been bugging me to get my two wisdom teeth removed. I only had the upper ones because the two lower ones never developed. Therefore, the uppers served no functional (i.e. chewing) purpose. They had come in okay but were a source of chronic but not serious problems over the years. Besides needing frequent fillings, they caused some minor problems for the molars next to them.

In 2008, I finally caved and got them pulled after getting a referral from my regular dentist. It was actually just as much of a fiscal decision as it was a medical decision because I was on COBRA for only a few more months as I had reduced my weekly worked hours from 20 to 12 in 2007. It cost me only about $10 per tooth instead of $500 per tooth had I paid for it myself.

Because the two wisdom teeth were in okay, the oral surgeon did not need to do anything fancy to pull them out. Being a very nervous patient, it was a minor ordeal but the whole process was very quick, unlike other dental procedures such as large fillings or crowns I had done over the years. I had virtually no pain afterward and I made sure to have them done several weeks apart (and on Fridays so I had the weekend to recover) so I would be able to chew on the opposite side for a few days.

My regular dental checkups since that time have had much less work needed with these two teeth now gone, a good thing now that I have to pay for it all myself.

I don't know your exact situation, but I can tell you if your wisdom teeth are in okay (i.e.not impacted or in sideways or otherwise buried under the gum line) then they will not be tough for a decent oral surgeon to remove.

Dottie said...

Not many dentists will pull wisdom teeth anymore, even if the roots are straight. If you have seen your x-rays and the teeth are in and the roots fairly straight you may want to consider the Mexican dentist instead of an oral surgeon.

Daizy said...

Dave, my dentists have been bugging me for 20 years now. You had fantastic insurance. My insurance will pay 50% I hope. The biggest problem with my wisdom teeth is that they will probably break. One is already broken and they all have fillings making them weak. I hope he doesn't have to dig too much.

Daizy said...

Dottie, I want to stay in the US for this one. I want to be home in my own bed as soon as possible.