Post # 260
Have you ever been to the dentist? I just return from my semi-annual visit. I am noticing a change in modern dentistry. Years ago, when, my employer first obtained dental coverage, my dentist couldn’t wait to see me. I seemed to have a cavity equaling each of the years I failed to visit a dentist plus a tooth needing crowning.
Well I’ve moved a couple of times which has resulted in a couple of different dentists. As I nestle into the chair, I can gauge the size of my bill by the answer to one question I always ask. “Have you made any major purchases lately? New car or summer cabin?”
I used to drink lots of coffee and smoked. My visits to the dentist were a cleaning, occasional x-ray, and once in a while a crown. I’ve quit smoking. Now dental visits turned into a chastising. First it was you need to brush at least twice a day, and after every meal, sounded to m to be approaching five brushings a day! Then it was,” you need to brush twice a day, after every meal and floss twice a day”! I still get all that mumbo jumbo plus, “have you ever considered a water pick? My comment; “If I do all this, then I don’t need you.”
This last visit, I was put under another x-ray. I don’t really know what kind of x-ray it was supposed to be, except more expensive and linked to new and improved software. Supposedly this was a better, deeper, more thorough x-ray. I guess it was more thorough, because they found a pocket of something at end of root that caused them worry.
Now let me back up and talk about this tooth.
Twenty years ago. I know, it seems like a long time, but twenty years ago, I was having a tooth ache. I rushed to my dentist, who promptly identified my need for a root canal. I was sent immediately to a premier endodontic-dentist for a late afternoon fix-it visit in Indianapolis. He banded the tooth and drilled out both roots. I later had to return to my dentist to take off the band, grind the tooth and receive a crown. Fourteen days later, the work is all done, but my tooth still hurt. Having confirmed by the pain in my jaw that a return visit was a waste of time, I endure the on again off again agony. One summer I sucked aspirin every day, probably the reason they say I have a fatty liver today. While drinking some coffee at supper (dinner for all you non-Midwesterners), I heard this tree crack. It actually turned out to be the tooth, next to the infamous root canaled tooth. It was this tooth that cracked that had been the source of three years of pain.
So, getting back to the current situation, my current dentist discovered a pocket of something at the end of the root canaled tooth, of a root that doesn’t exist. So, I am again sent to an endodontic-dentist. Upon my arrival, I inquired about their receipt of my new, clearly distinct x-ray. I was informed they had received it; I was promptly stuck in a chair and x-rayed again! This x-ray didn’t seem as clear to me as the previous one. Says the endodontic-dentist, “I’m not sure, I’d like to send to an oral surgeon, who is the only person in town that can do a three-dimensional x-ray. They will give us more definitive results”. So, off I went for an afternoon x-ray. That’s been three x-rays in 21 days. It’s been six days since the last one, and no one called yet with the results.
I guess I forgot my own guide line. Now at my age, I no longer have dental insurance, everything is cash. I forgot my own rule. I should have asked if any these dentists had new equipment they needed to pay off. I’m guessing, that once they decide what their wife is getting for Christmas, I’ll get the “call”!