Monday, May 5, 2008

I'm a poor hillbilly...

... or at least I feel like one. 

Sixteen months ago I had major dental work done. I had all my wisdom teeth removed, a missing filling replaced and "while I've got you all numb, let's replace that old silver filling". So I have all this done, and I'm miserable. But I have holes in my mouth and two fancy white fillings.

The surgery was covered by insurance but I still had a pretty large bill. My missing filling was replaced with a white one - and because it isn't silver, it wasn't covered by insurance. Of course, I didn't know that. And of course, my dentist only uses the white fillings. I swear it is a scam.

As for the silver filling I already had, it just so happened to be right next to the tooth that was missing a filling. So why not refill it? Because it was just fine as it was? Oh no – because my dentist likes white fillings and $, that's why. Needless to say, insurance didn't cover that bill either. Scam-City.

A month goes by with me mending those holes in the back of my head. And then I get an even worse toothache. Guess where? In the tooth that was just fine, but now is sporting a new, white filling. Four Motrins at a time were a joke. The pain was indescribable.

The dentist is closed over a long weekend with this pain (my luck) and I couldn't stand it anymore. Thoughts crossed my mind like I was Tom Hanks in "Castaway" and was looking for an ice skate to take me out of my misery.

Now I'm finally in the dentist's chair describing this huge bubble next to my nice new white filling. I've never had this much pain as when he took the hook of death and POKED it. It took everything out of me not to punch him or pass out. The term abcess was now in my dictionary. I get a prescription of antibiotics and pain killers and get sent home.

A root canal is how an abcess is fixed, apparently. Nice. I'm barely 40 and I need a root canal. Those are for old people – not 40-somethings. How embarrassing. The dentist tells me that the filing he took out a month ago, the one that was perfectly fine, the one that has the new white filling that I had to pay 100% out of pocket, is now going to be ground down to a stump and covered with a crown.

They give me quote on how much this will cost me out of pocket. I don't freak because I'm numb. Of course, they give me the cost of the root canal ONLY... and don't include the cost of the crown. This doubled the cost. There goes my plans of a cruise to South America.

So now, I'm the proud owner of a crown... one that pops off when I chewed a piece of gum. The same tooth, that was just fine, that had a new filling that I had to pay 100% for, the one with a new crown. Oh, and my dentist denies any blame for messing with a perfectly fine silver filing. He also denied me reimbursement for the white filling that only lasted 1 month, too.

My dentist re-glues/cements my crown after my first piece of gum after all this mouth work. He says crowns shouldn't pop off like that, and if it does again, I'll get a new crown.

So guess what happened this weekend while eating a piece of CHEESE? Oh, and it was an hour before we had a cocktail party... come on – guess! Yup, my crown popped off. Ergh.

I called the dentist today to have it reglued. I say that he told me he'd want to GIVE me a new one... and he does. The thing is that I can't get in for 8 more days. So now I have a hole in the back of my mouth again. And I can't chew on that side, too. I feel like a total hillbilly with this missing "toof". I know you can't see it, but I know it is missing. The new crown better be 100% out of HIS pocket this time. 

1 comment:

Mombi said...

I had a root canal at 23, so don't feel bad--I broke a tooth clear to the root! It makes me feel like a hillbilly, too!