Good morning. I’m not talking too well this morning. I went to the dentist yesterday.
OK….so maybe deep down I may be a masochist. I am making appointments right and left to “fix” everything all at one time. Why? Only GOD knows. I am in pain…and I am the one who is usually quite stoic. I take things as they come. However, I have achieved a position that has almost brought me to my knees.
Several years ago I lost a tooth to an abscess so a “permanent” bridge was made. It’s lasted several years, but not the lifetime I had hoped. I went to the dentist in April and with the usual yearly xrays it was discovered that the first tooth of the bridge had a cavity under the crown. Now I was naive enough to think that once a tooth was crowned, there would be no more decay.
I was wrong!
I was given two options, a partial denture or two implants.
They would remove the bridge, pull the decayed tooth, and make a partial plate with two teeth. They were willing to do this but said the back tooth may not stand up to the pressure of being the anchor due to bone loss surrounding the tooth. They didn’t mention any partial hidden clasps like in this picture. This was not their first recommendation.
I remembered my dad’s partial. He used to complain about his gums being sore underneath. I hesitated about this option.
The next option was to pull the decayed tooth and put in two implants.
The “insurance” I have is not insurance but a dental discount HMO type. The company pays very little for implants at this time. The periodontist was charging $2,000 per tooth for the metal screws. Then on top of that, there was more than that (a LOT more) for the regular dentist to prepare my mouth, do the extraction, and make the crowns for the implants. Total cost, WITH the amount taken off by my dental discount, was over $7,000!
After deliberating my options, I decided to get a third opinion. My friend suggested I see her dentist. She has been going to him for many years and trusts him explicitly. I made an appointment. He doesn’t accept the dental discount program I had. He only takes PPOs. Thank goodness for the internet. I found a PPO he did accept. The savings I will gain offsets the cost of having both a PPO and an HMO discount program for the next several months. I bought into the program.
His idea was to do a root canal on the first tooth, cut out the bridge tooth, and get one dental implant in its place. Well, with only one implant that was a savings of $3,000 right there.
I had another root canal several years ago. I don’t remember any special discomfort. I was not expecting any yesterday. Unfortunately, he ran into an unexpected abscess. The procedure took a lot longer than he planned as a result. He kept asking me if I were feeling any pain. I was fine. I can say I was not too fond of the noise of the file grinding away at my tooth’s root.
I couldn’t say that thate was no pain after the anesthetic began to wear off. I hate to take hydrocordone. I had a surgical procedure last January and out of twenty tablets prescribed at that time, I still had ten left. I had two of those and four Tylenol after I returned home from my appointment before I went to bed. The pain was only numbed. I don’t know what to expect for today. Visits to the dentist and oral surgeon will continue for the next several months.
Masochistic part number 2. My chiropractor moved to another part of the state and I had to find a new one. I’ve had lower back curvature problems probably since birth that causes an imbalance because of a cockeyed center of gravity. It explains my lovely performances in sports growing up. No doctor has ever taken the x-ray view that revealed it before. Most generally my left shoulder is a little lower than my right. My pelvis tips causing one leg to be longer than the other. My aunt would always tell me “Annie! Look how you’re standing. Stand up straight.” I had no idea what she was talking about. I thought I WAS standing up straight.
With my other chiropractor I would go in several times a year for an adjustment and all would be well. Now I had to find a new one.
The one I found takes an entirely different approach. She takes her clients through a twenty visit program to realign their entire spinal column. In 2004 I was in an automobile accident that caused a sideways “whiplash” to my neck. I feel no pain any more, so I didn’t pay much attention to it. I had no idea my neck muscles were as stiff as they were. If it doesn’t hurt, it’s out of mind.
So now I have a chiropractor three times a week working on realigning my neck and lower back with adjustments, the tens unit attached to my back for ten minutes, and resistance exercises. She puts a headband around my head that is connected to a resistance rubber cord attached to the wall. I have to stand there and stick my chin forward while keeping my shoulders back and straight. They call it “the chicken”. Ever watch a chicken walk? Yep, that’s what I do. Except only my head moves…not my feet.
Then comes the manipulations. She is more vigorous than I am accustomed to although she does not hurt. She can’t adjust my neck because of the stiff muscles. She has to use a device which she cocks and presses against each vertebra. Kind of reminds me of a jack hammer. Doesn’t hurt. This will continue three appointments a week through the middle of October. I’m already 5’7″ which is relatively tall for women. The chiropractor is decompressing my spine and correcting the curvature. I’m wondering if I will come out of this a couple inches taller!
Why do I consider these two things (dentist and chiropractor) as masochistic of me? Well, the two of them together really aren’t too much to handle. However……later today I have to make an appointment with the podiatrist to treat my ingrown toenail. My pain is definitely in my mouth, my neck, my back, my toe, and my PURSE! I’m experiencing a “pocketectomy”!
“Growing old is NOT for sissies!” I believe it! Namaste. Attic Annie