Friday, October 20, 2017

Dental Woes on Top of My Dental Woes

This is pretty lame and sort of emblematic of the problems with the healthcare system, but it turns out my dental problems were not resolvable this past week and I have to go in for yet another procedure. Bust first, a little background. Now I'm not proud of this but several years back I went to the dentist for the first time in about 15 years, I kid you not. Throughout college and afterward I didn't go a dentist, and I had good dental insurance when I lived in NYC. It had just been so long and I have to confess that I was a little scared to actually see a dentist because of the scathing rebuke that awaited me. So I waited.

15 years later I finally went to see one up her in New England, and if you can believe it, I didn't have any cavities. The dentist, whom I really liked, jokingly said, “See you in another 15 years.” Boy was I stoked, and I felt like I was given a second chance by the dental gods. My dentist, however, ended up retiring the next year, so I went to his replacement, and it turns out the happy story wasn't so happy after all. There were a couple of cavities lurking in the back molars, which he filled, and that's when the problems started.

I have to take responsibility for my actions, or lack thereof, in having cavities, but before I had an intervention I was problem free. Now I had two filings in my back molars, both of which cracked, albeit not at the same time. The first one cracked a couple of years ago, chronicled in excruciating detail in this blog (I think), and just recently the second one cracked. This time around the pain was bad, but nothing like last time. My dentist thought they might be able to salvage the tooth so he sent me to an endodontist for a root canal. As it turns out, the tooth was beyond repair, so now they're sending me to an oral surgeon.

My point is, why can't my dentist just pull the thing out? That's what I (sort of) wanted in the first place, mainly because the thought of a root canal made me miserable. This, I learned, was unfounded because the procedure was actually painless. Now, however, I have to wait a few weeks to see the oral surgeon for a consult, after which he will then remove the tooth. My question is, why all this specialization? I don't think endodontists even existed when I was growing up, and you only went to oral surgeons to have wisdom teeth removed.

It wouldn't be so bad except that my tooth kind of hurts, and eating on that side is a bit of a challenge. While I'm not thrilled about losing yet another molar, since it needs to be done, why no just do it? So much time gets wasted on filling in paperwork and consultations.

Oh well, my whining and complaining isn't going to accomplish anything, which in my opinion is all the more reason to keep whining and complaining.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Harvey Lester for the pic.

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