Thursday, December 2, 2010


Oh my teeth.

Had some tooth drama back in October. Jaw bone infection, abscess, dentist-endodontists-periodontologists, antibiotics, appointments, oral surgeons, exhaustive dental benefit review, a little pleading, a lot of frustrated disappointment and anxiety on my part.

In the end, I have to have a lot of work done. A lot. Like the cost of a really nice used car in my mouth. Insurance companies and employers - are not big fans of modern dentistry FYI. Implants are excluded as a paid benefit. Dentures, bridges, Arkansas-mountain-man-teeth-gaps in the front of one's face hole - all paid for. But modern medicine designed to save more natural teeth in the long run; not so much.

I need to have 2 implants, all 4 wisdom teeth removed, a few cavities filled, and my old root canal checked. Along with a few other odds and ends.

For 2010, since my annual maximum benefit is $1500, I decided I could afford to have my wisdom teeth pulled. I've dodged this bullet since I was 17. You know, let this be a lesson to fellow procrastinators: I should have done at 17, when my Dad would have been financially responsible. Or I should have gotten them pulled 15 years ago when I had a spouse contributing to the dental benefit and household expenses. Glad it wasn't done by that freak in 2007, that's for sure. (I just re-read that blog. That hurt!) No. I had to wait until now, more fool I.

The pullin' was scheduled for the day before Thanksgiving. Universally bemoaned, "Awwwww, you'll miss Thanksgiving!" I thought it was brilliant. Four days off from work to heal without taking any sick time - excellent! I was told absolutely no food or liquid 6 hours prior to the surgery. So 7.5 hours before, I took my regular meds, and had a cup of coffee - didn't want to add a caffeine headache on top of tooth pain, now did I? Sooo, clever. I made some bean soup, bought potatoes for mashing. How bad could it be?

Bad. Well, now, not bad as these things go I guess. Could have been worse. My sinus wall could have opened up. I could have been a bleeder. I could have died under the anesthesia (and I needed to go to confession - THAT was stupid!). So, not that bad. Mr. Mississippi Dental Assistant assured me I'd be plenty numb for 6 hours after the surgery. WRONG SIR! My first conscious sensation was pain in the lower right quadrant....uuuhhnnnn then barely a breath later, pain all over my mouth. UUUHHNNNN, it huuuts...dat ogahy?

To be fair, the 2007 Root Canal Debacle left me with more blood and pulp and spit and gore on my face (see above link) than the Mouth Rape of 2010. Hurt plenty, don't get me wrong. Lovely cousins drove me to and from, got me home, settled me in on my couch, while daughter made me instant mashed potatoes and tea. I had to get food on my stomach before I could take the hydrocodone. BTW? Hydrocodone is overrated. 600 mg of ibuprofen did more for me than the narcotics as far as the pain was concerned. Hydrocodone made me crabby and constipated. I'll be looking into pain killing alternatives for the Great Mouth/Wallet Rape 2011.

Still healing. I am rinsing and spitting three times a day, I am now using a syringe to clean food out of the gummy holes twice daily, I brush frequently and in good lock-the-barn-door-now-that-the-cows-are-on-Aunt-Dorothy's-lawn fashion, I floss. All the time. Floss floss floss floss floss!

I'm trying to make friends with this new mouth by sending my tongue out to familiarize itself with all those holes. Holes don't like that. Holes swell up when I do that. Holes say, "No. Leave us alone. We are not ready for company yet. We will call you."

I hope they call soon.


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