For something so small, teeth can really hurt! Three weeks ago, I awakened with a toothache. I called the dentist’s office the next morning and got an appointment for the next day. No problem, as it was Orijel helped make the day liveable, although I ceased to be the rapscallion my husband loves.
So, I went to the dentist three weeks ago on Tuesday. They advised me that I needed a root canal and crown, but I needed medical clearance from my cardiologist. The procedure was planned for that Thursday, but my cardiologist insisted I visit him on Friday, before he would sign the papers. After the visit, he cleared me for the procedure, and I waited for the call from the dentist to have the tooth fixed, but it never came.
In desperation, I called a second dental office and went through xrays and exams again, and after paying $125, I saw the endodontist in their office. After a careful and painful exam, he decided that I didn’t need a root canal, and advised the dentist that I had a hole in the old filling, so just replace it. But, the dentist disagreed with the endodontist and simply placed me on painkillers and antibiotics. They then gave me an appointment for two weeks later.
By now, I am living on painkillers and I am seeking a third opinion, hopefully more rapid service than the other two dentists. So after more painful exams and xrays, the third in a week, I was told that the xrays didn’t show anything wrong, but the level of pain indicated a root canal was best.
The problem then became the fact that I am on Medicare, and I have very little dental coverage. What I have requires I pay first and Medicare reimburses me. Thankfully, all of the xrays and exams were free, as I was a new customer to these dentists. But, a root canal and crown cost nearlyy $2000, if I bought their dental insurance! Seeing my dismay, the young woman advised me to consider having the tooth extracted, an ingenious move, to my way of thinking, because an extraction was only $313.
So, the tooth was pulled the day before Thanksgiving! Two days later, I developed a dry socket, but the office was closed for four days, so I had to wait five days just to call them. I was doubling up on pain medicine by the time they could work me in. Today makes two weeks since the procedure, and I am still in pain, because it is taking so much longer for the place to heal. I have an ulcer there now, and I am back on soft foods. The dentist said that as a diabetic, I heal slower, so I will have to just endure on painkillers and Orijel until this nightmare ends.
Still, I am grateful that I am healing finally. I am thankful, too, for the patience of this last dentist and her office staff. I never heard back from the first dentist, so it’s good that I wasn’t dependent on them alone. I would have called them back by now, of course, but whatever happened to serving your customers? I think that because I lacked dental insurance, they just didn’t want to serve me, and that speaks sadly of the state of our health care system.
But, at least I felt like writing a blog today, and that is a step back to normalcy. I have missed my keyboard!