Back To The Dentist

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RSteve

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If I didn't have excellent dental insurance, I probably would have three teeth. Yesterday, at supper, I was chewing a french fry and hit something hard. A small piece of stone had apparently grown in the potato. I either broke a crown off its setting or broke the base of a tooth. It didn't fall out, but is very loose and hurts, but not throbbing like a typical toothache. In the last few years, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Dental and I have spent thousands of dollars at the dental clinic where I'm a patient. I phoned the clinic promptly at 8:00 am, when it opens, and they'll "squeeze me in" at 11:00. I wonder if I'd received that kind of response if I weren't already such a cash cow.
 

ftrplt

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All my doctors and my pharmacist consider me a "cashcow!!" Regrets, gotta' go pick up a script!!! FTRPLT
 

RSteve

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Back from the dentist, a lovely young woman. After reading the X-rays, she said, "I'm really sorry to tell you the bad news. The crown is in perfect condition. There was a complete root canal. The remaining portion of the tooth, to which the crown is attached, split, and it's so rare, I've never seen this before. The crown will have to be removed and the remaining portion of the tooth extracted. The only permanent solution is an implant."
On Tuesday, I see an oral surgeon, who will remove the crown and the remaining root of the tooth. Then it'll be months of healing until a new tooth can be inserted. Fortunately, unless I grin really wide, the space won't be visible.
Strangely, it brought to mind a friend, who had several implants done simultaneously, spending upwards of $50K.
A few weeks after the whole process was completed, he died. He was morbidly obese and had lost both his son and daughter during the year. I believe the grief of loss, not the dental work was instrumental in his death.

I just got a phone call from the oral surgeon's office. It was not unexpected. "Just in case you are a smoker, you should stop smoking immediately and following the surgery, you must refrain from smoking until you are completely healed, and for several weeks after the implant has been installed. This process generally takes from four to six months. Everything precaution must be taken to avoid infection."
 
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RSteve

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Update: On Friday, somewhat late; near 6:00 pm, I received another phone call from the oral surgeon's nurse.

"The doctor/dentist (he's both an MD and DDS) has examined your x-rays and evaluated your situation, per your age. This will take considerable time to heal. Four to six months was an unrealistic forecast. Expect the process to take about one year from extraction to placement of the implant"

Beside removing the crown and remaining portion of the tooth tomorrow (Tuesday), he'll begin the process for a bone graft. I'm ready to get started. The area around the broken root is swelling and painful. I expected to be given anesthesia, but the nurse said the extraction will be done under a heavy dose of lidocaine.
 

RSteve

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YIKES! :eek: No Cheers, RR
Waiting for my older daughter to pick me up and take to the extractor. Even though there's no anesthesia, I was apprehensive about driving myself. I'm pretty sure I'll feel a bit light headed after the procedure.
 

D.L.Ruth

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Oh man, I hope it goes smoothly. Dental work is the worst
 

RSteve

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Appointment was scheduled to take 90 minutes with removal of the crown and roots of the tooth, plus a bone graft and stitching up the wound. The oral surgeon worked fast, so the procedure took about one hour. I'm home, taking an antibiotic and OTC pain meds. Opiates were prescribed, but I won't take them. Discomfort is bearable, but I'm feeling exhausted.
 

ftrplt

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I feel your pain!!! Get to feel'in better soon!! FTRPLT
 

RSteve

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The initial bone graft didn't take, so I was back at the oral surgeon today. This time the incision was larger, more blood, and significantly more post-op soreness. I had to laugh a bit as the surgeon sewed up the incision. Instead of surgeon's lock knots that he previously used, he used butcher's knots.
 
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