In the interest of having food and shoes and a roof overhead, I forwent having any sort of medical or dental insurance for a number of years.
I wasn’t worried. I brushed, I flossed (occasionally), I ate okay (well, sort of) and I thought I was taking pretty good care of myself. Upon getting to a point where I was able to afford dental insurance, I signed up, waited happily for my card, and then made an appointment.
, but I took the proclamation of “your teeth are fine” as truth and went along with life. I told myself that as soon as the six month waiting period was over, I would go back to the dentist (a different dentist) and get an actual cleaning.
Which I did in February.
This time they took XRays. This time there was an actual cleaning.
And this time I was told I had a few cavities and one Big Massive Horrible Infection that was ALMOST TO THE BONE! (Last molar on the bottom right side…. You know, where the pain has been….)
I asked what my options were… I mean, having insurance doesn’t mean having an inexhaustible well of money. In fact, by this point I was down to 500 bucks of insurance money to play with. Everything else would be me.
My options? Have A Root Canal: Several trips to the dentist and the specialist (as a non driver and a person without oodles of paid sick time, this is a concern). There would be no actual guarantee of getting all the infection. The cost would be around $2500.00
I asked for another option. Have the tooth extracted. This would entail one visit to the oral surgeon (being put under) and recovery of a few days. The infection would be guaranteed gone. The cost would be around $600 but down the road (in about 5 years I would either need to have another tooth pulled (the one directly behind the space-that-used-to-be-a-tooth) or have a fake tooth put in. That fake tooth could cost up to $3000.
I see myself as a fairly practical person. I also have a hard time asking people for help… especially financial help.
So I chose option 2 and have already began to earmark money for the eventual tooth replacement.
And tomorrow I go in and lose a tooth.
Think happy pain free thoughts for me!