Below is a Blog I wrote for another site I had back in 2008. It seemed quite the appropriate primer for my next blog which will charge through the dental hell I went through last week and will be forging ahead with over the coming months.
I went to see my dentist today and said a little prayer that my special visit would be limited to a filling. The worst case scenario, or so I thought, was going to be a $1,300 crown, paid for from my Health Savings Account.
Well the good news is I didn’t have to buy a crown…..today. The not so good news was that because of how my tooth was cracked it had to be removed. Here’s the thing; but for the deep and wide crack in my tooth, everything else looked beautiful. The tooth, a molar, had never been filled. The dentist kept calling it a virgin tooth. The roots were stronger than a taproot and pulling it was a 2+ hour nightmare. I honestly thought the drill was going to go through my jaw and out the bottom of my mouth. The dentist was practically standing on my chest, while twisting, pulling, chiseling, and otherwise destroying the inside of my mouth. The thought racing through my brain were somewhere between the dental scenes from movies, Marathon Man and Little Shop of Horrors.
When it was all over with I had a giant hole, three stitches, a mouth full of xylocaine, and the profile of Mr. Potatohead. After 40+ years of wondering why pretty much everyone I know is dental weenie, I now have a far greater appreciation of their position.
If the pain and drugs weren’t enough to knock me out, I nearly passed out when I found out what an implant was going to run me. $4,000-$5,000 (but I haven’t done any shopping yet to see how to get the price down). The only solace in this whole thing is that it is going to take 4-6 months for my jaw to recover enough to go back for more fun. This is no laughing matter, however, the dental implant appears to be a qualifying medical expense based on my interpretation of the IRS manual (http://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/index.html).
Hardly a silver lining to an otherwise dark cloud. More like a burlap lining…painful, but better than nothing. Oh yes, one more thing. I’m going to apologize to my kids for the crack I made about swim meets being more painful than dental work. That is just not true.