Are you tired of reading about my teeth? If you are, close the window now, because this post is about my mouth.
When we last saw our hero (that’s me), I had called the possible bargain dentist and was told to drop by the office with the x-ray. So I made the drive out there. When I walked into the office, I was overtaken by the smell of the dentist office of my childhood. I don’t know what particular aromas came together to create that particular smell, but my nose told me I was in the waiting room of the dentist my family visited when I was in elementary school. I expected to see Highlights magazine and 70s era furniture, but upon looking around, I found myself back in the present.
No one was at the front desk. I signed in and waited no more than two minutes before an East Indian woman with “Dr.” stitched on the top of her scrubs came out of the back. I explained I had called yesterday and she remembered me. I produced the x-ray, and as soon as she looked at it, she said, “Oh no!” (Hearing a dentist exclaim “Oh no!” never makes me feel warm and fuzzy and safe and happy.) She explained that the tooth’s roots are curved. She showed me on the x-ray. She was right, the roots are definitely curved. The surrounding teeth have straight up and down roots, but tooth #31, the Princess Tooth, has roots curving toward the impacted wisdom tooth next to it. The doctor said if she tried to do a root canal on it, an instrument could break off in there! That sounds totally horrible!
The possible bargain doctor said I need to see a specialist.
I called the endodontist’s office and explained my whole situation to the nice woman who answered the phone. She asked me if I knew what tooth needed the root canal. I told her it was #31. She said the cost for a root canal on tooth #31 was $1,195. Her tone was so calm and matter-or-fact. $1,195. Wait. Let me spell that out. One Thousand One Hundred Ninety-five Dollars.
That was wildly more than I had even imagined. I was thinking it might be $600, $800 tops.
I asked the woman what kind of time frame I had to work with, how long I could wait until I had to have this work done. The good news is that she said this is not an emergency situation. She said if I wait years to take care of this, yes, I could lose the tooth. But I don’t have to have the root canal this week or this month. She warned me that the pain could flair up at any time, but said if I’m not having pain right now, I can wait. (The other good news is that I’m not in any pain right now.)
The Lady of the House recommended that I call the dental school and find out what they charge for a root canal. I called, and I’m waiting for them get back to me. The saga is not over yet.
(In light of all this dental activity in my life, I was amused to find out that March 6 is Dentist’s Day, according to http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/March/dentistsday.htm.)