Tag Archives: impacted wisdom tooth



After waiting two days for the office manager at my dentist’s office to call me back, I called her first thing yesterday morning. (By “first thing,” I mean before 8:30.) The dental assistant answered the phone. She is an adequate dental assistant, but I don’t think she’s the brightest bulb in the chandelier. First, when I tried to explain who I was and give some information about my situation, she told me she thought I had the wrong number. Then, when I said the office manager was supposed to call me back yesterday and hadn’t, she said that yes, the office manager had called me. I pointed out to her that my phone had never rung, no voice mail had been left, and my phone didn’t show a missed call. Then I just forged in with, “in any case,” and asked if I should call back later when the office manager was in. Oh, she assured me, the office manager was in. (Why she didn’t immediately pass the phone to the office manager, we’ll never know.)

The office manager got on the phone and told me she had received the report from Dr. Endo. She just had to print it she said, then the dentist would look at it and decide if she could remove the tooth. She told me she was printing the report as we spoke, and would call me back as soon as the dentist had read it.

She actually did call me back a few minutes later. The dentist would not do the extraction. The tooth was too close to the impacted wisdom tooth. She was afraid of “messing something up.” However, she did refer me once again to the possible bargain dentist (Dr. Jay) who’d said she couldn’t do a root canal because of my curved roots.

I called Dr. Jay. She said she would do the extraction. I reminded her about my curving roots, but she was not deterred. She said she can do just about any extraction. So I have an appointment with her next week. The extraction will cost $150.

Then I called the mechanic and made an appointment to bring in the van on Wednesday. He said he was going to call me back before the end of the day, but he didn’t. I am going to forgive him because I know he is super busy. I expect I’ll hear from him Monday. He said he should have all the work done in one day, but if something went wrong (such as being sold incorrect parts), it might take two days. I’m hoping the van will be ready for me to pick up on Wednesday, because on Thursday I am supposed to move into my new (temporary) home.

Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for good dental and vehicular news.

Another Day in the Saga of My Mouth


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.)