Writeryogini

Writeryogini

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Sad Case of the Suicidal Tooth

When we stopped RVing last January 1st and settled down here in Punta Gorda, Florida, the first thing we did was find dentists. We were always the twice-a-year cleanings plus check-up and x-ray types, and our year on the road was the first in my lifetime that I didn't get in that second check-up.

Toward the end of our RVing, I had noticed some irritation around a lower right molar. So I doubled my dental hygiene efforts and it seemed to get better. But by the time I finally got to see a dentist in February, the irritation was back. They took x-rays and discovered that the tooth, which is under a crown, was committing suicide.

It's a thing called "internal resorption" and it's rather rare. Yay, Me! Of all the ways to be rare, this is among the least desirable! What happens is that something happens to the tooth - a trauma, a crack, whatever, and the tooth begins to die. It then perceives itself to be a threat to the other teeth, so it selflessly says, "I will destroy myself to save the rest!" It's a nice thought, but not actually helpful!

By the time of the x-ray, the tooth was well on its way to succeeding in its suicide attempt. They sent me to an endodontist to see if the tooth could be saved by way of a root canal. It cost $400 to determine, that NO, it couldn't be saved.

So they sent me to an oral surgeon to have it pulled. They also explained my options for after the removal:
  • Do nothing (live with gap on the chewing side of my mouth)
  • Get a bridge
  • Get a dental implant
I knew the last option was the most expensive, but the bridge wouldn't be cheap either, and the implant will be like starting over with a whole new tooth. So, I had the oral surgeon remove the tooth and do a bone graft. Okay, that's another $1000.

The bone graft heals for 3 to 4 months (and it took all of that). It's all good and ready for the next step - implantation of the titanium rod upon which the new crown will sit. That will be in November to the tune of another $1700. (If I wanted to be completely "knocked out" while they do it, it would cost $2500).

But we're still not done yet! After another 3 to 4 months of healing, a crown will go on. That'll be another $1300. So, let's do a little tally: 400 + 1000 + 1700 + 1300 = $4400!!

Poor, sad EXPENSIVE little suicidal tooth ....

8 comments:

  1. I hear you. My partner is in the middle of a similar debacle. Our own dentist started root canal therapy - and failed. The specialist started root canal therapy. Total cost, so far, nearly $1500. And this weekend the tooth broke. Large pieces came away. Sigh. And the next steps are likely to be expensive too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's crazy how much it costs! And in the U.S. medical insurance doesn't cover - you have to buy dental insurance, but often that doesn't cover either or is limited, and these are the AFTER insurance prices! Sigh is right.

      Delete
  2. Hi Melissa .. I guess it's better to have found after you landed from your RV travels .. perhaps?! Hope it heals and all will be well - teeth can be a challenge .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary - yes, I honestly don't know what I would have done if this had come to a head while we were still on the road. So, at least I have a dentist and good dental care here.

      Delete
  3. Hi, Melissa. So sorry about everything you are having to go through to take care of your tooth. I have a tooth that broke off at the gum line a few years ago. I need to get it removed, but as long as it's not giving me problems I've been putting off doing anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Suzanne - if it's not a problem, leave it alone!

      Delete
  4. Dear Melissa, besides saying, "I'm so sorry this happened" I also want to express my thoughts: "I HOPE THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN TO ME!" No suicide missions! Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laughing! You're reaction is very appropriate!

      Delete

Talk to me!