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
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 ....