Posts Tagged ‘dentist’

On Wednesday, August 16, I had a scheduled appointment with my dentist first thing in the morning to fix a chipped tooth. But a couple nights earlier, I started to experience severe pain elsewhere, in tooth 19, for those of you keeping score.

So my dentist called an audible and had X-rays done. He saw nothing. I mean, he saw the tooth, but he couldn’t see anything wrong. So his office set me up to see an endodontist at 2:40 p.m. to fix it.

At 12:20 p.m., I got a call from the orthodontist’s office office asking if I could come in earlier, say 1:10. And I could have caught a 12:25 bus and gotten there. But I said “no” because I wanted to finish the reference question I started, and instead kept the original appointment.

Unfortunately, they were running late. While there was time to take the pictures of my tooth, with much more detail – think an MRI, though that’s technically incorrect – there wasn’t time to do the necessary root canal. And the next opening wasn’t until August 31.

So I was pretty uncomfortable, living on antibiotics and extra-strength pain relievers, which provided only a modicum of actual relief. I muddled through work and a five-day vacation in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.

What I discovered is that some food was OK – the obvious soft foods such as apple sauce and eggs. Cheese and sliced tomatoes were OK, if I ate them on the other side of my mouth. But some foods, such as broccoli and lettuce and raisin bran had the annoying habit of drifting to the wrong side of the mouth. MISERY!

Finally, the day of the procedure came. It’s not nearly as painful as it apparently was a generation ago. And while I was tired afterwards, and the mouth was sore from the manipulation, pain from the infection went away almost instantly. I still need to go back to my primary dentist to get the tooth capped.

I’ll admit I now regret my customer service orientation at work that, as it turned out, cost me two weeks of unnecessary pain.

The big story this summer is that the wife had surgery on the three middle toes on July 5. She had hammer toes. She didn’t have to do it now, but eventually, without being corrected, it might impact her mobility as she gets older.

The surgery was very successful. Her response, in terms of limited swelling, et al, was very good, her doctor told her at every followup visit.

One of the things we have both discovered, with my hernia surgery a couple years ago and her recent surgery, is that the cycle of pain is quite fascinating. Right after the surgery, when you get home, you feel really great. The anesthetic has not yet worn off.

Then the pain starts to creep in, and you better start taking that opiod right way, because if you decide to tough it out, it will take longer to get relief. But the prescription lasts only a couple days. It’s less than what you want, and you start taking the over-the-counter stuff, and for longer that you think, hopefully without ruining your liver.

You start to feel better and you inevitably overdo. The Wife is even worse in this regard than I. When she walked too much, and didn’t put her foot up, she is surprised how much it still hurts three or four weeks on.

Meanwhile, I chipped a tooth, for which I’m getting a filling on August 13. More significantly, both in terms of time, pain, and money, I’m getting a crown on September 13.

The Daughter noticed a mark in the whites of my right eye at the end of the month. It was a vertical red line that looks as though someone had drawn it with a Sharpie. The very next day, I went to my ophthalmologist, who said it was a broken blood vessel, and that it would resolve itself. It looked much worse than it felt.

As mentioned, I had a root canal a couple weeks ago, and the pain was far less than the last one I had some 15 years ago. But then I had to have some work done on another tooth, and the mouth discomfort after that one was mighty steady; not a sharp pain, but a constant ache, for which I was surviving on certain medicines.

And it was not great timing. Last weekend, the daughter didn’t have soccer, but the Wife and I did have a wedding to go to, a co-worker of hers who I didn’t know to a guy I knew just as well. The service was at 2 pm in Niskayuna, in neighboring Schenectady County, and it was lovely. The reception wasn’t until 5 pm, in Altamont, in Albany County, a 30-minute drive, so we did what we needed to do Read the rest of this entry »

For about four days, it started hurting when I would eat while using tooth 19. So this past Wednesday morning, I finally called my dentist’s office. Amazingly, I got an appointment that day at 2 p.m. (if not that day, then it would not have until tomoorow). From my symptoms , he believes I need a root canal. The tooth had been capped many years ago, not by him, and it’s a good chance that it has an infection, though nothing ominous is on the X-ray.

He referred me to an endodontist who has done work on his teeth, who can take me in a week. The bad news is that the specialist doesn’t take my insurance, which means that I’ll have an outlay of $1000 to $1500. The semi-good news is that my insurance company will reimburse me about 50% after the fact. Read the rest of this entry »

There is a great bit by Bill Cosby on the Why Is There Air? album from the mid-1960s called The Toothache. It’s only about 4 minutes long, but it is full of great wisdom. Without having heard it for possibly decades, I remember some great lines such as:
“Here’s the difference between novocaine and pain. Novocaine doesn’t deaden pain. It postpones it. It allows all its pain buddies to get together and say, ‘We’re going to hit that hole at five o’clock.'”
But the best line, and it’s the delivery, not the words:
“And the pain…was tremendous…”

Well, I went to the dentist on Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »

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