Saturday, August 15, 2009

When in Doubt, Yank 'Em Out!

Is there anything more painful than a toothache? Okay, maybe a gunshot wound, but, thankfully, having never experienced being shot I can’t really make a valid comparison. Childbirth? Being of the wrong gender, I am legally not allowed to comment. How about having an angry ex-(anyone) rearing back and kicking you squarely in the lower region naughty parts? Having HAD experience with that, I can honestly say that, while having your family jewels rearranged is quite painful, a prolonged toothache is worse. How much worse? Bad enough to pay someone (a large chunk of cash) to knock you out under anesthesia and then take a sharp carving implement and have at the insides of your mouth. Turning you into something that resembles this:

WHEN IN DOUBT, YANK ‘EM OUT!



It all started with a little ache in the lower left side of my mouth. Being an avid tooth-brusher and compulsive flosser, as well as a regular dental checkup kind of guy, I figured the pain would go away, like one hopes an annoying neighbor will. Sadly, that is the wrong strategy to use for both toothaches and neighbors, so I paid a visit to my dentist. He probed and poked, x-rayed and consulted until he reached suitable recompense, then announced that I had a fractured tooth and that I should…

“Yes, yes?” I said, nodding hopefully, knowing that relief was just a few magical dental moves away.

“Wait,” my (not usually sadistic) dentist said.

“Huh?” said I.

“It’s fractured. Can’t fill it, can’t extract it, so just wait until…”

“Yes? Until…?”

“Until it either fractures some more or you need a root canal.”

After one more “huh?” and a few “what the…?'s”, my dentist smiled, nodded, and left me with drool on my chin and a still sensitive tooth in need of…what?

Patience.

So I waited, continued to eat my almonds and enjoy my dietary life as usual, while favoring that fractured side of my mouth. This went on for months and months, until…

AAARRRGGGOOOOOOOOCCCHHHHH!

The fracture fractured some more, creating enough pain to motivate me to make another visit to my dentist, who, after more adequate probing and x-raying to satisfy his curiosity and my deductible, announced:

“Looks like you may need a root canal.”

Through a mouthful of fingers, cotton, and that annoying little sucking machine, I said, “Warrgllehuhphmmm?”

My dentist smiled, nodded, added up my bill and decided to take one more x-ray, then shuffled me off to another practitioner of dental maneuvers: an endodontist, who specialized, I was told, in root canals, more probing, vague announcements, and, of course, additional x-ray taking. The biggest difference I noticed was the endodontist charges more and it takes longer to get an appointment. But if you tell them that you are in extreme pain, they will smile, recheck their appointment book, then tell you that whining won’t make the pain go away so take some Advil and practice…

Patience.

And that’s what I did, finally getting the pleasure of having a higher paid sadist probe my fractured tooth, while feeling the stirring of another tooth announce its painful presence on the other side of my mouth. So I said:

“What the heck, doc, it’s only money, right? Take a look at that other guy while you’re at it.”

My endodontist nodded, grunted, probed, ordered and received additional x-rays, probed some more then pondered and professed:

“You need two root canals. How much money do you have?”


My mouth stuffed with the expensive hands of a specialist, cotton, a dental assistant, and that annoying little sucky thing that sometimes gets stuck in the back of your throat, making you want to vomit and choke at the same time, I said, “Whadrrrgfhrrfertwwwooo?”

My sadistic little endodontist nodded, smiled, and left the room to order more x-rays. Leaving me to, you guessed it, practice…

Patience.

Finally the day arrived when I had my root canal exploratory exam that would let me know if I could save the fractured tooth, have the root canal, then be able to have a crown installed. The crown, of course, would be done by yet another dental practitioner and cost several arms, a leg, and the promise of donating various organs to science and x-ray development costs.

His hands deep inside my mouth, which was benumbed by enough Novocain to curtail the charge of a rabid rhinoceros, my endodontist announced:

“Tsk, tsk, bad news. Fracture is too deep, no root canal, have to have it extracted. I must leave now because you are no longer a viable money stream, but before you go let’s take a few more x-rays just to be sure.”

With that he left, leaving me with a numb face, two still very throbbing teeth, and an appointment with another dental professional.

While all this was going on, over the course of several months, I favored one side of my mouth over the other, effectively adding additional stress to that side, effectively causing the tooth that wasn’t yet fractured to SPLIT IN HALF!! This caused me enormous pain, and more trips to dental professionals, along with, you guessed it:

MORE X-RAYS!!

Finally leading me to this past Friday, where, after all three geniuses of the dental community, otherwise known as the Mike Foster Dental Retirement Fund Group, decided it was best that I had both fractured and root-befouled teeth extracted.

I, of course, had to find yet another dental practitioner, who, of course, took several more x-rays, and then, naturally, checked the balance of my dental coverage to make sure he charged enough, and then, thankfully, mercifully, at long last:

REMOVED MY TWO THROBBING TEETH!


Making my pain not necessarily go away, but at least be replaced by another pain, a healing, slightly bloody, cheek-puffing pain that while still nowhere near where I want to be pain-wise, at least was better than what I had been feeling for the past half-year.

The good news is I am feeling better every day, those two annoying teeth are gone (along with several painful extractions from my wallet and checking accounts), and I am well on my way to the road to recovery.

Hmmm, maybe just one more x-ray?


Until next time…

peace,

Mike

38 comments:

Anna said...

Been there, haven't been able to complete that! Costs kept me from having the half-broken tooth removed while on the other side a root canal was done, but cannot afford the crown or the implant to replace it! Makes almond eating a challenge! :) Hope all goes better for you! And while your at it...another x-ray?

PaulsHealthBlog.com said...

Oh boy.

How did you fracture your tooth? Do you know?

At one time, my mother was a dental hygienist, so like you, I have always been diligent about brushing my teeth and flossing every day.

Yet a few weeks ago, I had to get a filling that had come loose replaced.

Fortunately, they only took one X-ray, it was done in one appointment, and I only had to pay $56 out of pocket, since we have dental insurance.

Glad to hear you are doing much better now.

Fin said...

Was here again :P

Mike Foster said...

anna: yes, i have not been able to eat my favorites, almonds, or anything else crunchy...

paul: the weird thing is i can't remember one thing in particular that caused the fracture, except old age...

fin: peace...


peace,

mike

LK said...

Ouch!!!

Daisy said...

Oh my Cod! I cannot even look at your teeth. I hate teeth! They cause nothing but problems for people and cats. I hope your mouth is feeling much better by now.

Dwacon® said...

Is this part of the Obama health plan, Mike?

Eric S. said...

OOH man I do feel for you. I went through that some time ago, and it's miserable. Later I finally found a Dentist not focused on my wallet. When I had yet another, he told me root canal, and I told him "yank it out". He did, and minimal cost and far less pain.

nipsy said...

Considering I am trying to save up enough money to cover three extractions right now, I feel your pain. Seriously. Aleve and Tylenol have become my best friends, and I think one more x-ray and I qualify for having radiation problems...

Congrats on finally coming through..now got eat an almond for me..

Natural said...

ouuuuch. mike this was painful to read. i almost passed out. there is nothing worth than a toothache. not even giving birth...well i didn't feel a thing, but i know what a toothache feels like and i rather be shot in the foot or have another baby.

Mike Foster said...

lk: u can say that again...wait, i'll say if for ya: "OUCH!!!"

daisy: oh my cod is right! hope harley wins! (visit daisy at facebook and vote for harley for cutest cat)

dwacon: that's pretty funny...but sad, like my dental visits.

eric: the goal is to save the tooth, no matter what, but sometimes they need a good yank! i'm feeling better now...

nipsy: not ready for almond eating yet, but hopefully in the near future...

natural: see? two toothaches are worse than child birth and being shot in the foot...what could be worse?


peace and vicodin,

mike

Robin Easton said...

Dear mike, I am just blown away by you. Here you had all this done and you are in bed and doing a video about it. I am SO deeply touched and laughing and find the whole thing so real and endearing.

I know the pain your must have been in and may still be in. I spent years assisting in that kind of surgery and have had four teeth pulled before I had braces in my teens. Boy, you've been through a lot with the move, the construction and now surgery. And you look fantastic. Very relaxed....LOLOL!! AND very healthy for someone who has just had oral surgery.

I just love this video. I think it is one of my favorites. You are just a comical gem. Loved the conversation between you and dentist. LOL!!!

Take dang good care of yourself. Okay?!! That's a big trauma to the body. More so than most people realize. You being so healthy will make a huge difference in recovery. Hugs, Robin

Vegetation said...

Why Mike, what lovely blood pockets you have there!!!

I had a back molar crack in half a few years ago and had to have it yanked. Thankfully in Australia all that required was one single trip to a regular dentist!

Feel better soon! I'm sure you'll be looking forward to getting back to eating real food!

redkathy said...

I had way too many of these experiences! I reluctantly financed my dental work... I just couldn't eat anything. I shopped and searched in pain until I found a one stop dentist who was at least honest. Hang in there, it'll heal soon.

Mike Foster said...

robin: happy to see that you found the humor hidden deep inside my pain, the post and video were meant to shed some laughter on the hurt...the good news is i'm feeling better every day, but looking forward to feeling normal again...soon...

vegetation: sorry i had to show that, but it made my point bloody clearer...

redkathy: actually, my dentists are all good guys doing a thankless job...i like them...sort of...


peace,

mike

Rena said...

I Hear you Man! Ouch! I've been there too. Love this blog!

Pain said...

Ouch! Looks painful

Rod said...

I visited my dentist last month, she recommended I use an electric tooth brush and that its far more superior than using a regular tooth brush. By the way Mike, how much did you rake in from the tooth fairy?

Mike Foster said...

rena: thanks for stopping by...and the ouch is turning into not-so-ouchy...

pain: what else would someone named pain say?

rod: no nearly enough, brother, not enough...


peace,

mike

Robin said...

My sympathies - having just gone through the process of a root canal filling in a molar, that has lasted off and on for 8 months! All better now. Cheers - Robin

Shinade aka Jackie said...

Oh brother have I ever been there. I inherited bad teeth. don't joke you can actually inherit the tendancy to have bad teeth.

One of my daughter's inherited all of my problems and is always at the dentist taking care of a problem and the other has never even had one filling in her life and she's 38.

Now as to your teeth. I found this out the hard way. It's a little secret that they rarely tell you.

Root canals are temporary and you are lucky to have them last 15 years before you lose the tooth anyway.

I found this out by having spent thousands of dollars in my late teens and early 20's having root canals done to save my teeth.

Well, guess what? In my 30's and through my 40's they all started failing on me. So then I spent even hundreds of dollars more to go and have the teeth extracted.

Had someone told me this way back years ago I would have opted to go ahead at that point and have my teeth extracted and have a bridge put in on both sides in the back.

Now we are saving and praying that I can afford to get this done. As it is labeled cosmetic by my insurance company they barely cover any of the cost.

So I need about $6000 bucks to fix my teeth that were already fixed years ago!!

Good luck and keep flossing!:-)

Janna said...

Yikes! Glad to hear that the worst part seems to be over.

After all those X-rays, I'm surprised you're not glowing.

Wait...
You aren't, are you?

Mike Foster said...

robin: these things do seem to drag on and on...but, to quote eric idol: "i got better."

shinade/jackie: root canals are far too uncomfortable and costly to not last a lifetime, but you know those dentists...arrrgggg....

janna: let me check...just a slight glow, but it could be from the vicodin...


peace,

mike

michael said...

Great humourous blog, I like it

your "Health Assistant" said...

I can tolerate other body pains, but toothache kills me, I can relate!

Jana said...

Eesh. What a tale! Makes you not want to ever have to see the dentist again. I hope you heal up very soon and get to feeling better.

Mike, I’m a new blogger (you can find here at this www.mylifeplanguide.com), and your site is very related to mine in that we both have an interest in personal development; I thought it might be beneficial for both of us to do a blogroll link exchange. Please let me know if you’re interested.

Thanks a bunch! And be well!

Jackie said...

Poor you, glad your pain is now over......I remember each of my root canals as if it was yesterday .... just like Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man....pure torture! Most failed and I landed up with bridges all over the place plus I spent a fortune in medical aid shortfalls.

Mike Foster said...

michael: glad you enjoyed your visit, please come again...

health asst: it's been almost a week and the pain is now a mere memory...

jana: feel free to add my link and i will check out your site...thanks

jackie: haven't thought of that movie in years, but do remember that scene in the dentist's chair...yeeeooowwww!


peace,

mike

Jana said...

Thank you, I appreciate your kindness. Hope you are well very soon and look forward to reading more from you! :)

jhonson blog said...

wow what is this?

kRiZ cPEc said...

toothache drives one nuts! Easily! Glad you're thru it now. :)

Mike Foster said...

jana: thanks for dropping by (again)

jhonson blog: ?

kriz: all better...except for the two holes in my mouth...oh well...


peace,

mike

suZen said...

I swear my teeth were all achy and screaming just watching this video! I've had more than a good share of chair time at the dentist. Somebody once said "Teeth are like woman, can't live without them - oh wait, yeah you can!"

Hope you're gnashin on almonds real soon!:) Hugs to get better!

Mike Foster said...

hey, suzen, thanks for stopping by and sharing your always insightful and fun comments. as for gnashing almonds...ouch, aaahhh, maybe...wait, no...not yet...darn...


peace,

mike

vicy said...

Hopping here..Hope you can visit me back..God Bless!!

heidi said...

Oh my you are a brave soul. I think you should make a necklace or bracelet out of them!

Mike Foster said...

vicy: thanks for stopping by...

heidi: that's the best suggestion yet!


peace,

mike

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