I am so glad you are continuing at the dentist! You deserve to be able to smile beautifully and without pain.
As many have heard, I completely sympathize with any one who has major tooth pain and fears the evil of dentistry.
Dentists - Ahhh I know them well. I think I am a professional dental patient by now, and not by choice. Like Una, I am from a family with poor teeth. Aside from childhood cavities (and there were many) I broke my front teeth in first grade on the playground. We were playing Ring-Around-The-Rosy, and I went face first into the pavement. Thus my first experience with the oral surgeon. What fun, what fun.
After my adult teeth grew in, I got caps on my front teeth (yes, ill-fitting and painfull) and all 4 wisdom teeth pulled in one shot. 43 cavities and 4 root canals later, I was in real need of major dental work, yet could not afford it. So the years went on…
I lost 2 more teeth due to abcess. Did you know that an abcess can kill you if not treated? Yes it can. If the infection spreads into say a major arterie, it can head right to your heart and well, that is not good. I came close I was told. More adventures at the oral surgeon.
I finally got that great job with the dental insurance (ha ha) and by then my teeth hurt so bad that I had not been able to eat much for months. I was starving. It hurt so bad at times that it seriously felt better to pound my head against the floor rather than just let it hurt.
Yet I was terrified of dentists by now, all they do is hurt you and take your money. So I went on a major search for a decent doctor with a reasonable diagnoses. I knew I needed major work, but some of the diagnoses I got were a joke. Root canal ALL of my teeth ($650-800 a piece for 26 teeth?) and then cap them (another $600 a piece), planing and scaling, periodontal surgery…Christ, they ran the gamut of diagnoses. It was like taking a car to a bunch of different mechanics.
During this I had planing and scaling on 3 quadrents, and one periodontal surgery.
I finally found a fellow that teaches up at Chapel Hill and has a practise also. This guy is great! He did not just look at them, he tested each tooth with several tests (ouch!) and then diagnosed them. Verdict- 10 root canals (not 26) and all caps, 2 bridges, realign the bite to stop the excess jaw movement. It’s also called a full maleofacial reconstruction. At least they did not have to break my jaw!
Bless the IPU, I can eat now, and have stopped taking pain meds.
He found me a great dentist who could handle the work, and here I am. Dental ins is a joke, so I have taken a HUGE loan out to pay for all of this.
I’ve had 9 root canals, and will finish another next week. Barring any more deterioration, that will be all. :eek: The worst day was 3 at once, other than that it has gone pretty well.
15 caps installed so far. Yay! I can eat! And like Una, I felt that as long as I was paying for this I want movie star teeth. They look great so far, and for the first time I can remember I can smile at people, with a full smile, not hiding my teeth.
Go to the dentist people, take care of your teeth. Also, you have the right to decent care - look for a dentist that will listen to you and care about you. If you can close your eyes and see your dentist in leather, they are probably not the right person for you.
If you ever want encouragement or are nervous about procedures just say something. Between Anthracite and myself and a few others here on the board, just about everything a dentist can do to you has been done to us. We sympathize, really.