Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Dentist

First, my excuses! I'm not a great dental patient, one of the reasons for that is that all my life regardless of what type of brush I've used, how frequently I brush etc. I've always bled when cleaning my teeth, which rather puts you off doing it. I presume it's related to Ehlers Danlos, as it's never been suggested I have a gum problem. Also, dealing with seemingly much bigger health issues over the past few years and moving means I hadn't been to the dentist for three years, when my teeth were declared to be fine.

I broke a tooth in September, I really should have gone in sooner, but there was no pain, I found I was pregnant, it got put off! I don't even know if this has meant more treatment as I'm not sure whether the order of things was a decayed tooth that broke, or a broken tooth caused trapped food and then decay. To be honest, given how things went today, I think any earlier in pregnancy and my gag reflex may well have been too strong to actually do anything!

So the bad news is, I need a root canal on the broken tooth and a crown on the next tooth along, the worse news is, we're not really sure whether to believe this as we've really heard nothing but bad stuff about dentists in this area and know several people who've gone out of state for treatment, only to find they needed a lesser treatment anyway.

I'm torn on what to do, apparently the tooth in front is close to needing a root canal so they want to get the prep work for a crown done ASAP to avoid that, but I'm not even convinced I need a crown - maybe that would be wonderful long term preventative treatment, but as far as I can tell there is nothing that is a bad shape to do a filling on that would probably last 10 or 20 years.

One thing that's a little bizarre is that I have NO pain at all from these apparent problems, but whether this is an indicator that more conservative treatment would be OK, or if I just have a freaking lack of pain for these teeth I do not know. I realised that the location of these two teeth is on the same quarter of the jaw as my worst impacted wisdom tooth, which makes me wonder both did that being so deep down and pressing forwards damage these teeth in anyway and did it effect the nerves in anyway, after the surgery that location was by far the most painful, but the pain was deeper than I think I'd expect to feel a toothache.

I think the best thing to do would probably be for me to wait until DH has had his teeth checked by the same dentist and see if he feels that he's overkeen to do stuff. Even if we get this stuff done, we'll have to see if it's cheaper to do it by travelling as we have a 1500 dollar annual limit on our dental plan, which is apparently how much it costs to do a root canal, though my google searches suggest this price is high. Friends have found that costs with insurance here can be higher than costs without insurance elsewhere, our insurance isn't restricted to a particular group, so that could work even better for us. I rather suspect dentists in this area are doing well from 100,000+ people on the same plan (probably more as that number only assumes 1 dependant) and suddenly the basic cost for each individual treatment is heading to the limit!

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