Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ugh

I've had some dental issues of late. When I bite down on the right side of the mouth, it felt weird, like a tooth wasn't quite right. Then last week, I realized "dammit, it's an abscess!". Yep, on the gum line, under the tongue. I hadn't noticed it until it puffed up a bit.

No insurance and no money means no dentist. I'm in the process of seeing if I can get in at the health department. In the meantime, I'm doing a better job of flossing and using an antiseptic mouthwash.

Today, I realized that crap, one of the teeth on that side is LOOSE! CRAP!!!! I'm afraid that it's going to be a goner. Other than the tenderness from the abscess, it just feels weird, not painful.

I'm no stranger to dental work. My mouth is small, and I had extensive orthdontia (six years), and several teeth rotted out under those metal bands. I've had a cap in my mouth since I was sixteen, because one of those teeth disintegrated a week after the braces came off when I bit into an ice cream sandwich. (My PSA to you-order the orthodontist to take the bands off every six months for your dentist to do a proper cleaning).

The 18 months prior to moving to Florida, I spent six hours a month in a chair at the dental school clinic at UMBC. (Dad did the same at NYU-you get top notch care for a fraction of the price). I started going there because I suspected that the filling on a molar I'd had a prior root canal on had a pinhole in it. It did. In between the initial consult, x rays and reviewing the treatment plan (a span of six weeks, what with the Christmas break happening), it was not salvageable. I have a gold crown in my mouth, which I like to say is proof that I am royalty.

The small mouth presents several problems. Prior to being fitted with braces, I had twelve teeth removed from my mouth. Yes, I only have 20-same as your child. My dentist in New York was a God-he did all the fixing up post braces without incident. The dental student I got in Maryland learned quickly and was sure to point out to the endodontist that did the root canal I needed before the crown "make sure you use the pediatric stuff with her!" Xrays, instruments, mold for impressions-my mouth is kid sized.

So, losing a tooth worries me, since I'm short a dozen healthy ones that just didn't fit. I'm off to do some research to see if the wiggly tooth means it's too far gone to save. I hope not, because 20 is such a nice number-I'd like to keep twenty teeth in the mouth...

8 People talked back:

Mike Golch said...

hope things work out for you.
I got to go to the dentist as well to have the bonding fixed on one of my teeth.

Cat@3KidsandUs said...

Believe me, I feel your pain. I'm in a similar boat except we don't even have a dental school accessible...so no dentist for me. The last time I got a "treatment plan" the cost was over $3000 and that didn't include the sedation I need because of my dentist anxiety.

I hope your tooth is okay!

songbird's crazy world said...

I feel your pain....both the small mouth kind and the $$$ kind. my periodontist charged an arm and a leg for my treatment, and the insurance paid for ...about three fingers and two toes.

Robin Costello (Delswife) said...

Ouch! I hope you find someone who can help you out.

Joyce said...

I have two back teeth missing, and I have dental insurance, no one looks back here and it was not worth the cost even with the insurance, unless they are in the front, I am not spending. Hopefully you can find some luck at the health department

Staci said...

Good luck! I really need to suck it up and go to the dentist, but I hate them. Mostly because I have a tiny mouth like you, and it's always painful when they try to do any work in such a small area!

imaginary binky said...

On the upside, just think of what it is worth to the Tooth Fairy!

I hope your tooth troubles get better.

Suzanne said...

Mike, I feel for you-once you get that bonding, it requires upkeep!

Cat, ouch on that treatment plan. No wonder you've got anxiety.

SB, NYU dental. You'll be glad you did!

Robin, lets just say that google was my friend! ;)

Staci, the small mouth is why I still traveled to LI for dental care for more than 10 years after I moved away. My dentist was very adept with dealing with the child size stuff/adult teeth.

Sarah, do you think the tooth fairy would give me enough to cover BlogHer? Then I'd let the sucker fall out!

I don't recommend it if you're squeamish, but there are various home remedies on the internet. I used one that the average person would avoid and it appears to have helped tremendously.

Still, as soon as the opportunity presents, I am headed to the dentist!
Joyce, ordinarily I'd agree, but
1. the mouth is so small, you'd notice this one
2. I have so few, I don't want to lose another.