Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Go To The Dentist, Kids

So, per my note yesterday, I went to the dentist today for my broken tooth. Thought it was going to be a quick in and out and I'd be back to work. Didn't quite turn out that way.

First, a bit of background and a confession. I hate going to the dentist. I dread the dentist. I am fearful of the dentist. I hve nightmares about the dentist.

My father can back me up on this; I had an inordinate amount of dental work as a kid. I had more oral surgeries than is right for any kid. I had enough work in total that according to my surgeon, it is likely responsible for my thyroid cancer.

So, do you get the point that I'm not a dentist person?

here is where the confession comes to play. I haven't exactly gone to a dentist since moving to California. And based on my visit today, the chicken has finally come home to roost(or whatever the colloquialism).

Turns out I have some, umm, issues that need tending to. Like a few cavities. And wisdom teeth that finally need to come out (I've been purposefully putting this off for years). And some gum issues. And so on and so forth.

But back to the tooth. She gave me an xray today (today was the day of many, many oral xrays. If I had a thyroid, it would lilely be very tired about now). She looked at the broken tooth and said, "bad news. That went down to the nerve. You will need a root canal."

I was surprised by this because the tooth really didn't hurt per se. Sure it was cracked and all and that was irritating, but it didn't hurt in that "damn my tooth" hurts manner.

So, I said ok, I need a root canal. I can live with that. Should I do it pre or post Boston marathon?

Her response: "Umm dude (ok, I added the dude part). You need it done now. As in right now. Like today or tomorrow."


So, she sent me off to a periodontist down the street (who, ironically enough -- in the event irony is even possible when it comes to root canals -- turned out to be the sister of my wife's very good friend) and 1 1/2 hours and about $1500 later, I was finished with my root canal. And now that the novocaine has worn off, I can say: my mouth finally hurts like hell.

So, that was my day. So let's recap my week thus far (and it's only Tuesday!): yesterday, bloodwork for cancer. Today, root canal. Friday: ultrasound for cancer. And sometime next week, I start my dental work (bridge, cleaning, extraction et al).

The moral of this story? Actually, I don't have a moral. Oh yeah, guess I do: try to go to the dentist at least once every five years.

This one I bought upon myself...


Crazymamaof6 said...

OY! so sorry! i avoid the dentist too. and would probably be in the same boat if i went. and yet, still avoiding that good time.

good luck with the ultrasound. and the bloodwork coming back good. sheesh. don't you love the instant anxiety that these test bring back. and even though there might not be any issue to deal with, it's always disconcerting.
my sympathies.

i know I'd be kind of a wreck over it. IF i was doing my followup like i should and yet avoiding that, is working out pretty darn well for me.

hope your week gets a whole lot better.

gailaj said...

Good luck with the testing, Howard. Sorry about the dentist...I am guilty of the same thing. But don't beat yourself up about it too much, remember you've been dealing with all the thyroid issues. Speaking for myself, I have a hard time dealing with more than one health problem at a time...which is also why I put off dealing with the achilles problems while I was dealing with my thyroid....and I paid for that too! Be well....