So I finally drag my sorry, procrastinating self to the dentist (only he calls himself an endo something or other) yesterday for the dreaded root canal. Finally. I scheduled it once earlier in the year, chickened out and cancelled it. Nothing like getting run over by a train when you have the option to move. And every time it hurts, I beg for mercy- swear I will get it fixed- cry like a big giant baby, start an antibiotic- and then the next day forget all about it. It's kind of like buying tires for the car. It just hurts to spend that much money on something that is working fine- at the moment. Blow one of those bad boys and all of a sudden it doesn't seem so stupid.
I enter. Fill out form. Read brochure about pulp, nerves, abscesses- yuck. Put that down. Pick up a People magazine- ahhhhh. Written in spanish- poop! Move on to the only other selection of magazine- healthy this, natural that, sporting whatever.
They call my name. Nurse asks 3000 questions while banging and tapping. Breaks out electrocution machine- says to let go of the probe when I feel the tingle. HOLY COW- I fly up out of the chair, cling to the light on the ceiling and scream. Tingle my behind. She moves on down to my 'problem' tooth that I have narrowed down to one of two possible tricksters. Tests them both- nothing.
Doctor comes in and asks how long I have been experiencing the problem. I side step around the topic 46 different directions before I admit it has been better than 3 years, as best I can recall, but maybe longer. He scolds me like a child and says that I new need not one but TWO root canals. Who? What?
I begin trying to explain that there is not a single way in any universe that I am going to be having two root canals today- while both of his hands, an xray probe, two pointy sharp metal things and a suctioner are in my mouth. I don't think he heard me.
Office girl sticks her head in and drops a big old bomb "Insurance caps out at $1000 annually" and runs like a soldier throwing a grenade. In my head, I am doing the math. One root canal=$980. My portion=20%. Less sales tax, minus gauze pads, plus parking validation. What does this mean? "You'll owe $800 for today's procedures" she screams back from under her desk.
No joke. Tears began streaming down my cheeks. Partly from the fear of TWO ROOT CANALS, the needle sticks that are happening all over my mouth- including on the roof, and mostly from my pissed offedness from spending that much money on something so stupid.
The doctor asks what I am afraid of. I may have been begging for gas at the time. "Sphending fat much money on thomething so thupid". Duh.
I am given a half hour to lay back and process the information, and the anesthetic. I eventually come to the conclusion that I need to proceed with both, get them over, fork over mountains of cash and put it all behind me. Whatever, right?
Drilling. Poking. Dust. X-rays. Tubey things. Springs up in my teeth. A balloon snapped over my head with a hole poked just for my tooth to stick out. Trying to breath through my nose with my mouth open wider than it is really capable of going. Drowning in my own saliva. More poking. Done.
My entire head was numb from the middle over- neck up to my eyes. Even that little flappy thing in the back of my throat was numb and causing me to suffocate. I was an attractive mess.
I now get to go for permanent fillings next week- which will involve more Novocaine I'm sure- and then I'm off to get two crowns (valued at $1000 EACH). I should be able to drive something that costs this much money.
Have I mentioned how much I hate the dentist. At least if I had dentures I could just mail them in for their procedures.