Friday, June 26, 2009

my jacked grill...

I am horrified to report this, but I get the feeling I’ll be writing this tale of woe in segments, so let’s begin.
I have not been to the dentist since college, which in doing the math I realize is like, 10 years.
A decade of self-performed dental care. Jesus!
I realize this is fucking disgusting, but I can assure you I use very fancy toothpaste that comes in a really high-end tube. I also gargle with something the sign at Target says is used in hospitals. So as far as I’m concerned, I’m the picture of oral health.
But my tooth is starting to hurt so much, it feels like the whole side of my head is decidedly “not cool.”
I’ve hemmed, I’ve hawed, I’ve tweeted, I even called my mom.
And as I am one of the millions of Americans without dental insurance, my mom offered, “Call my dentist. Dad and I will pay for it.”
I’m down for free anything, but the dentist? With trembling hands, I googled her dentist and called the office, revealing my aversion to check-ups much less emergency care, and detailed my symptoms.
“Is it sensitive to heat?”
“Oh yes.”
“Is it sensitive to cold?”
“For sure.”
“Sounds to me like you need a root canal.”
I dropped the phone.
They can’t see me until I get back from vacation on July 10th. Oh, and here’s a little treat for you. I can’t take prescription pain killers. Yep, that’s right. As if I haven’t been punished by life, society, bartenders, etc., those of us in recovery aren’t supposed to take full-on vicodin, et al. Having spent 28 days with my fellow “peers” addicted to pain killers, I see the logic. I just dread the pain.
As I made my appointment with the dentist lady, I asked, “So it’s cool that I wait 2 weeks to come in? I mean, my tooth’s not going to fall out, right?”
“No, no. Probably not…”

*UPDATE* I was whining my tale of woe to Brock last night, expecting his reaction to be much like everyone else’s: horror. Actually, my mother responded with, "So you were diagnosed over the phone by a secretary? What the hell does she know?" Brock's response to my potential, pending root canal. “Oh, I’ve had 2. It’s no big deal.”


Natalie said...

In the hands of a good dentist, a root canal is not that big a deal. I even got to watch a movie during the one I had, and I felt nothing, even afterward. Good luck!

Leslie said...

Yeah it ain't no thing at all. I've had two and it's no different than getting a cavity filled. As long as your numbed up it's just like anything experience where someone puts their rubbery hands in your mouth. So yeah I am not impressed with your horror story.

Grow a sack and go to the dentist!

Anonymous said...

Screw you, Leslie. Spots wasn't asking anyone to be impressed. Boy Spots, how do you put up with this bullshit negativity?

Spots said...

Nonsense. I'm friends with Leslie. She can say whatever she wants...

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your tooth, Beth. Tooth pain can be right up there on the bad ass list. I know root canals have a horrid reputation, but they are painless--the worst thing about them is having to hold your mouth open for so long.

Your mom is right about not getting a diagnosis from a secretary. But she referred you to her dentist? Ha! I thought he banished her from the chair for noncompliance. Uncle T.

Mousqueton said...

You are going to "owe me one" for the following advice.

I have done quite a number of crazy things in my life and one of them was to spend over a year in the middle of the Amazon jungle in South America building an ecological lodge in partnership with the Audubon Society. Please don't ask why!

When I say the "middle of the jungle" I mean a 24 hour walk and at least 18 hours by off board motor canoe away from anything that resembles civilization.

I learned then some natural tricks to cope with many ailments that are not a big deal in a city but can kill you if you are deep in the jungle.

Take a tooth brush, wet it under the faucet,shake it to drain the extra water, take a scoop of plain old kitchen salt with the toothbrush and brush thoroughly your teeth; specially the areas on pain. Do not wash out your mouth. The taste is not good but it is far better than the pain. Do that twice a day in the morning and before going to bed for two days and you will have no pain and/or infection.

Salt destroys the molecule of the common bacteria in cavities and gingivitis and will not let you get an infection which is the cause of the pain.

You are going to feel great and think that your problem is gone. It is not. The cavity will continue to grow and affect the nerves even though you will have no pain. So, going to a dentist as soon as possible is a must.

In my case it took four months and though the cavity had grown, I was able to avoid the pain and save my tooth, which I was ready to pull out with a set of pliers; the sucker is still hanging on.

Hope this will help you. Regards

Spots said...

Alright, I just did it. Thank God tonight's vegan extravaganza coulda used some salt. Better late than never...
Thanks for this awesome tip/story. I'll keep you posted!

Generic said...

Terence T. Gorski's opinion on whether alcoholics should take hydrocodone for something as simple as a root canal is by no means the majority one.

Unless heroin is your drug of choice, Take the effing Vicodin already.

(But those really are some nice teeth.)

JFBF said...

Ooof - dental work is the worst! I just had to get a crown replaced, and you'd think I was going in for cancer treatment to listen to me.
It will be fine - but it still sucks.
But maybe you should see if you can get a different referral for someone who can see you sooner? Tooth pain is the worst, and the sooner they can do something about it, the better! I didn't need vicodin (or anything other than advil for a little soreness) after my last root canal - but I had to have it done as an emergency because I was in so much pain.
I like my dentist, if you need a referral - but I bet between your friends and readers, you could get lots of recommendations.

Anonymous said...

Advil is actually more effective than Vicodin for that kind of pain. I am not a Dr. I am an actual customer!!!

sflovestory said...

800 mgs of ibuprofen works pretty durn good. And baby teething gel.

Damn, I need to go to the dentist.