Saturday, November 20, 2004

11/20 More tooth woes

I forgot to post what happened with my tooth. So to recap--at lunchtime on Thursday I cracked a tooth while eating a bagel cracker. My dentist took me in immediately. When he looked at it he said, "You must be in a lot of pain." I said, "I wasn't until you told me that."

It cracked and separated all the way to the root. I told him that I'd feel differently if I'd been taking off a beer bottle cap with my teeth, but it was just a damn bagel chip, with lo-fat cheese on it.

I'm done laughing at my jokes now, because to do everything top notch it's going to cost me almost $4000. He said my insurance probably won't cover it because they'll want to do the cheapest option. And he said the prognosis on that working isn't good at all. So I'm calling my dental insurance company tomorrow to see if crying, begging, threatening, whining, or joking will help.

I had three shots to deaden it while he pulled out the already dead piece that had broken off. I don't understand how a tooth can die that quickly. Now the feeling is starting to come back, it hurts and I'm also sad about the dough.

Okay, I'm done whining. If I get the implant, the good news is that I'll never have to get a filling in that tooth. Ba-da-bum!
I called my insurance company yesterday and told them the three options:

Since the tooth broke under the gum line (ouch), it killed the whole tooth. At least the doc thinks so. He says the cheap way to go and the one the insurance will pay for is to try to save the tooth, do a root canal, a core build-up, and a crown. That will be close to $2000 (approximately $1850-1950). Even though my insurance will pay for it, doc said that he's pretty certain it's not the best way to go, because he doesn't believe we can save the tooth. It's a molar and is very damaged.

Option 2--the one he recommends is to get the tooth extracted, get a titanium implant done by an oral surgeon, and an implant crown. That one is about $3700-3800. Because my other teeth are really good, and should last my whole life, he said we need something for this tooth to last my whole life as well.

Option 3--Extract the bad tooth, PLUS the teeth on either side and get a 3-unit bridge. This will last my whole life, but is a waste of two perfectly good teeth. That's why he recommends #2. Cost of this one is about $2800.
So of course the insurance company definitely won't cover any of the implant. Guess I'll have to go with the root canal and crown. It's the cheapest, and insurance will cover all but about $750.

This reeks.

I'll call the dentist Monday and give him my decision. The "stuff" he put in the tooth to fill it in the meantime, all fell out the first time I ate. So know there's this big hole in my mouth and of course my tongue goes to it all the time. Ugh. I just want to get this over with.


Bron said...

OK... now maybe this is the Brit in me talking (and ytou know how I am with dentists...) but why dont you just have it pulled... the end?

Jerilyn Dufresne, author said...

Yes, but then there would be no tooth there. Yuck.