Dental woe

An exciting morning for me: I was able to sleep late (I went to bed at midnight, had eight dreamless hours of blessed unconsciousness and woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a truck at 8am), but only because I had an appointment with a root canal specialist at 9.30am.  Oh yes!

A few weeks ago I finally responded to the summons I’d received from my local NHS dentist. It was all ‘you MUST come for a check-up or else you’ll lose your NHS dental privileges’, so I went along for an appointment.  The dentist I saw asked me if I’d had any particular problems, so I told him about one heavily filled tooth that was giving me gyp.  He prodded at it, did an x-ray and told me that I needed to have root canal work or get the tooth extracted.  He also told me that I had a badly impacted wisdom tooth right next to the offending tooth and that it would have to come out as well.  OK, I said, and are you going to do a check of the rest of my teeth.  No, he said, because you only told me that the one tooth was causing you problem.  Yes, I said, but that’s because you asked – you guys told me to come in for a check-up, so I assumed that you’d actually take a look at my teeth yourself.  Oh, he said, but there’s no time now and you’ll have to make another appointment.  That’s rubbish, I said to the practice manager afterwards: why didn’t the dentist do the check-up while his was hanging out for five minutes and waiting for the x-ray to develop (instead of leaving me in the waiting room for that time, doing nothing)?  No idea, she said, we’d have to ask him.  Don’t bother, I said, this place sucks the big kumara.

Anyway, the rubbish dentist referred me to this root canal guy today and he confirmed that yes, root canal is called for, but that I might want to have the tooth out instead – it’s my back molar on the left-hand side of my mouth and you wouldn’t be able to see that it was missing.  He also said that I could probably get it removed at the same time as the wisdom tooth extraction (which is going to be a hospital job, apparently).  He then realised that he was talking me out of paying the £480 he would charge me for root canal work, so he hastened to add that I could find that a root canal was the answer.  Too late, root canal guy: I’d rather lose the tooth and be done with it.  I have no idea what the cost of this double extraction is likely to be, though, or how much it’s likely to hurt.  But it’s sure to require a couple of days off work or working from home: an absolutely splendid prospect.  It’s a sad commentary on your life when you turn up to the root canal guy’s office, sit in the scary dentist’s chair and find yourself thinking, ‘God, it’s BRILLIANT to be here and not at my desk’.

I have a feeling that this blog entry is virtually incoherent.  I am so tired and I have so much work to do that I’m at the stage where I can achieve absolutely nothing.  My in-box is crammed with emails that require my attention, my to-do list is a mile long, my desk is buried under important paper and I’m finding it difficult to focus.  I was talking to my good friend Dorday earlier today (she rang from Sydney) and she told me that she’s flying to Argentina on Saturday for a four week holiday.  I can’t actually describe the seething jealousy I felt at that particular moment.  I would trade a lot for four weeks off work right now.  I wouldn’t give up Tristan or Tui in exchange, but I could probably be convinced to part with anything else.

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7 Responses to Dental woe

  1. Jackie D says:

    Ugh, I know this feeling. I had it last week, but fortunately it was timed just before a three day weekend, which I enjoyed the shit out of (pardon my vulgarity, but my feelings of gratitude remain intense). You need a proper rest, Jacq. Sorry to come over all maternal, but it’s clear!

    Good luck with the teeth. I need to have my wisdom teeth out sooner rather than later – my dentist says the “young” heal better – and I’m sort of dreading it, having never had any dental surgery or even a filling.

    • exilednzer says:

      I know, I know! You are dead right. The main thing stopping me at the moment is the lack of holiday leave and the lack of anybody to pick up the slack at work if I’m away. But I do still have a day booked off to go to Berlin (we’re not going anymore), so I might keep it booked off and have a three day weekend at the end of the month.

      No fillings? I am so jealous. I have rubbish teeth – always have had. I’ve only had one wisdom tooth out so far, though, and it wasn’t as grim as I’d been led to believe.

      • Jackie D says:

        Take that day off, Jacq. The firm will survive. And when you’re off, do a whole lot of nothing. (I just worked out that one reason I always feel so drained at the end of a weekend is that I don’t rest. So I recently started trying and it makes a HUGE difference!)

        Why didn’t they take out both of your wisdom teeth while they were in there?! I’ve never heard of someone only getting one wisdom tooth pulled! (I’m open to the idea that I’ve led a very sheltered life, though.)

  2. Anthea says:

    Ow ow ow. You have my sympathy – on all counts.

    I had a back molar pulled last year – similar situation to yours. Don’t miss it, its absence is unremarkable.

    The root canal. It’s three days after part two of the four-part White Sea root canal* and I’m fine. Eating normally, no pain at all.

    The sad thing? Last Friday I bit into a bap and broke a cusp off the molar matching the root canal tooth. Nature demands equilibrium. There’s a crown in my future. (Also, bank robbery.)

    Jackie is right. Rest. You can’t do your job properly cruising on adrenaline and stress. Rest, chicken, rest.

    *gratuitous and tasteless reference to forced labour

    • exilednzer says:

      OK, I’m going to take off that Friday at the end of the month! We might go away to laze around, or we might just laze around at home: either way, no work, yay!

      You should get a diamond in that crown.

  3. Franziska says:

    Get a dental insurance. They are not that expensive, you can get a level 1 cover from boots for around £12. You can then go private. Or look for a nice and good private dentist and ask if he offers a dental plan. Mine does that and I see her four times a year, plus four times a year a hygienist and don’t pay anything. I only pay lab costs (with no profit added on to it). Ok, mine costs £23 a month but so far it has been totally worth it.

    • exilednzer says:

      That is such a great idea! I might look into it. In the meantime, I’ve found that BUPA will cover the cost of my wisdom tooth extraction, but not the other extraction, so I’m going to see if the oral surgeon will be willing to fold it all into one procedure (and record it as such), to get around this problem.

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