Waaaaitaminit! A few belated second thoughts about the pending dental adventure are occurring.
I’m driving down the road headed back from campus to the Funny Farm and thinking, “Good grief! Three thousand dollars is more than a fourth of the savings I’ve earmarked to supplement Social Security for the next year. That ‘supplement’ represents half my month-to-month living allowance. So we’re talking about disappearing three months’ worth of money for living expenses.”
Furthermore, think I, the prospect of sitting in a dentist’s chair while the guy bangs away at my mouth for two hours sounds…well, counterproductive. As in a very, very bad idea.
Then it occurs to me to wonder whether two crowns are really necessary. Dr. Davis, he of the pricey parking lot, once opined that though the chipped crown on the bottom molar is unaesthetic, a) no one can see it unless I open my mouth in public and yawn like a hippopotamus, and b) it’s perfectly functional. As for the broken tooth on top, the new dentist polished the surface smooth, so that it doesn’t irritate my tongue (in fact, it irritates a lot less than it did after he filled the first break in it). It also seems to be perfectly functional. It doesn’t hurt, and since my teeth are already so dull I can’t chew up a normal bite-sized piece of meat, there’s no change in my ability to chew or eat. hmmm….
If you can get a second opinion for a doctor’s diagnosis and you can get a second opinion for a veterinarian’s diagnosis, why the heck can’t you get a second opinion for a dentist’s recommendation?
If this tooth were so badly damaged it needed to be crowned, wouldn’t it hurt? Not very much of it broke off…certainly not a big chunk, as this guy described it. I would have noticed if a fourth of a large molar had fallen into the mouthful of rice and canned beans I was eating at the time. It says here that the stuff underneath the white enamel of your teeth is called dentin, that it’s yellow, and that if it’s exposed, what you get is sensitivity. I’ve been guzzling iced tea, bourbon on the rocks, and hot coffee for the past two days, with nary a twinge.
Bounce out of the car and into the house, grab the phone, and call Old Doc Davis’s office. Ask if he’ll see me. The receptionist whose head I nearly bit off the last time I was there is polite, if you can imagine. She arranges an appointment on Monday.
Grab a mirror and a flashlight. Take a real close look at that busted tooth. It’s white all over, just the way it looked in the digital image New Doc made of it. That is to say, it’s the same color and consistency of all the other teeth in my head. Pretty clearly, this guy doesn’t think there’s any urgency to crown it; otherwise, he wouldn’t have let his office assistant make an appointment at the end of May.
Maybe, just maybe, it doesn’t need to be crowned at all. Or, if it does, maybe there’s no reason to remove the old crown on the bottom tooth and change that out. And even if that is necessary, maybe it doesn’t have to be done in one long torture session.
And if I really do need two crowns, maybe Davis will do them cheaper.
We shall see.