The Tooth of the Matter
Finally got the rest of the bad tooth out out this morning.
Yeah, “rest of the bad tooth.” A botched filling from my Air Force days rotted out from beneath and the tooth collapsed before I knew there was even a problem.
I ended up letting it go because I had no dental coverage (dropped by the state under GOP pressure) for a long time. Saw a Mexican dentist while visiting my sister, who thought I could get a root canal, but that would have been about 1200 each for it and another, not quite as bad, tooth. I’m sure my sister would have let me crash at her place for that, but I never scratched up the money.
When dental care was added back to state coverage, it only covered basic care and extractions. The only dental clinic in the area that does Medicaid patients wasn’t doing extractions. No dentists in the area would take an adult Medicaid patient. The state doesn’t allow enough to pay a dentist’s basic costs. The nearest at the time was all the way up in Olympia, a day trip at best and I would have needed a driver. It’s now a trip to Seattle. The Mexican root canal was looking like my best option, but, oops, no driver again.
A couple of times the area above the tooth swelled up, but usually also drained quickly, usually led by some bit of hard food. I love my Dave’s Killer Bread (Good Seed). This time, it got into my cheek.
I managed to get in to the dental clinic here on a walk in. And, luckily (sort of), the dentist decided to try removing the tooth. It snapped off at the gumline (what was left of it) and proved to be beyond him. Him having to work around the ballooning cheek and gumline wasn’t working well for me either. He sent me home with an antibiotic prescription. It looked like I’d be trying to get up to Seattle after all.
One break my way, another dentist that was in the clinic occasionally, with experience in difficult extractions, wanted to have a crack at it and I got an appointment for this week.
A couple days later, Mom practically dragged me into the ER, it was getting near my eye. The infection was lanced in the ER. Inside my mouth, yucky. Not fun getting an abscess “milked” there either.
I then spent three days in the hospital on an antibiotic IV. At least Legacy hospitals treat you well. The nurses were nice and not heavily overworked. The food was pretty decent, too.
A quick summary, Medicaid paid for three days in the hospital, instead of covering the dental care that would have cost a fraction of that. It’s not an unusual occurrence, even. Nice cost saving measure there. You know who I blame for that waste of taxpayer money.
As I mentioned above, the remainder of the tooth was successfully removed this morning. It was a lot of work and I think both myself and the dentist were starting to wonder if it was going to happen. He really had to work me over to get it out. I recall hearing “bits of bone” and stitches were required. Turned out that the !@#$ thing had a double root; unusual for a premolar. Not unusual for my family; hooked roots also happen.
I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. I’ve never resorted to taking any Vicodin prescribed for me before. But I’m taking it now.
And the last dose I took is starting to kick in. ‘M sleepy now. g’nite.