This morning, I had a dentist appointment. I've had a sore tooth for a few weeks, but I hadn't gone to the dentist because I wanted to wait and make sure I would be covered under The Tim's dental insurance. Otherwise, I knew that it would cost approximately $478,933.00 just to walk in the door to the dentist's office (give or take a dollar).
So I got in the dentist's chair, and told him what the problem was. He determined that I needed x-rays. Then he did a hot/cold test. At this point I began to seriously reconsider my decision to see a dental professional, because to be honest my entire mouth now hurt more than the tooth had ever hurt. Then he looked at the x-rays, consulted with another dentist in the practice, and told me that I would likely need to see an endodontist, either for a root canal or to have my tooth pulled.
To my dentist's credit, he had his office call the endodontist's office to see how soon they could take me. Lucky me - they said to come over right away. So I walked the two blocks to the other office, with my teeny toothy x-ray of the sore tooth (#18 for those of you who number your teeth). Upon arrival, the person at the front desk told me that she had called The Tim's insurance, and they did not have me listed as receiving benefits. Sigh. I tried to quickly calculate how much it would cost to walk through the door of the endodontist and decided I couldn't count that high. I suggested that she call my dentist's office and talk to them about the insurance. She agreed, and gave me paperwork to complete.
(Tee-hee. Next to the questions 1. Have you ever had surgery? and, 2. Do you take any prescription drugs?, there was a single line to fill in. As if.)
Apparently the dentist's office assured them that I did in fact have insurance coverage, so I was ready to go. Wherein the endodontist - who I'm pretty sure was not old enough to shave yet - came in, and decided a) I needed x-rays, and b) he would do a hot/cold test. I mentioned that I'd already had both things at the other office, and did he not have the teeny toothy x-ray I had brought with me? Yes, but he wanted to check a few more teeth, so both would need to be repeated.
In the end, he determined that my last tooth on the lower left side was partially cracked. If the entire tooth had been cracked, I would have to have it pulled, but since it was only partial, he told me that he could "save the tooth." (He seemed pretty darn excited about this. Like he was part of Greenpeace or something.) And so we moved on to the root canal, after much injection of novocaine to make it numb.
Once he was finished, he gave me instructions and sent me home to "take it easy." The front desk informed me that with the insurance, I only needed to pay 20% of the $976,663,322 it cost to visit an endodontist.
On my way home, I stopped at the bookstore to alert The Tim to the whole insurance issue. He offered to buy me a tea or coffee, at which point I realized that I had left my wallet at the endodontist's office. So I went back and retrieved it (the receptionist was *very* annoyed because I don't have a cell phone and therefore she couldn't contact me right away), and headed home.
Finally, I was safely in our house. At which point I tripped on the steps going upstairs to change my clothes. I was sure that a cup of tea would make it all feel better. Except I burned my hand pouring it. Then Tess threw up.
After a nap, I was left with a REALLY sore jaw. Then I found this in a Google image search, called "middle-aged woman with toothache"
I think ...