Yesterday morning I called the dentist right after they opened and explained my problem then waited on hold for a while then was told to come in at 10 am. Cool. So, I get there and there aren't too many people waiting so I'm thinking I'll get in there quickly. Wrong. I had to fill out my medical history again on their computer and by the time I was done with that every single chair in the waiting room was full. But, I will be patient since I am an emergency after all and didn't have a scheduled appointment and good thing I brought a book with me. Every other person waiting was busy doing things on their cell phones and since I don't have a cell phone I couldn't do whatever it is people do on their cell phones.
I waited some more and then went in for x-rays of the suspect teeth, and I'm glad we chose a dentist that actually has the latest equipment, because no more developing of x-rays, it does a digital image that you can see right on the computer monitor. Everything in this office is computerized.
So, x-rays taken and now I'm waiting in the dental chair and again, good thing I brought a book because even if I had a cell phone you aren't supposed to use them while in the dental chair. I'm sure there are a lot of Alec Baldwin type patients that won't turn off their phones in preparation for takeoff and I wonder how many get thrown out of the dental chair because they just can't be parted from their phone.
Now finally the dentist comes in and looks around and pokes and prods and asks questions and just like every other dentist that has looked at what I'm thinking is the culprit tooth, can't find anything wrong. And he also can't find my dental records because the girls up front have created an entire new persona for me because they misunderstood me when I told them my name. Instead of my legal hyphenated name which yes, I know can be confusing for some people, they just have me under Keith's last name. After explaining what happened, he is finally able to bring up all my records so he can see what has gone on with my teeth. Then he takes another x-ray that goes a little further back in my mouth and whaddya know, it looks like it is my wisdom tooth that is causing all the problems. He does a cold test on that tooth and YES THAT IS THE ONE THAT HURTS! A LOT!
The roots on the tooth are kind of weird so instead of him extracting it he says that the oral surgeon is available today and so I get an appointment to come back at 2pm. Okay, I will come back today even if I'm not mentally prepared for a tooth extraction, I don't really want to be in pain for a week or two before he has another opening or is even in the office because he is apparently a traveling oral surgeon.
This part of the visit was only $59.00 including the x-rays, so not bad at all and at least I know it will still be affordable to come in for a checkup and we won't have to delay our dental visits until we have insurance again.
I come back at 2 and Keith came with me just in case, so when they are talking about the anesthetics and all that I ask about happy gas, because I am really really really nervous and I'll pay the extra for that. And I'm glad I did because even with the happy gas which really didn't seem to relax me all that much I was NOT HAVING FUN while they were getting that tooth out of there. Not that it hurt really, I just didn't know what to expect and again, IT WAS NOT FUN. But the actual extraction was over with in just a few minutes. Whew.
Today, I have a bit of a swollen face but I'm feeling much better now and not much pain. I've got two levels of pain meds, some prescription ibuprofin and then the super duper pain stuff. I did take one of the super duper ones last night and slept pretty well.
The cost was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be, $470 for the extraction and an extra $140 for the nitrous oxide happy gas. And, strangely enough, right after Keith got laid off our Wells Fargo credit card account just raised our limit so we had plenty of available credit to pay for the tooth. We though about using some savings but decided we'd probably be better off if we keep all of our available cash for now and just make payments on the credit card. So, not totally bankrupted by the dental issue and we should be okay on money if we get back to the austerity budget until Keith lands a new job.