Thursday, December 23, 2010

All I Want for Christmas Is #19 Back

Technically, it’s not gone, but its days are short.

(Note the correct use there of “it’s” and “its.” Also, we have no month called Febyooary. But I digress.)

I went to see my endodontist, Dr. C., Monday of this week for a second opinion on my tooth, poor little number 19. Dr. C. did two root canals for me several months ago. When he came into the exam room, he shook my hand and asked, “Do you remember being here?” “As it happens, yes, I do,” I replied.

He performed a brief exam and confirmed that I have a cracked root. He drew a picture showing how the distance from the gumline to the jawbone—the pocket right next to the tooth—should be 1-3 millimeters deep. You shouldn’t be able to sink a probe any farther than that. He showed me on his skinny metal probe what represents the longer distance, and then sank it easily three times that far while I watched in a mirror. He had predicted this wouldn’t hurt, and asked afterward, “Wasn’t painful, right?”

“It was psychologically painful,” I said. I think I also felt a spasm in my wallet.

The one good thing about this is that I should soon have an actual unattached human tooth in my possession. (Dr. C. showed me his collection of the same. I said, “No offense, but: gross.”) One of my relatives has a recurring nightmare about teeth (which I’m sure is fine to mention on the Internet), the same relative who is a masterful wielder of fake vomit. I had to grin, thinking of the joyful feelings I’m going to have when this person finds an entire human tooth in an unexpected spot.

This same person once sent me two little toenails via the U.S. mail. When I protested by email, the malefactor wrote back something like, “I sent one toenail only. I’m aggrieved to learn it’s no longer museum quality.”

I had made an appointment to have the tooth extracted today, but then realized it would be a grave mistake to have oral surgery right before the biggest injudicious eating day of the year, Christmas Eve, which is followed immediately by the second biggest such day, Christmas Day. I canceled the appointment and then discovered that that oral surgeon has a lot of extremely negative reviews online, anyway.

I looked up the other two people my dentist recommended, but one of them also is very poorly reviewed, and the other is clear across town. (I’m glad to report that my own dentist has nothing but five-star reviews at Yelp, as does endodontist Dr. C.) I called Dr. C. to find out what oral surgeons he likes, and now have an appointment for early January, as my insurance, for what it’s worth, is maxed out for the year.
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