Jan 12, 2007

My Big Mouth Cost Me $500!

Recently, I went to the dentist because I needed to get two fillings on the upper right side of my mouth. Dr. T started in, got the first one finished, and then discovered he couldn't do the second one because the tooth was too damaged. The tooth in question is called "No. 2". All four of my wisdom teeth have already been pulled (see previous post titled, "I've Only Got 28 Teeth Left!") so it's now the one that's farthest back.

The dentist told me I would need a root canal, followed by a buildup and then a crown. Since we were already 30 minutes into my 1-hour appointment, the dentist told me he would start and see how far he could get. He ground down the tooth, started (and finished) the root canal, and glued some sort of flat cap over the stub that was left (to protect the nerves). At one point, there was some sort of soldering-iron type instrument in my mouth...there was smoke coming out and everything, and the thing burned the inside of my cheek!

I made an appointment to come back two days later for the rest. In the meanwhile I found out the whole thing was going to cost me about $500. My wife said, "Why didn't you just have him pull it? If it's the one that's farthest back, you don't really need it." Brilliant idea. But that made a little too much sense for me.

When I got back to the dentist's office this morning, I asked him that same question. He said that for most people, he would just pull the tooth. Most people have smaller mouths, and he wouldn't be able get the right angle on the top teeth that were that far back. But I had such a nice, big mouth, he had easy access - which resulted in my root canal/crown combo. Sheesh! Me and my big mouth.

Oh, and by the way, I now only have 27 1/2 teeth left!

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