27 April 2006

The Dental Saga - Second Opinion

I'm no morning person but I dragged my rural ass off to the dentist this morning. Dentist number two, named Dr. Willie. I was scheduled for a root canal, since I was referred and discovered his prices were a bit less expensive. The only appointment was bright and early at 8 in the morning. I can't believe people actually function this early. As I walked there at 7:30 a.m. I saw joggers and cyclists and envied them. The only place I would jog to at 7:30 in the morning would be right back to bed (of course, in my mind I image myself jogging in slow motion and dramatically leaping into a pile of warm blankets).

Dr. Willie's office was confusing and a bit disorganized but it gave it a sense of friendliness that way. A real and down to earth kind of atmosphere. The receptionist and hygienist were full of smiles and cheer (but not overwhelming). Instead of an office full of sterile dental certificates and diplomas, I was surrounded by sports memorabilia and news articles of my dentist when he was younger (quite the local sports champ). Instead of a nagging poster about dental health, there was a large framed portrait of hockey's Rocket Richard. A bit different than most dentist offices I have visited in the past.

They did a series of x-rays for my teeth. The dentist himself inspected my teeth thoroughly, namely the tooth I'm concerned about and that was to undergo the canal of the root. He made me bite down to make an imprint of that tooth. Apparently, this tooth is the first tooth that meets my teeth when I bite down. Namely, just one edge of it and since I grind/clench my teeth in my sleep I'm bound to feel it more. He shaved a bit off the tooth so I wouldn't have as much pressure and so that my teeth will fit together more efficiently.

Dr. Willie seems like a real hands-on guy. You know how some dentists are very careful with how they touch your face when they are doing work on your teeth? Well, he's not. I mean, he's careful with the teeth but he was hands-on all over my face (that sounds dirty). I'm surprised my drawn-on eyebrows aren't all over my forehead! I did have to fix my bangs though. I'm not complaining, he made me feel good. He didn't give me a lecture. He said I have "some good teeth there" and patted me on the face a few times.

The 2nd opinion verdict? After looking at the x-rays and according to Dr. Willie, I do not need a root canal! He said he can't see it in the x-ray, he can't even see the small beginnings of a problem. So my situation pretty much went from $2000 to possibly less than $200 as of right now. He shaved the tooth and said to wait a week to see if anything happens or if pain occurs. In a week or so, I will go back to get a filling done (that happens to be right next to the newly cropped and problematic tooth). He says I have a few things to take care of in the future but nothing in need of immediate care as long as we both keep an eye on it.

All I can say is I'm relieved. Looks like I can take me and my tooth backpacking through Europe afterall! Haha.


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