Thursday, April 10, 2014

And then he says, "bend all the way over"...

Oh lambs. It's been a rough day and if I were a drinker, you'd be getting a much different blog post right now. I am not, so buckle up Betty because here's a recap of my oral surgeon consultation from this afternoon. Honestly, I have no idea where to start.

First and foremost, Mr. Pissy Tooth has to come out. Not because there is anything wrong with it, the tooth is totally fine. What is not fine is the bone that all of your teeth are held in. Apparently, and this is a real large pill to swallow, when I had the other molar removed in 2008, the orthodontist should have strongly suggested that I get an implant put in then.

Why?

Oh so you know, your bone doesn't think it's job of holding teeth in is done. Apparently, your bone can erode and thin out if there is no tooth in that spot. What happens when this happens is that you either start removing teeth or your fix it.

How do you fix it, Sara?

Oh, well it you were a totally normal person you could take bone from your jaw area and shove it in where your tooth was and then you get endosteal implant and then you get a fake tooth that essentially screws into said implant.

BUT if you're me, you'll know immediately you can't be easy or normal. Which means I can't use my jaw bone chunk. Nope, not me.

I get bone chunks from a dead person.

100% dead serious.

(Heh, you see what I did there?)

But this is all after I can get rid of the freaking bone infection I apparently have on top of it. As of right now, if everything goes absolutely smooth as absolutely possible, I have for sure two phases of surgery.

Phase 1: Remove tooth and do bone graft with dead person bone. All for the low, low price of $1229.00. He also told me that that weekend? I will be doing nothing and it may feel like I'm going to die, or at the very least, like all of my teeth are going to fall out at once. I may get sick and if my body is all no, no, no to the bone chunks, I'll have to call immediately because then we have a whole other "situation" and I'll get a pamphlet about it and he didn't want to worry me today. Generous of him.

See? Just like that.

Phase 1.5: Approximately three months later, I go in so they can scan my face and make sure I'm healing, the dead person bone chunk is happy, and the rest of my bone is happy. Hopefully two become one, just like the Spice Girls said they should.

Phase 2: Assuming the bone graft was successful, sometime this fall I will go in for the second surgery which will be them drilling a hole into happy new bone and putting in an implant a future tooth will sit in. All for the low price of $2,768.00.


See? Exactly like this.

Phase 3: Go to regular dentist and get fancy new tooth that can screw into there. If I understood correctly, it doesn't come in and out. Like, I get it and then there is an adjustment period for size and how it's in there, just like you would with a partial or even a denture. That cost is unknown because it will depend on the size of tooth I'd need, but I was told today that could be anywhere from $800 to $3000 for just the tooth. Then I have to pay for it to be adjusted so it fits, so add to that.

The worst part about this is that this is just for one tooth. The oral surgeon suggested I look into getting this same thing done for where my other molar was. Not because I need it to eat or function, but to help the integrity of my bone in general.

Oh yes, and the even better part? He can't even guarantee that this will be it. In fact, because it appears I have a "persistent degeneration of bone", there is a good chance that I will either A) need this done on other teeth and/or B) have this tooth "adjusted", which is a nice way of saying do this all over again on the same damn tooth.

I also need all of the money upfront. Well, I need all of the money for each phase up front at the time I do that phase. So right now, it's a race to save $1229 in oh, a few weeks. Then I have 3 months to save up almost $3000. Which I can tell you will not happen. I don't have a choice in removing this tooth, things are bad, I have the bone infection and bone is angry. I don't have a choice on the implant situation either, and he told me the longer I wait between procedures, the worse my recovery is going to be and the more difficult it will be to do.

I am not looking forward to any of this at all. Like not at all. Every time I hear people complain about the dentist I want to shove my entire leg up their ass because this is ridiculous. I don't know anyone who has had as many surgeries on their mouth as I have. It's awful. I seriously hope neither of my children inherit any of this, but I fear for Olivia. She's so much like me I feel like it's inevitable at this point.

So poor Matt. His reaction was, "I'll just be seeing you then?" because he plans to just work until he collapses. I told him he can't die because I can't afford to get life insurance on him on top of all of this. *sigh* The bright spot is that my first dentist scared me and said this might not be a surgery that can be done in the oral surgeon's office and I might end up in the hospital for it and then my costs quadruple, easily. Which is exactly what happened the last time. This time, he's pretty sure he can do it in his office. Oy vey.

6 comments:

LisaMM said...

Damn. "I'm sorry" seems so lame and insufficient, but I am.

Latharia said...

Oh, I hear you. I hear you GOOD. DH went through something very similar, except we had invested close to $10,000 in the implant and were in Phase 3 when they did an x-ray before drilling & they found the tooth next to it was going bad. The upshot was that it ... AND the tooth next to it had to be extracted, so they could have 2 teeth that were good candidates for a bridge. Thankfully, although the bridge was supposed to cost another $15,000, they gave us a 50% discount because they felt bad about our situation. Even so, yeah, we didn't know how to make it work. We scraped together what we could, we begged for a care plan for payments, we found out about financing (yes, loans can be done -- mindblowing), and we spread it out across 3 full years to get the max benefits from dental insurance. The long and short of it, though -- IT SUCKED SUCKED SUCKED!!! I am so sorry you're going through this. :(

Kim Topolewski said...

I had the same thing, more or less, done on my mouth - I had a baby tooth which had no adult tooth above it that got removed. Because I guess that's a thing? So that baby tooth was esentially being a brat and like almost growing into the tooth behind it because for years the dentist (nor I) could get in between those two really good enough to floss properly, so that other tooth had major decay. When I got my wisdom teeth out, they said I NEEDED to get that baby tooth out, which I did. They did a cadaver graft so if I decided on an implant later, I'd have that shit there, just like they told you. Note: dead person bone in my mouth only freaked me out for like a week before and a week after.
So they did a root canal on the decayed tooth and never put a crown on it because I had to decide what I wanted to do with the huge gap I had from the baby tooth - partial denture, bridge or an implant. Cut to like December of this year, 3+ years later (whoops) and I finally decided on the bridge. I had to get a crown on the root canal tooth anyways, so my dentist was just like "yeah I'd say this is best for you. It's not as expensive as the implant, but it'll last you 15+ years longer than the partial denture would."
So 2 teeth shaved down to nubs, a shiny porcelain bridge and $1800 later... I have a fully functioning mouth as of now.


Anyways. Long story short, I totally get it. It fucking sucks. I'm really lucky that I had the extraction and graft under my parents insurance so they paid that part of it, but it still blows asshole. I just paid the third & final installment of $435 today, which was my entire savings (maybe they'll let you pay in installments, like mine did?). The rest of the $1800 I planned for and took out in my Health Care Savings Account, but now that's drained out too and we still have what... 8 months left in the year? Fun.

Jandy xx said...

Please don't take this as a lack of sympathy, because honestly, there's a whole lotta love and sympathy being sent your way... But, what I really need to say.... "Hopefully two become one, just like the Spice Girls said they should." Very possibly the best line ever written on this blog, and that's saying a lot, because there's a heap of quality lines here!

Good luck gorgeous, thinking of you xx

Hey, has Stanley arrived yet?

Krysten Gautreaux said...

Anything involving dental work is a joke. They're all a bunch of idiots.

I'm sorry Sara. I totally feel your pain. Aside from the bone of a dead person thing. That's super creepy. Although I guess not much creepier than someone getting something from a donor? Maybe?

Krystle said...

Holy Shitskies.

I'm slightly (okay, really effing) terrified that I'm headed down the same path.

I have half of a molar missing in my upper right side and if I hit the inside of the tooth just right, where the filling came out, I hit the nerve. I'm sure you know how amazing that feels.

Same goes for another tooth on my bottom left side; a molar back there, the filling fell out and a chunk of tooth.

I hate the dentist with a passion. I had a root canal 5 years ago that damn near killed me; worst pain in the world... and I haven't been back to the dentist all but one time since which was a year later; and to a different dentist who said, "Oh, they didn't do it good enough, you still have infection way down there. So we'll need to do it again." Yep, haven't gone back.

I've always had horrible teeth; 8 cavities when I was a lovely 3 years old... and every time since then I've had at least 2-6 cavities.

My grandma got dentures when she was 23. I think I know where I got these effing teeth from.

UGH!!!! I feel your pain. Kinda.