Friday, November 15, 2013

Novocain. Who Wouldn't Be Thankful?......

The ongoing saga of dental disaster that began nearly two months ago continues.   Well, 'disaster' is probably too strong a word for it unless your talking about the ugly financial end of things.

The sinus infection is better.  The root canal has been completed.  The tooth has been reconstructed so it can hold the new bridge in place.  This has involved a total of FIVE dental visits so far, most of which far exceeded an hour in length.  All of them involved numbing my entire right top jaw since there are six teeth involved in the bridge process. 

My jaw aches for three days after each visit from the shots and from holding my mouth WIDE open for hours on end.  Everything on that side of my face itches, including teeth I don't have anymore.  And the other day I had a twitch in my upper lip that made me feel as if there was a large earthworm squirming just under the skin.

And I have two more long visits to go.

Despite all of that, I am grateful.  Grateful for the two skilled dentists who are working on this.  Grateful for the dentist who made the original bridge last 25 years, and the one before who managed to rescue as many teeth as he did.  And I'm supremely grateful to whoever discovered Novocain. 

Being able to chew is something that I pretty much take for granted in my own life, but I see daily the price paid by folks who can't afford dental care - daily pain, frequent infections, malnutrition.  There was an article I read recently about a 12 year old child who died as a result of a dental abscess, news that sadly did not at all surprise me.  I've had patients who had some pretty severe infections, one that resulted in a stroke in a 28 year old. 

Novocain.  Dental insurance.  And the ability to come up with the money to pay for what the insurance doesn't.  I'm grateful.


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