“To be absolutely sure it’s broken,” Dr. Johnson snapped his rubber gloves, “I’d have to give you a root canal. That doesn’t seem like a good investment.”
“So, you’re saying that it is broken?” I looked up to my new endodontist, looking for assurance.
“I can’t be completely certain, but all signs point that way.”
“So, you’re recommendation is that we pull the tooth and get an implant?” I said.
“Well, it seems like the best route to take.”
WILL SOMEONE PLEASE ANSWER MY DAMN QUESTION?!?
No offense to Dr. Johnson. He’s smart, pleasant and has a very attractive rubber plant.
But here’s my but…
It is 2013, right? Would it be safe to assume that modern dental technology, with its ultra high-powered x-ray machines, fiber optic scopes and assistants clad in monochromatic purple scrubs that double as spaceship cult robes—to say,
“Yes, auGi. That little shit is broken.”
Is that so much to ask?
WHAT ABOUT THE COST?
When you’re unemployed, the cost of an implant can mean the difference between eating or seeing Styx and REO Speedwagon at the Washington County fair.
Okay. More like the price of appearing naked on stage with Tommy Shaw as he performs Blue Collar Man at the fair.
The last time I had an implant, it cost me approximately $5000—out of pocket (I didn’t have insurance).
FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS.
Oh, how I wish dentists still bartered with goats! Or back hair.
Thankfully, I’m on my GF’s insurance, which should cover a percentage of the cost. Still, I remain reticent. Last year, a different insurance company refused to reimburse a large sum of money because another implant that needed to be replaced was only five years old. “In order to reimburse you, Mr. Garred, it has to be at least six.”
Of course! How convenient that the insurance company chose to make an arbitrary six year failure rate on implants. Those guys are smart. And honest.
It’s not like I have much choice. I can either writhe around in pain till my tooth falls out, or get it pulled and watch as my bottom teeth slowly slide apart, creating gaps as wide as the space between Dolly Parton’s boobs.
No. I like my teeth, so I’m opting for the full-meal deal. Somehow, some way, everything will work out in the end.
That’s what I believe. I’m an optimist. Maybe an optimist with a lot of unpredictable teeth, but nonetheless hopeful.