Chronic Tonic: At This Point, I'd Be Happy With Dentures

Let’s talk about teeth. My teeth are just falling out. Kind of randomly. Has been a bit bothersome, but until the past month, didn’t bug me all that much; it was livable.

Ya see, my teeth have always been bad. I had my first cavities in grade school. Yeah, that’s plural. I had quite a few. And when I was around 9ish, a dentist said I had too many teeth for my jaw and I had a few permanent molars pulled. In hindsight, as bad a move as that might have been for a dentist to tell my ma, I have to say I agree – I just do not have that much jaw space – not even for the teeth I have left.

From 5th through 8th grade, I had the curse that is braces. I had crooked teeth and 4 years of painful braces and head gear – the whole 9 yards – and my teeth looked pretty good. Of course, over the ensuing years my teeth fought to return to their normal state and now, yeah, the braces did a little good but my teeth are still crooked, though thankfully, mostly just the bottom.

I mentioned the cavities – my enamel is thin and weak – it breaks and wears out easily. I cannot tell you how many root canals I’ve had, nor fillings, nor fillings that have fallen out, nor root canals that have failed and crowns that have broken off. Nor how many teeth I have broken. And I am the girl who used to floss religiously and always brushed her teeth. It’s really disheartening. I did everything right.

Which brings me to my gripe tonight. My upper right jaw is decimated. Out of the 4 molars that are in it, 3 of them are half teeth with fillings that are gone and the rear one is sans crown now. Thank gawd it’s on the side and not in front. Now, each time a tooth would break or a filling would fall out, I would spend a few days with my mouth in pain and then the pain would subside. Nothing has broken recently, but for some reason, for the past couple weeks, I have been in incredible pain. Not sustained, but frequent and in the same place. I’m wondering what happened and I’m eating advil. I also can’t do narcotics, but I have tramadol, but I’m almost out of that too. I’m really trying to practice some kind of mind control.

So I ask: Why on the Deity’s green earth is dental care not considered part of health care? Seriously, can anyone tell me why? Cuz I can go to the ER and get more tramadol, but I would need more money than my car is worth to get my damn teeth fixed cuz that’s not health care. Or even all pulled and dentures put in, which is what I would consider at this point. Last time I had a filling fall out and a tooth break, it cost me 3 grand to fix. Who has that kind of spare cash hanging around these days? So here I am, in pain and missing teeth, and the only thing I can actually do about it is get more pain pills. Fucked up that is.

So there ends my lovely toothache rant. The floor is yours.

Also available at Docudharma and the Stars Hollow Gazette





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I hear ya. I've had plenty of dental issues since I was

Big Al's picture

young.  Got my four upper front teeth knocked out when I was 15 after getting punched and pushed down some stairs.  They anchored the bridge to the two vampire teeth by whittling those down and glueing the bridge over them.  Eventually those gave way.  I also had a few other issues with my upper teeth, losing a few.  So when the bridge gave way I was forced to either get implants or go with an upper denture.  Implants are out of my price range so I got the upper denture.  It was a good move, they aren't too bad.  Better than the situation I had.  Dentist says my bottom ones aren't going to last too long so eventually I'll have to do that too.

Sucks.  Getting old sucks.

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I have a dentist appointment in two weeks.

type1error's picture

I got a crown when I was China and it broke apart last week. Like you, I've been vigilant about taking care of my teeth, but I had other health problems that affected my teeth while I was also without dental insurance. At the beginning of grad school, when I was still traveling to China twice a year, I continued to see my dentist in Shanghai. But its been a while since my last visit and I'm not looking forward to this appointment in two weeks.

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This is where Obamacare really fails

priceman's picture

Dental is covered under Medicare for All in Canada, but we have to listen to dumbasses tout a conservative plan from the Heritage Foundation and Bob Dole as somehow what FDR and Truman were trying to accomplish. BS. Dental is a very important part of health care. It's the only coverage I have.

I have had dental issues my whole life as well. I have been lucky in being able to secure the funds from the old man to get my teeth fixed for my labor helping him out, but I was in pretty bad shape before and it wasn't easy. It was like a labor dispute. I ground down most of my enamel for years and had to get it replaced which was very expensive. I still have to wear a night guard but my bite is not as bad, but enough about me.

This pisses me off. I'm sorry about your troubles, my friend. It sucks that you have to be dirt poor to receive Medicaid because it covers dental. If Mexico were not so dangerous right now I would say to go to Mexico. Or maybe save for a trip abroad so dentists don't get to live next to Chris Rock by all the funds they siphon from people.

I hope you get the dental care you need somehow, my friend. This BS country and it's BS health care which isn't care system.

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