My Teeth Suck

Just before I left for Wisconsin, I noticed that I had a sore bump developing on the gum surrounding one of my failed root canals. I had lost the crown a couple years ago, and haven't been able to come up with the money to replace it. The tooth itself felt a little funny. I mean, I didn't actually feel anything in the tooth because there are no nerves, but my gums felts different. On the road trip, the bump quickly formed into an abscess. I got to Wisconsin and had a scolding from Shana and my mom about taking care of it (because the infection can spread to your brain and kill you). After freaking out for a bit, I went to the Walgreens on Brady because it now has a walk-in clinic. They gave me antibiotics and told me to get it taken care of immediately.
I don't have insurance. I don't have a dentist, and my family doctor quit about 6 months ago. I became quite worried about how I was going to fix this. I called a couple people that know good dentists or work for them. Within an hour Elise called me back to tell me that her dentist offered to pull the tooth for no charge. Done.
Now here's where I start to really feel shitty. All my life I've had horrible teeth. I brush them way more than most people I know. I carry floss and toothpicks around with me. I'm the dork that goes to the bathroom to floss my teeth after I finish a meal at a restaurant. Then why, dear god, does my mouth look like that of a 65 year old?? One dentist told me that it was because my saliva doesn't produce the antibodies that naturally fight the bacteria in our mouths. Hmm. This sounds like genetics to me. Five minutes later he told me I wouldn't have such bad teeth if I came to the dentist more often. Sorry if I missed 2 years of cleanings because I had no insurance and made minimum freaking wage!
So I've had a great deal of shame surrounding my teeth. I've been shamed by professionals. Shamed by friends and family (this might be in my head). One of my greatest fears has been losing a tooth. This would prove to everyone that I was in fact a failure - I failed to be able to take care of my mouth. I can just see my last dentist rubbing it in my face "I told you so! If you didn't get that crown replaced you would lose the tooth." How awful.
Anyway, I went to Elise's dentist today and he said I had the option of having a re-treatment done on the root canal but that would run me about $1000, or he would extract it right there for free. I weighed the options. I don't even have $1000 left on my credit card. Extraction it is. After taking what seemed like forever to get my mouth numb, he began digging. I'm not going to go into detail, but I can tell you it was the most traumatic mouth experience I've ever had. I once woke up in the middle of having my wisdom teeth surgically removed - the dentist was standing with a leg up on the chair and crunching bits of teeth out of my mouth. It was only a second that I was aware, and then went back under. This was like that, only it lasted a full five minutes. The tooth didn't want to come out.
When the ordeal was over, he said that I had made a good decision. The tooth had been cracked vertically down the root. This was the reason it was so difficult to extract the tooth. He said no amount of money could have saved it. No re-treatment would have made the tooth better. I saved myself $1000 by having it pulled. I now need to formulate a plan to save up a ton of money to have either an implant or bridge. grrrrr
Unfortunately, as I sit here I have to keep taking breaks to cry. The anesthetic is wearing off and I'm in a buttload of pain. He had prescribed me viccodin and ibuprofen 800, but I didn't fill the viccodin. I've never used narcotics for pain reasons, and I don't want to start now. However, I know why they prescribe them! All I can think of is how I want the pain to stop. It's like tooth pain - and when a tooth hurts so badly all you want is for it to be out of your mouth. Well, it's out of my mouth and now painful (I had no pain before pulling it)... I hope this doesn't last long. At least for the time being I've got Sean's PS2 and Guitar Hero to keep me occupied while resting.

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