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  • Dan Marich

Like Pulling Teeth

UPDATE

Houston, we have extraction. (Look lower left corner.) Thanks to all who cared enough to check in and thanks to all of you who laughed at my misery. I will now be eating soup and scrambled eggs for a week.




I have had an abscessed molar for about 7 weeks now. It is tooth number 31, and it is a tooth that I had root canal, and a crown, put on about three years ago. My dentist then, not my dentist now, sent me to a specialist, which is how this is done now, so he could do the root canal. Turns out he was running late for soccer practice and only got out about 2/3 of the infection back then, leaving the bottom third of the tooth to go bad, now, three years later.


My current dentist sent me to his guy, another specialist, so he could look at it and suggest remedies. After waiting three weeks to get in to see him the day finally arrived. He looked at it, clucked a few times, and his recommendation was that I take out a loan, and forget about new flooring, and have the root canal finished for only $3300. I said American? He said he would give me a discount and do it for only $3100. I said now that we've established what you are we need to work on the price, and no thanks.


He also pointed out that the tooth was cracked on two sides and it was likely that it would need to be pulled in less than 2 years. Great I said, how much to pull it? Only $800 he proudly shared. I told him I needed to think about this and would get back to him.


The next day I called my primary dentist and and related the findings and was told they would be happy to pull it for only $250. Spotting a bargain like an antiquor at a flea market, I scheduled the extraction for the following Tuesday. I asked for, and received, an antibiotic to help with the swelling and pain in the meantime.

It is 9:00 AM, election day 2020, and I'm in the dental chair waiting for my big moment. The dental assistant, cheerfully announces that they need to take my blood pressure before starting. I'm not going to lie, this procedure is scaring me a little. I've had stuff put in me but never had anything taken out so I'm a bit apprehensive. She finishes and says she will be right back.


The dentist comes back and says that they need to wait a short while, take my pressure again, and then proceed. He says it is a little high but to relax and they'll try again. Fifteen minutes later they try again and the dentist says he won't do the pulling today because my pressure is slightly high. I ask what it is and he says 210/105. Even for me that is high, not a record, but not good. Home I go still completely tooth full.


I was going to have Linda pull it until I saw the tools she was getting together for the job and thought better of that plan.

3:00 PM the following Tuesday we try it again and again blood pressure is 190/99. Now the dentist is getting very concerned and wants me to call my cardiologist for direction and help with this very high blood pressure. I call him as suggested and of course he is not happy. He puts me on some additional medication, doubles one of my current meds and says to let him know in a few days how my pressure is doing.


I, of course, have a reaction to the new med and call in to let them know that my head feels like it weighs 100 pounds and that my neck can't support it any longer. He switches me to a different one and by the next day I feel better and have no reaction to the new med. My blood pressure is now down to a more comfortable 135/79.


Since last Thursday I have been checking each day, and it is slowly creeping back up, so I'm a little apprehensive about how things will go this afternoon for try number three in getting my tooth pulled. Another 2020 moment.


For fun, and to pretend that I actually do research before writing these, I went to the internet to see how many teeth are pulled each year in the USA. Apparently it is a secret. I did discover that 49% of us use an electric toothbrush, along with an unrelated, but included, story on the Amish and Incest. I don't even want to know how that is related to the number of teeth pulled.


So today will be try number three with a real dentist. If they won't pull it I may have to let Linda give it a shot.

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