Year of the dentist

The dentist has been my nightmare this year. And this is coming from somebody who had a heart attack in May and spent a week in the hospital.

In February I started getting sharp pains in one tooth. The first doctor didn’t know what it was after 3 visits. The 2nd doctor didn’t either.

Finally I found a good doctor and his x-ray revealed a hairline fracture in the root of one tooth and he did a half-tooth extraction.

The extraction was awful (I felt like I was in a 19th century barber shop) but when he was done the pain disappeared and I never had to use any pain killers since.

But it’s been going on and on and on and on – one week to clean my upper teeth, another week to clean my lower teeth, another week to check to see how my gum is healing. Endless.

After my twentieth dentist visit of the year I actually walked out in the middle of a “check for gum disease” test and said this is crazy already. I just went home and fell into a depression.

The dentist is a good, professional dentist though, and a good listener, and he called me a week later and after a few weeks break I went back.

I currently have a temporary bridge, and it feels fine, and visually you can’t see anything wrong. But he said the temporary bridge can’t be used permanently and today I went for my next check and he wants to move to the “final stage” of making a permanent bridge after the Obon holidays. So I go back again on August 16th.

Unfortunately, unless I want the metallic type of crowns covered by national health insurance, this will cost me 180,000 yen! I’m still trying to decide what to do. The location is way in the back, but if I smile broadly I think metal from at least the front part of the bridge will be visible.

Not a good day. But I guess I’ll go for the porcelain instead of metal or I’ll become obsessed by whether it’s visible or not.

Too many medical expenses this year…


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