Hi all! Allow me to set the scenario for you:
I have a story to tell you. Notice I always smile with my mouth closed!
Last Saturday evening The Frenchman and I went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Spring Mill Café. Dinner was great, as usual. And when I arrived home to get changed, I started to floss my teeth.
Our favorite restaurant. Teeth or no teeth this place is the greatest!
It was early enough to switch from the nice clothing I wore to dinner into more comfortable at-home evening attire—sloppy, flour-ridden pajamas and bare feet.
Welcome to my lounge apparel!
Now. Understand. When I floss my teeth, I’m extremely aggressive. I also love to floss with these little plastic-handled instruments called Plackers. These get way down into the gum. I may have all my teeth but I have plaque issues. And while flossing one particular back tooth, it broke. In two. It was a tooth that had been filled. Regardless, I freaked out.
Might I add that these little flossers are epic to take out one’s anger and frustration….
I shan’t elaborate but the amount of gunk these things pick up is disgustingly satisfying!
First of all, I’m a complete dental wimp. My past experiences with dentists have been excruciatingly painful, anxiety-ridden, and downright horrific.
Yup! This pretty-much sums up how I feel when a dentist approaches!
The last dentist I went to worked on my gums, refused to give me novacaine, and seemed to delight in my pain. And, no offense to older people because I am one, but I think this guy could have taken some dental upgrade classes into the 21st Century! Oddly, when I passed the building where his dental practice had been I noticed the practice was no longer there.
I shall also add that it has been many years since I went to a dentist. I suffer from PDST—Post Dental Stress Trauma.
The trauma is real people. It’s real!
Luckily, the tooth that broke managed to break in such a way that the nerve wasn’t exposed and I didn’t get a toothache. The feeling of my tongue against the broken tooth wasn’t and still remains unpleasant but if I eat anything sweet or too hot or cold, I get a bit of a wake-up call so to speak.
That feeling of my tongue hitting the broken tooth isn’t painful but the feeling is……
And since we leave for Paris in three weeks, I realized that something needed to be done. Either a root canal, which I absolutely refuse to have. In all honesty, I would rather give birth to ten-ten-pound babies again naturally and deal with ten more fourth-degree lacerations than have a root canal.
Actually, deep down I’m also doing this for my husband. He hasn’t been “home” since the lockdown. The last thing HE needs is to find a dentist for me while we’re away!
A bridge would be another option because I understand that lots of people have them. Of course, the tooth would have to be extracted but after receiving massive doses of novacaine, I would be fine. Add a little happy gas to that and I could actually turn into a pleasant little creature.
A few shots of Novacaine and happy gas and I’m as giddy as she is!
Lastly, an implant, the most expensive option which would also require an extraction. I’m fine with that.
Oh yeah. I need lots of novacaine and happy gas!
The most important step would be to actually find a dentist. One who would take my Cigna insurance. Here’s where the fun began.
Last Monday I went into the office early because I had to conduct some serious sleuthing to find said dentist. Cigna’s website sucks. Plainly and honestly speaking. It sucks. After navigating the damned Cigna site for over a half-hour, I gave up. The most I got out of it was being able to print a copy of the card that I never received in the mail.
You need to be Sherlock Holmes just to navigate the Cigna site in search of a dentist. SMH.
Instead, I went to my old reliable friend, Google and entered the following text: Dentists in Phoenixville, PA. One office was manned—or rather womaned by two female dentists. I sent them an email explaining my situation. I never heard back. The next day, I wrote them off completely.
The second dentist that showed up on my search turned out to be a proud partner of the Philadelphia Eagles. As a born New Yorker and one who believes in loyalty to the team of where one was born, there is no way on earth I would go to a dentist with any mention of the “Iggles” (that’s the way PA people pronounce this team—they can’t even pronounce their home team correctly) on his website. This NY Giants fan passed him by. And with all due respect, I’m sure he’s a great dentist.
I”m sure this is a wonderful dental office but The Eagles!!!??? Not for THIS born New Yorker!! I would rather have all my teeth rot than go to an “Iggles” Dentist!
The third time was a charm. I came across Phoenixville Dental. Simple and to the point. I live in Phoenixville and I need Dental work. In addition, the insurance carriers were displayed on the home page. A rather pragmatic approach if you ask me.
And the charming Dutch Colonial home-turned-office is so charming! And he takes Cigna!!!
I called the office. OMG. This was more nerve wracking than making my lady parts exam. Opposite openings if you will, can be stressful when they need medical attention. I also explained that I was such an awful patient that the dentist might change professions after dealing with me. The response was a chuckle. I made the appointment and couldn’t look back. It was time to put the big-girl panties on and go for it.
It was sure time to adult up, put on my big-girl panties and head to the dentist. I was never this happy to go to the dentist! Wait till this one finds out the drill will hit her nerve–she won’t be this gleeful!
Trust me, the last thing I need is to have a dental emergency in Paris. I want to enjoy every meal and every morsel. I have no time for a bad tooth. And just my luck, an abscess would have popped up.
In addition, my husband is treating me to a class in croissant. I do believe it’s for his benefit. I really need to get that half-tooth taken care of.
I was very fortunate to have gotten an appointment after my working hours and the ride from work was a straight on. So far, it seemed promising.
Upon my arrival, there was plenty of parking spaces, which I appreciate and I would have to make a right-hand turn out of the parking lot to go home. Laugh if you will, but the right-hand turn exit is very important to me—especially in the evening when my sight is limited. I don’t do left-hand turns and when I do them, they aren’t done very well.
I entered the office a bit nervous and saw a sign at the front desk welcoming me. This was a good sign. Anyone who actually welcomes me is either truly really nice or just plain crazy! In I went, got the X-rays. Babbled on in nervous conversation about my life story and between pauses begged not to judge the state of my neglected mouth.
This is what I’m talkin’ about baby! They welcomed me. That’s more than the reception I receive from my co-workers and my family!
The outcome? My mental and emotional state is a definite no root canal. (Much to the chagrin of my sister because my brother-in-law is an endodontist and RC is his specialty. Besides, I’m not trekking out to Long Island spending hours on the Belt Parkway to have my brother-in-law discuss my horrible tooth situation with my sister). Surprisingly, a bridge was not an option either. My bottom back teeth are crooked. I should have had braces as a child. But given the fact there were five children in the family and it was during a time when braces were used only for buck-toothed children. We’ve come a long way in straightening out teeth.
The only reasonable but pricey option was to have an implant where the tooth would be extracted. Because I have an HSA that has been untouched, it’ll cover the cost and CIGNA should cover the costs of cleaning. The remainder will be co-paid by yours truly. This is actually a good thing because I can get all this done by the end of the year—hopefully.
The pricier option is far better than the DIY route!
The “hole” where the tooth was needs three months to heal, though. So, the implant will be done early next year. The thought of a metal screw embedded into my gum grosses me out to no end but getting that space filled is far better than a gaping hole. Besides, I’ll be so sickened by the tooth extraction that I’ll live on soup from tomorrow until we leave for Paris. I’m good to lose a couple of unwanted pounds.
I’ve already prepared Shiksa Matzo Ball Soup–from a mix. It’s so good that I’m sending my husband out for another box. I’ll be souping it up for the next week or so.
Did I mention that the last time I had tooth extractions were my wisdom teeth? The first wisdom tooth extraction had me at the emergency room. My instructions were to eat only “soft” foods. The day after the extraction, I went to the San Gennaro in NYC’s Little Italy and had a calzone. My thought process was that the ricotta filling was soft. I never considered the chewy dough. I ended up bleeding and couldn’t stop it.
I should’ve prayed to St. Gennaro to guide me on what to eat. Perhaps if I did there would be no visit to the ER.
The second wisdom tooth extraction occurred when my son Jake was about nine or ten months old. Since I had the day off from work in order to have the tooth taken out, I was able to enjoy time with my son. As we rolled around on the floor, Jake jumped on me. He landed on my face where the tooth was pulled. Again, I ended up at the Emergency Room at Columbia Presbyterian.
My jaw was as swollen as her’s was after that tooth debacle!
This time around, I’m keeping away from Chippy. I’m not even going to look at any solid food. And I’m going to concentrate on our trip.
I’m so afraid Chippy will shower me with canine love the way he attacked this lone gougere!
Hey. It could have been worse. I could have broken or lost my front teeth!
Always look on the bright side! It could have been my front teeth!!!!
And guess what? Dr. Wollach’s first language is French!!!! French! How’s that for divine intervention?
My husband can’t wait to accompany me to my French-speaking dentist! They can discuss bread.