I had grand ideas for my year-end bonus I received in December. Mainly of the OMG!EUROPE!FUND! variety. Unfortunately, my mouth had other plans. Dental bills are crazy. Even when you have insurance, you still have to shell out hundreds of dollars for things that seem like they should be routine and fairly inexpensive. So when you are raised by a single working mom with 3 kids, and a single filling costs $$$ even with insurance, let’s just say you’re not going to have routine and consistent dental care. And given that braces aren’t covered at all, and are $$$$, braces are out of the question if you are that one kid of the three who has crooked teeth (me).
So I finally got a job where I could afford whatever dental care I needed, but with the slight complication that I didn’t have time to go to the dentist. Last March, I was so busy at work that I got a killer tooth ache and just tried to power through it for the week because I really didn’t have time for an emergency dental visit. I was slathering that oragel stuff in my mouth every 15 minutes or so… which is completely against the recommendation (something like only 3 times per day). It was a miserable week. I couldn’t sleep. Then, finally, on Sunday, I couldn’t take it anymore. I was pretty sure I was going to have to rip my mouth off my face to survive if I didn’t see a dentist ASAP. Unfortunately, pretty much no dentists are open on Sundays. There was a very, very sketchy sounding emergency clinic in downtown L.A. that I found on the internet, but I was not entirely confident that I would leave with all of my organs if I went there. Then, it turned out I had a friend who had a friend who was a dentist, so I drove down to Redondo Beach on a Sunday afternoon for an emergency dental visit. The decay was so bad she had to pull the tooth, and then put some bone in there and stitch it up because I basically had no bone left in that spot. Yep, I have a random dead person’s mouth bone in my face. That’s not weird or creepy at all, I know.
(Let me just clarify that nobody at work said, “No, Michelle. You can’t go to the dentist.” I was just so crazy busy I didn’t know what to do.)
She said there was more work to do, but of course I got too busy again and didn’t go back. So finally, January rolled around and I decided to go back to the dentist. However, I wasn’t even thinking about cavities or anything like that, I was just thinking about finally getting my crooked teeth fixed. I was open to veneers or invisalign, but I needed something. When they realized I hadn’t been to the dentist since last march, they asked if I wanted a cleaning. “Sure!” I said. Bad news bears. It turned out I needed two root canals, and two cavities filled. Even with insurance, the total was somewhere in the neighborhood of $2500.
However, after 3+ fairly painful and tedious weeks of dental visits, my teeth are in pretty good shape. And the good news is: I am eligible for Invisalign! When I first went in, we were newly engaged but keeping it a secret for the time being (except for our families), but I totally spilled the beans and was all, “I’ve been wanting to fix my teeth for a long time, but I just got engaged and now I’m getting married and I really want straighter teeth for the wedding! And OMG let me tell you all about my ideas.” (Later when I told Dave he was like “… you told the dentist?!” Men just don’t understand, amiright?! ;-)).
The bad news is that it is going to take close to two years. The good news is that while they won’t be completely fixed by the time our September wedding, they should be significantly better. And the dentist is throwing in a free zoom whitening as a wedding gift 😉 And Dave is getting invisalign too so we’ll be invisalign buddies. He already has a great smile, but he thinks his bottom teeth could use a little help.
It’s a really small dental office with a dentist, assistant, and receptionist and they are GREAT. The assistant actually told me to take the above picture and post it on Facebook. A woman after my own heart.