Friday, April 03, 2009

My Dental Visit

I've written about my transportation to my dentist's office. Now for a few comments about my experience!

If you've read my first book, you may remember the chapter entitled "My $30,000 Teeth." My teeth are marvels of expensive crowns and restorations. Now they require a lot of upkeep, or so my dentist says. I recently received a card thanking me for five years of business; it was signed by everybody in the office. I must be the star patient (and probably the oldest).

The purpose of this week's visit was merely examination and cleaning. Little did I know that it was more involved than that. Ever careful, my dentist insisted that I take a massive dose of antibiotics because of my knee replacement surgery. It seems that what goes on in one's mouth can affect the rest of the body, so any infection could be disastrous. My gums were in bad shape after less than great dental hygeine while I was in the hospital and nursing home.

Now I have to return in two or three weeks for further antiobiotics and futher care. I have always hated going to the dentist, but now it's becoming a regular activity. More that $300 later, I was dismissed until April 22. Would I have been better off with my "old" teeth? They might have fallen out by now. How much do regular dentures cost?

As I've said before, I'm glad to have an improved smile, but is all this realistic? How many elders can afford such extensive dental services? Can I? Not really. Are big-city dentists just better salesmen? I wonder if all this is necessary.


Nancy said...

I do think teeth are really important. This is why I make one of my major donations to a local non-profit that provides low or no-cost dental care to our local folks, especially Hispanic children. To have a painful mouth is terrible. I got implants when I got tired of endless root canals, and they have been very satisfactory - Expensive of course! Nancy

Alice said...

Ditto what Nancy said, but on the other hand I do think dentists have become marvelous salesmen now...sort of like the old insurance salesmen.