I went to the dentist yesterday for my first ever root canal. Actually, this was prep work for recapping a front tooth I broke when I was ten. My team lead at BigHugeCo is younger than the current cap. I seldom show my teeth when I smile because then I have to plead, “No, really! I’m not English! I have a dental plan!”
The current cap is a buildup of vinyl bonding material held in place by a small pin. The reason the original dentist didn’t use a porcelain cap was because I was 10. I’d have had to have a new one every year or so, and 1.) we was poor and 2.) I ain’t letting anyone stick a drill in my mouth every year on the same date. I probably should have had it redone after high school, but, well… There you go.
So before we can replace this long-neglected front tooth, I needed a root canal. To do that, they had to drill from behind the tooth to get at all the dead gunk inside it. Originally, this was proposed to me in 1993. Why didn’t I do it then?
Well, my dentist back then was this guy in Fairfax. He had a nice office, lots of expensive laser equipment, and a pretty receptionist whose chest still had that new breast smell. I went to this guy to get a quick extraction. After the extraction, he wanted a follow up. I went. He sat me down, looked me straight in the eye and said, “I’m going to be frank with you. There’s a lot of damage to your mouth. It’s serious. What I need for you to do is to forgo buying a home, drive a beater for a while, and take out a $7000 loan so we can get started immediately.”
I got up, walked out without a word. Outside, I noticed not one, not two, but three Porsches parked in front of his building. Now, I’m not saying anything happened, but one of those Porsches had a nasty scratch down the side when I left that day.
Appropo of nothing, I used to be rather clumsy with my car keys.
I’m just saying those two facts coincided. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. Move along.
My current dentist I’ve been seeing for about three years now. Good guy, my dentist is. How good? I fell asleep during my root canal.
Yeah. Bet that’s the last time you hear someone say that when gas isn’t used.
Here’s the strange thing. That $7000 figure? That’s in 1993 dollars. My dentist’s estimate before insurance kicks in?
Less than $4000 for a partial, three extractions (one a bone fragment), a new cap, pulling my wisdom teeth, and redoing my fillings.
In 2008 dollars.
Oh, and Fairfax PD? I was… um… with my wife, Morgan Fairchild, when that Porsche got keyed last night. I was nowhere near that dentist in your fair town.
Maybe if your doc didn’t force patients to take out home equity loans to pay for his cars… Mine doesn’t. Yeah, that’s the ticket.