Thursday, August 20, 2009

First Healthcare, Next Dental Care

As you age, not matter how good your teeth were, they will start to fail. Most of us eat too much sugar and since dental care is expensive and not covered on all employer plans, a lot of you will be having significant dental problems in your thirties. It just gets worse over the ensuing years.

Dental care is way too expensive. I know. I've poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into my mouth. And now even the teeth that have had root canal therapy and porcelain crowns abscessing in the bone. Currently the last three bottom molars on the right lower side are abscessed and the whole right jaw and lymph node on that side are swollen and tender to the touch. I grind my teeth in my sleep, but every mouthguard I had made ($100+ a pop) needed to be replaced with every bit of subsequent dental work.

I am trying to hang onto these bottom molars since they are my only remaining chewing surface. It is your bottom molars that really take a beating in chewing. When a tooth abscesses under the tooth in the bone, the tooth rises slightly making any contact that much more painful. This is probably the tenth time I've gone through this trauma with these teeth. I should have had them pulled a couple of years ago, but a round or two of antibiotics gives me another few months. And since my last experience of having teeth pulled and replaced with a thing like a retainer with teeth has been a complete disaster, I am loathe to lose these teeth. I like chewing. I hate pain. And this time it's really painful. It used to be that if you lost your molars, you got a partial plate and that was that. No more cavities. But like watch makers, it's a dying art.

Now dentists are all about the implants. An implant starts at $2,500. That's just for the tooth. These are the variables. The implanting itself is a separate charge from the implant. You may need bone grafts. You may get infection, and you may have problems of alignment. I can't afford any of this and I'm not sure if I could afford it I'd risk bone grafts. My jaw is rather delicate.

What I need is a dentist who is a partial plate artist. I just don't know how to find such a dentist. In the meantime, I'm on antibiotics again and in pain again. Thank god for Compazine and Hydrocodon. I'm sedated, the pain is still there, but I don't mind quite so much and I'm sure to start itching soon. And day after tomorrow I'll be able to chew again for a month or so.

Dental care is the next big need for the elderly, the poor, and children. Dental infection can kill you. And if you can't eat, you won't survive.

To All My Writer Friends

This is one more reason to tweet. I'm following Writer's Digest on twitter and woke up this morning (10 AM is still morning) to this email notice. Get your stories out and start editing. I am not a genre writer but I think I have at least one story that can be considered horror or suspense. There is an entry fee of $15. but even I can afford $15.