Dental Adventures My Life 12 SEP 2011

On Wednesday I’m going to lose a tooth. I doubt this will make me look any more attractive.

The root of it all (see what I just did there?) was a couple of years back when Ryan and myself found ourselves playing the fool on the trailer whilst moving Gran into the old age home. Needless to say, two grown men wrestling always ends in tears, and a “catch me while I jump on your back” move that went horribly wrong, resulted in a trip to the hospital for me (for stitches if I remember correctly), as well as a sliver of tooth that broke out when my head decided to meet the wall.

The tooth effected was the maxillary first premolar on the left hand side of my upper jaw, and being the person I am, I just forgot about it (read ignored) and went on with life. As the time went by (read years), bit by bit the missing part became bigger as more and more slivers gave way, followed by the eventual onset of some pain when the nerve at last became somewhat exposed during the middle part of this year. A month or two ago the pain then all but disappeared, and in its stead left behind a spongy, inflamed and painful gum around the root – basically the trigger that started the knocking at the back of my head to finally go see a dentist and get something done about my long neglected tooth.

(Also, the horror stories that came out of the office after I made the misguided mistake of mentioning my toothy problem further helped to turn this gentle knocking into a frantic SMS for Chantelle to find me a dentist and make an appointment ASAP!)

Chantelle secured me an appointment with the dentist Aletia Kruger who operates her practice out in Strand (81 Fagan street if you’re interested) and funnily enough, as these things tend to happen, the day before the appointment was scheduled for, I was enjoying a nice fat meat samoosa for lunch when a loud cracking noise announced the end for half of my neglected tooth. (It looks actually pretty weird at the moment. Half a tooth remains, but jutting out of the middle of it is the metal filling, still standing large and in charge, and presenting an interesting textured thingie for my tongue to keep playing with!)

Thursday rolled along and I successfully navigated my way to the dentist’s offices, where I filled in the lengthy form and got acquainted with the very pleasant Dr. Aletia who probed around for a bit and then announced the good news that she can’t seem to find any other cavities in my mouth, other than the half a tooth of course. Plenty of build up on the teeth yes (oral hygienist, here I come!), but no other problems as far as she can tell. However, the bad news is that the neglected tooth was far past the point of saving and would need to be pulled. So a prescription for five days worth of antibiotics was put in my hand and a dual booking for first the oral hygienist and then the dentist was made for the next week Wednesday when the big heave ho would take place, removing my not so shiny (probably more black than white) half a tooth, and in the process, leaving behind a big gaping hole that I’m sure is going to make drinking through a straw a whole lot more fun.

Of course, all of this doesn’t come for free, and with me only being on a hospital plan with Discovery Health, the funds for this little dental adventure has to come straight from my pocket. All in all the bill looks to be just short of R900, so not great, but actually far, far less than what I was dreading, seeing as Dave just walked out of the dentist’s office with a bill to the tune of well over R2,000!

So yeah, I’m going to have a little mini passion gap pretty soon, which funnily enough, Chantelle doesn’t appear to be quite impressed about. She keeps throwing about phrases like “I told you so”, “your own fault”, “you should have” and such like! :P

(Footnote: Yes, yes, I wouldn’t have been in this predicament – and still had a full set of teeth – if only I had gotten it sorted out right away. What can I say? Dentists scare me! :P)

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.

  • Ryanlotter

    Maybe you need to fork out the extra to get a false one screwed in too :)