Tag Archives: dentist

I forgot: Dentists are Expensive My Life 07 SEP 2016

I pretty good when it comes to car maintenance, though by good I mean I take it for a service every time it hits the 15,000 km mark. Anything else and I’m pretty useless / indifferent. The last time I had an issue with my teeth, I left it for so long that by the time I approached a dentist, they had to pull the tooth.

As you might imagine, I haven’t been to a dentist since. That was 2011.

The other day, much to my annoyance, a big ridge of one of my lower molars chipped / flaked off (I’m not sure as to what was the cause mind you), forcing me to make an appointment with a dentist for the first time in 5 years. I opted to go local, and a quick Google search led me to the practice of Drs Te Boekhorst in Sir Lowry Road (just before the Gordon’s Bay institution that is Ooskus Fisheries).

The practice is run out of a converted home, which is decorated in quite an inviting manner – in fact, I thought I had walked into a crafting store by mistake the first time I entered the premises! :)

Anyway, the primary dentist is currently off on maternity leave (I suspect that might be the titular Dr Emilia Te Boekhorst), so standing in her stead was a friendly young chap by the name of Dr Harry – I didn’t get his last name come to think of it –  who quickly got me in the chair and convinced me to open my mouth.

And there in lay my mistake, because it was pretty much an immediate “Oooh, I think we need to take a couple of quick bite-wing x-rays here.”

Ah yes, there sat all the little black marks, indicating that apart from the flaked molar, I was also sitting with an impressive 8 cavities in my mouth. (Surprising, because I’m quite fastidious when it comes to brushing my teeth twice a day – but not so surprising considering the fact that I never go to the dentist for a routine clean/check up like one should!)

Seeing as it isn’t really safe to deaden all four quandrants of the mouth at once (plus my appointment wasn’t long enough anyway), we decided to split the work over two sessions, the first session (hour long) being dedicated to repairing my molar and the cavity in that one lower quadrant, and the second session a couple of days later (hour and a half long) to take care of the remaining seven cavities in the other three quadrants.

So that was an uncomfortable, numbing experience as you might imagine. Anyway, everything is all fixed up again, though my pocket is a fair bit lighter, with all that work costing me R4,135.

Ouch, dental work, as always and as any other medical-related work I guess, remains a rather expensive exercise.

Sadly, in my numbed state (both times), I completely forgot to take any photos of the practice, meaning that this post will now just have to do with a picture I took of myself and my voter’s mark following our recent municipal elections. (For the record, Gordon’s Bay was won by an overwhelmingly majority vote for the DA).

dav

The dental practice does not seem to have any sort of actual web presence, so here’s a map in case you are looking for them. You can find them at 4 Sir Lowry’s Pass Rd,
Gordon’s Bay, 7140 or contact them on (+27) 021 856 2579.

They do good work.

When Jessica Goes to Hospital… My Life 18 AUG 2015

Amazingly, given her history as a prem baby, and unlike Emily, Jessica has never been back to hospital for an illness-related matter.

However, that’s not to say she hasn’t been back to hospital. Having chipped her teeth as a toddler by falling on tiles whilst crawling (and being chased by a tickling daddy also on all fours), the combination of the sharp edges and her overbite meant that action needed to be taken, and as such it was finally off to the dentist for Chantelle and Jessica.

The decision was made to fix the teeth regardless of them being milk teeth, and as such, November 2014 saw Chantelle escorting Jessica to the Mediclinic Strand Hospital for the dental procedure to happen under anesthetic.

(Booked in at the hospital for medical aid purposes.)

jessica lotter getting her teeth fix at mediclinic strand hospital

The dental procedure was a success, Jessica seemed to rather enjoy her hospital trip, and at last the teeth were back to being as good as new.

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Sadly though, that didn’t last very long, and after a couple more rounds of fix, chip, fix, chip, we’ve pretty much decided to wait and let the tooth fairy take charge on this one…

The Girl with the Chipped Front Teeth Jessica 21 MAR 2015

Sigh.

As a baby, Jessica chipped her two front teeth pretty badly by crashing teeth first into the tile floor at Monty and Cheryl’s place whilst being chased around on all fours by her daddy (i.e. me). Then earlier last year the dentist spotted a cavity, and in November last year we finally got Jessica to the dentist to have the hole plugged and her front teeth fixed (mainly because of the damage it was causing her bottom lip when biting down – sadly, she’s inherited my overbite it would seem).

The procedure was a success (expensive though, so, so expensive), and for the last four months Jessica has been running around with perfect teeth and a healthy bottom lip.

Until Friday that was.

Picking her up from school at the end of the work day, Chantelle arrived to the bad news that following a successful nap time, Jessica stood up too quickly, lost her balance and fell face first to the ground, chipping out both her front teeth in the process.

little girl with broken front teeth - jessica lotter

Needless to say, both Chantelle and I want to cry.

(We’ll have to make a plan though. I don’t necessarily want to have them fixed so shortly before she starts losing her milk teeth, but at the same time I can’t have her damaging her bottom lip again. Sigh, guess it is time for Mr Credit Card to once again make an appearance…)

Toothless Grin My Life 15 SEP 2011

It’s actually hardly visible when I smile at you straight on. However, if you’re facing my left hand side profile and I open my mouth, then it hits you pretty hard, not to mention when I open up wide to give a damn good laugh! It is going to take some getting used to visually, but this missing tooth is definitely not the most attractive of things ever done to me.

The extraction actually went pretty smoothly. Having completed my five days of antibiotics (damn did those make my asshole burn and make me fear going to the toilet, possibly the very first time that the white porcelain throne actually scared me so! Sorry, TMI I guess.), I made my way through to dentist Aletia Kruger’s premises out here in Strand, where I was first diverted to the oral hygienist Adri who spent the next half and hour or so cleaning my teeth and getting rid of years worth of plaque in the process. As it turned out, she identified that I definitely had the first stages of gum disease, so it was just as well I saw her, because all the cleaning should sort that out.

With my teeth now feeling strangely polished and giving off strange nook and cranny sensations to my tongue, I strolled down the corridor to Dr. Aletia, where she sat me down, had a look, numbed the upper gum and then injected me from what must be the largest, meanest looking metallic injection needle that I have ever seen!

Unfortunately the problem abscess had not drained completely as she had hoped that it might, but it had gone down enough to make the extraction feasible. With my mouth now properly dead, she grabbed her specialized tongs and worked the broken tooth out, with a lot less effort than I thought it would take.

I was given instructions and some gauze to bite down on for the next hour, paid my bill and then left, one tooth lighter.

It was an uncomfortable hour (which I timed to make sure I didn’t a) cheat and b) didn’t keep that gauze in for a minute longer that I had to!), but eventually I could open my mouth again and inspect the damage. Like I said, it is going to take a while to get accustomed to this new look! :)

Funny thing is though, I’m not sure everything has gone as it was meant to. I was told to expect a lot of pain from the wound in the evening once the anesthetic wore off, so much so that right up front, the Dr. had written out a prescription for pain meds with the antibiotics. However, as of this morning, still nothing whatsoever, which worries me just a little bit. Maybe the abscess is blocking the nerves are something, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t meant to be this easy.

Final point, it is pretty off-putting to Chantelle (who I flash it to constantly) while Jessica things it’s pretty funny. Or that maybe that’s just gas.

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)