Dental Care

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Halfapint
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Dental Care

Post by Halfapint » Tue May 12, 2015 4:04 am

So after over 10 years of not going to the dentist, I finally did it..... I went in. Now growing up, I never had a fear of the dentist, still to this day I don't; I find it semi relaxing and I some what enjoy sitting there having them work on my teeth.

The main reason I didn't go was because I was scared of the expense. I'm a cheap bastard and well.... I thought getting my teeth worked on would cost me a small fortune. I do have medical/dental through my company; it's actually really great insurance. Even still.... I didn't want to spend what I thought was going to be a small fortune.

So a month ago I went in, I made the appointment! The first appointment was xrays, it had been so long they had destroyed my old records, they also did some water jet cleaning. They examined my xrays and told me I had to have a root canal on one of my k9's. This wasn't surprising, I knew I had broken it about 9 months earlier. They also said that a couple of my old fillings should probably be replaced because of age (going on 20ish years.... Shit I'm getting old).

We make two appointments for the following week. One for a full on cleaning, and another for a root canal/build up. The cleaning comes and they descale my teeth, and polish them.... Hot damn my teeth feel GREAT! The following day I go in for my root canal. I'm not worried, I'm not afraid of pain or the sound of dental equipment. I sit in the chair and they give me the numbing swabs, after about 10 minutes the doc comes in and gives me some shots to numb me up real good. He gets to work and finds that my teeth have REALLY long roots, he says something about needing the extra long taps (44 or something). He finally hits the little bit of nerve that's left, and holy shit! I thought I was ready, but let me tell you when they pull a nerve out of your body, you will in fact have a whole body jerk. I laugh, he laughed, the nurse thought we were crazy. They build the tooth up and gave me a crown because the tooth being broken they figure it'd be better to have a crown on it.

Well finally we get done and they said hey the few fillings you need replaced we should do next week. So we make that appointment. I go in the following week (last week) and get 2 fillings replaced that were next to my crown. They are composite fillings and actually make my smile look so much better! The other was on my very last molar on my upper right jaw. This was done with the standard filling. The Dr said it would be cold sensitive for a few days, and to avoid cold drinks.

Well, the last week has been the worst in my entire life. I've never taken pain pills; doc gave me 20 Vicodin for the root canal, they went in my stockpile for SHTF use. Well they promptly came out last Wednesday. I took all 20 over the next 3 1/2 days. I called today (Monday) to get some more because the pain in my jaw has gotten progressively worse. Pain isn't normally an issue for me, I laugh it off, and continue on. Tooth pain is something I have NEVER EVER experienced before, it is completely debilitating. It knocks you on your ass, laughs at you, slaps you with some barbed wire, then throws salt on the wound. I got an appointment for tomorrow (today? Tuesday) and am going to figure out what the hell is wrong with the tooth they replaced the filling on.

The point of this really long, really boring, pretty much trivial post is this...... Get your teeth taken care of! Don't fret about the cost! Especially if you have insurance covering it, the total cost for me for getting all the work done was under $400. Now I know that is still a lot of money, but knowing your teeth are in good order, and can do their job without worry of failure. Well that is something that if you fancy yourself a prepper should be quite important. Go and schedule your dental appointment ASAP. You may not have any issues now, but you could be just a day away from some of the most debilitating/annoying pain in the world.
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Re: Dental Care

Post by majorhavoc » Tue May 12, 2015 9:53 am

Glad to hear you got that taken care of, Halfpint. With the possible exception of a herniated disk, there is no pain quite like dental pain. I'll qualify this by saying I'm a male, so the fairer half of our species may beg to differ.

Having said that, I've had two root canals and in spite of the horror stories my mother used to regale me with, and I must say they were not that bad. I claim no special ability to endure pain; I think the endodontist I worked with was just extremely talented with pain management. Speaking to Halfpint's experience, I've never gone more than a year without at least a dental checkup/cleaning, so maybe that's the reason I got off so easy.

Dental insurance is a truly wonderful to have. Lack of dental insurance ... just stinks. I've been on both situations when I've needed serious dental work done.

For anyone without insurance facing super serious dental work (I'm talking tens of thousands here, no joke), there's the emerging phenomenon of medical vacations. Mexico in particular is known for a top quality dental profession and a number of savvy Americans have learned that for some serious work (dental implants and such) having it done in Mexico, with a nice stay at a beachside resort as a reward for your discomfort, is still cheaper than having it done in the US.

And to put this in the context of everyone's favorite subject: disaster preparation. Stay current with your teeth because if the S ever HTF, who knows when or if you'll ever have access to a dentist again. Doubters of this line of thinking should immediately schedule a screening of Tom Hank's 'Castaway'.

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Re: Dental Care

Post by raptor » Tue May 12, 2015 1:50 pm

I agree with halfapint on this. Get regular dental care. Seriously the $150 you spend every 6 months will save you money in the long run. Not to mention pain.

However, the best thing that you can do is daily basic dental hygiene. That means use dental floss properly, brush your teeth in the morning and evening and use an ADA recommended toothpaste and mouthwash. A simple fluoride toothpaste does wonders to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

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Re: Dental Care

Post by Spazzy » Tue May 12, 2015 2:51 pm

The worst pain you can have is a kidney stone.
I've been shot.
I've been stabbed.
I've broken a dozen bones.
I've had 5 spinal operations to rebuild my spine when I crushed it on the USS Caron. (It still feels like broken glass mixed with metal shavings in ground meat every single day)
I've had two hernias and had one repaired.

When I went to the emergency room, with what I now know was two stones, I felt like someone had hit me in the lower back with a golf club covered in nine inch spikes dipped in some acidic lava swung by a terminator... repeatedly.

My ER doc said "I've given birth to three kids AND had one kidney stone and I'd rather give birth to a set of twins with no meds than have another stone."

Argument settled IMHO... :mrgreen:
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Re: Dental Care

Post by majorhavoc » Tue May 12, 2015 3:04 pm

Spazzy wrote:The worst pain you can have is a kidney stone.
Apparently all I ever needed to know about pain I learned from Tom Hanks movies. The Green Mile, anyone?

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Re: Dental Care

Post by raptor » Tue May 12, 2015 3:15 pm

Spazzy wrote:
My ER doc said "I've given birth to three kids AND had one kidney stone and I'd rather give birth to a set of twins with no meds than have another stone."

Argument settled IMHO... :mrgreen:
I have had a kidney stone and appendicitis... take my word for it appendicitis was as bad or worse than the kidney stone.

I do not have a clue about the others you mentioned...thank God.:D

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Re: Dental Care

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Tue May 12, 2015 5:03 pm

I had to have all four of my wisdom teeth taken out awhile back and it was expensive. Like 3K-ish expensive.

For the amount of money I paid to have my teeth yanked, I could've bought myself a Tavor and a buttload of ammo and magazines. :lol:

Still, I had the money and my teeth did need to come out, so I bit the bullet (so to speak) and had them yanked out. I've since learned that I react pretty well to the happy gas the docs give me and the procedure wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.

The doc I had working on my teeth told me later that my case was one of the most difficult he'd ever had.

ETA: I also had the real life version of Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead working on my teeth as well. :lol:

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Re: Dental Care

Post by SCBrian » Tue May 12, 2015 6:44 pm

Appendicitis, dental work, detached retina leading to a scleral buckle, various broken and dislocated bones and stitches, and honestly the worst pain I've had was from a simple bout of sciatica. It wasn't a great deal of pain, it was just constant. Freaking day and night constant. :vmad: . I'm lead to believe a lot of dental pain is the same way. Not a lot, just constant. If you can get it taken care of now, do it. What good is that can of beans if you cant stand to chew them... Halfapint, feel better bud!
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Re: Dental Care

Post by LowKey » Wed May 13, 2015 1:24 pm

Just agrreing....take care of your teeth, and do it NOW.
Tooth pain is horrible. Any one remember the movie, Marathon Man?
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Re: Dental Care

Post by zero11010 » Wed May 13, 2015 1:48 pm

Did you remember to scream "CANDY BAR"?


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Re: Dental Care

Post by Halfapint » Wed May 13, 2015 2:02 pm

Yeah it just seems I have a strong bite and the new filling isn't settling right. So that's apparently the problem. The good news is that excedrin seems to work a lot better than the vicodin hes giving me..... added bonus is that I'm getting stocked up on 7.5/350 vicodin.

But damn it's not that this is the largest amount of pain I've ever been in but it is CONSTANT. Day in, day out, just a slow, angry, throbbing. Give me some sort of physical pain like grinding knuckles down to bone, or gouging a large amount of flesh out of my leg and I'm fine. But this achy irritating pain drives me (more???) nuts!!!!
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Re: Dental Care

Post by offcamber » Wed May 13, 2015 7:22 pm

For me personally tooth pain is the worst.. kidney stones are no slouch either, but for some reason tooth pain makes me insane.

I've broken a crazy number of bones, been hit by a car, impaled through the leg etc.. etc.. and I would take those any day over tooth pain.

My wife and brother took an awesome video of me trying to hang ambulance doors on the back of a '76 FJ40 with a tooth gone bad.. so bad the abscess had basically liquefied my jaw and my other teeth were floating around, lol.

In the vid, I'm acting like a frustrated child, then like i'm drunk, can't concentrate etc, whining.. then swearing like I've got tourettes and talking an insane amount of shit once I realized they were making fun of me. I don't remember any of it. To this day when I watch the video I still can't believe it is me.

I don't care how tough people think they are, a bad tooth can bring even the best to their knees.

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Re: Dental Care

Post by JeeperCreeper » Wed May 13, 2015 10:39 pm

Just got back from the dentist today actually... did you know tartar can get below the gums?? So even brushing regularly can't get to it. Yeah, my gums hurt right now. Looks like I need to get a good cleaning every 6 months instead of ever 2 years.... :ohdear:
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Re: Dental Care

Post by raptor » Wed May 13, 2015 10:53 pm

JeeperCreeper wrote:Just got back from the dentist today actually... did you know tartar can get below the gums?? So even brushing regularly can't get to it. Yeah, my gums hurt right now. Looks like I need to get a good cleaning every 6 months instead of ever 2 years.... :ohdear:
Yep it can cause gingivitis which damages the gums.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gingivitis

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Re: Dental Care

Post by Halfapint » Fri May 15, 2015 1:20 am

Yep, luckily for me I didn't have that. I had some calcified stuff on my teeth, but my gums are in great shape. I've always used a power assisted toothbrush, even the cheap ones that use a single AA battery work damn well. I think the one I used for the last 10 or so years is an Oral B one; you can replace the heads on it, so as long as the body is good you're good.

I have since upgraded to a Sonicare toothbrush and holy shit...... My mouth has NEVER felt so great in my life!

Back to the pain.... It's been over a week and a half now since I got this filling replaced and my tooth/face STILL hurts! I tried to call today during work to make an appointment to remove my head from my shoulders, because the pain was so bad...... but they weren't there. So I had to settle with telling them to call me first thing on Monday and let me know if I can get an appointment on monday or tuesday, to get rid of this composite (white) filling and give me the good ol mercury based silver filling, and perhaps a root canal because I'm pretty sure this damn thing ISN'T just the filling "not settling".

In my completely uneducated, completely unscientific, based solely on web research (I'm pretty sure I have stage 5 cancer AND lupus), I'm pretty sure I'll need a root canal. But before I agree I'm going to make sure this one is on the house, because I had absolutely ZERO problems before this witch doctor touched this tooth. It's now been a week and a half of getting 2 hours of sleep before the pain in my mouth wakes me up and I need to go munch on some vicodin. Not to mention the liver damage from eating about 3-4 vicodin a day on top of a dozen excedrin just so I don't stare at a passenger and start screaming until they leave.
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Re: Dental Care

Post by NapalmMan67 » Fri May 15, 2015 2:32 pm

You got some real purty teeth there boy...

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Re: Dental Care

Post by Das Sheep » Sat May 16, 2015 3:47 am

I would ask the dentist about the pain, I have had several root canals and never needed pain meds much less Vicodin. Maybe something went wrong?

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Re: Dental Care

Post by Halfapint » Sat May 16, 2015 4:29 am

Das Sheep wrote:I would ask the dentist about the pain, I have had several root canals and never needed pain meds much less Vicodin. Maybe something went wrong?

Fucking mouse with back/forward buttons on it. I just lost about 1000 word response to this.... Because I went to click "submit" and I hit my page back button on my mouse, and lost everything.

Here's the condensed version.

I had a root canal and a crown done in a single day. It was laughably pain free...... The doc decided that 2 of my teeth that had silver fillings needed to be replaced because they were showing through my teeth and made them look black. He replaced them and no problem. The next week (2 weeks ago) he said that my last molar, on my right upper side (#2 I think he called it) needed to have the filling replaced.

All the fillings he said needed to be replaced were well over 20 years old. I didn't question it, I trust the guy. So he goes in and replaces the last filling saying it's going to be a deep one, but there's still 2 1/2-3mm of good tooth as a buffer between the nerve. Well....... This shit is about as sensitive to cold as you can get, anything I drink that isn't above 90 degrees that comes close to the tooth sets it off.

So yea. I'm calling Monday because they are closed Thursday-Sunday. Last week I called at 0845 and they said be here by 0900 and we'll get it taken care of...... Well unfortunately I couldn't make it in until the following day but they made it work. So they already have a spot cleared on Tuesday for me, all I have to do is call and I'm in.

In the mean time, I've taken more pain meds in the last 2 weeks than I have in my entire life. My damn liver is not happy with me.



Thanks for following along everyone. I generally do not try to rant/rave about things. However your teeth are, in my stupid opinion about the most important organ you have. Without them gnawing on a chicken wing, or taking a delicious bite of the most amazing veal you've ever had is moot. Because trying to gum that shit is nearly impossible no matter how tender and great it is. When the ZPAW hits, do you want to worry about having power for your magic bullet so you can puree everything, as well as make sure you have a straw so you and your gummy ass can suck your nutrients though a straw? Or would you rather have those delicious chicken wings and veal that you've been stockpiling? :rofl:

Get your teeth fixed!
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Spazzy wrote:Tell ya what... If Zombies attack and the world ends I'll hook tandem toddlers to a plow if it means I'll be able to eat...

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Re: Dental Care

Post by LowKey » Sat May 16, 2015 12:28 pm

White fillings (composite) can take a while to "settle down".
I had a few done last year, they bugged me for months to the point I was ready to tell the dentist to remove them or I'd do it myself with a drill bit and a mirror. Before my work week ended (when I'd be able to the dentist..........the pain went away.

This may sound silly, but try oil of clove on a cotton ball, and tuck it in between the tooth and your cheek. May help some.
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Re: Dental Care

Post by Halfapint » Sat May 16, 2015 12:55 pm

After that long ass rant last night fueled by opiates, I woke up this morning with nearly no pain. I want to see how cold sensitive it is...... I'll wait till tomorrow and see if it's feeling better.

Thanks for the tip on the clove oil.
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