Saturday, November 21, 2009


Sorry for the paucity of posts, but in between demands that I perform "work" for my "employer," I've been on a trip through the world of dental specialists -- an endodontist, a periodontist, an oral surgeon, back to the periodontist -- all in pursuit of stopping the pain of an abscess and still hold on to my rear lower molar. The journey included the fascinating development of a shard of bone, chipped off from the bone where the abscess was doing its evil work, working its way through the gum tissue and emerging like a spicule to rip at my tongue every time I chewed, talked, and, oh yeah, swallowed. This led, on Thursday, to the oral surgeon who, despite not being able to see anything really wrong with the vital tooth, was all ready to extract it. But I resisted and instead went back to the periodontist to have her look below the gum line to see if the damage to the tooth could be found, fully expecting that she'd extract the tooth in the end anyway.

It could not be found. But she removed all the bone shards and determined that the tooth seems fine and there it remains in my mouth this morning. The bad news is she really doesn't know, then, what caused the abscess and infection that caused the initial pain, maybe a fracture in the jaw caused by a childhood chin plant or the removal of my wisdom teeth thirty years ago.

I and my tooth are doing fine.

While the journey was a fascinating look at the marvels of modern dental equipment, including the very cool panoramic x-ray (weird to see my entire jaw bone, roots of all my teeth, and what I think is the stem of my brain), all of this was done "out-of-network," so I now look forward to, in addition to a week or so of eating soft foods (good thing turkey is the worst tasting edible meat in the world), months of dealing with insurance claims.



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