December 17th - cry. Alright, I just got back into the office after having visited my brand new Oral Surgeon who I was referred to by my trusted dentist. I was, of course, referred to him for extraction of my wisdom teeth. Dr. Douglas Vincelli seems to be a very competant doctor, and he has a nicely run office. The people there, including himself, are very in touch with the reality associated with oral surgery. So, I thank my dentist for the good referral.
So far, everything sounds good, right? Well, now I'm scared. The doctor gave me three choices for my state during the activity. Choice one: local anesthetic. Awake, but feeling no pain. Well, frankly, I think the knowledge and sight of someone working in your mouth like that is probably going to be the worst part, so no, I don't like this option. Choice two: half asleep, half awake. Drugged to the point where I don't know and don't care about what is going on to me. Hm.. that sounds good.. but I tend to think of myself as pretty perceptive, so I might notice blood dripping out of my mouth and some guy drilling around in there and stuff. No matter how drugged I am. Choice three: general anesthetic. Oh, what's that? I'll be completely asleep, and not have a clue what's going on? Sleep? I like sleep. Sleep it is.
I take a look at the panoramic x-ray that the doctor has. Holy shit! Here's teeth, teeth, teeth.. they all look fine.. all straight in a little army of teeth. I'm amazed by how deep the roots go, being a bit more than two times the size of the teeth. No wonder my teeth feel strong, I think. I wonder, so, where are the wisdom teeth I need to get removed? Well, right at the end of the line.. Holy shit! The x-ray shows that on my bottom row of teeth, right next to the molars that look huge, are even bigger teeth. They're like 110% the size of my big molars... and they're sideways. The top of the wisdom teeth at a 45 degree angle to the rest of the teeth. A collision looks emminent.. and this x-ray was taken September 11, 2001. (it took that long to get an appointment for this consultation. :()
So the doctor does a quick inspection of my mouth, and then begins to run down a list of the possible side-effects, soem of which inclued permanent loss of feeling in some areas of my mouth. He explains the odds of these things happening as 0.5% of the people having numbness caused by bruising a nerve during the operation, and 99% of those people recovering completely (within a few weeks to a few months). Hm, 5 out of a hundred thousand people have permanent numbing.. and four teeth being removed.. I don't really like those odds, but I can live with them.
Finally we move onto the scariest part of the appointment. The billing. Luckily, I have 100% dental coverage for the minor dental surgery that this is. Still, being completely anesthesized has it's cost.. the bill is $110 CND for this consultation, and $942 CND for the teeth removal, and $175 CND for the anesthetic. $1227 CND.. not as bad as I feared. I need to pay this up front, but they expect my insurance will recover all but a couple hundred dollars. I guess it's affordable, but I would perfer to spend that money on something else. I mean, you know, paying to have some people induve pain in me isn't my idea of a good time. If it has to be something oral related, I'd much perfer to spend a few hundred dollars on white chocolate brownies rather than having teeth removed.
The worst part is still yet to come, as I am to find out. And I'm not talking about the removal. I talk to the lady there to make an appointment for my wisdom teeth removal. I ask for a date as soon as possible, of course, because this waiting is terrible. December 28, 2001 is the date I'm given. Gah! I didn't expect it to be that soon! I waited 4 months for this consultation, and now I don't even have one pay check between me and my removal. Doh! Well, now I really need that Christmas Bonus, because I have a large expenditure coming up.. even if my insurance company reimburses me, it's still a lot of money out of my pocket.
December 20th - The christmas bonus has come, and I can afford the surgery. Phew.