Have you ever had an abcessed tooth?
There is an infection at the root nerve at the base of the tooth, and it kills the nerve running up into the tooth. The process of the nerve dying is excruciating. It causes a throbbing inside the tooth, feeling like it wants to explode but has no place to go. It pounds the nerve against the inside of the tooth much like when you bang your head against a brick wall. It is the worst pain ever. I would rather have my gall bladder out again, or give birth, than to go through this tooth pain.
This was going on this past Saturday while my granddaughter was here and it was all I could do to try to hide the pain from her. If I put my head in my hands she would ask me if I was okay, and I just did not want her to worry about me.
I searched online for an emergency dentist, and while many said on their website that they would accommodate calls at night and on the weekend, none of them returned my call. I did call the cell phone for my own dentist, but there was no voice mail set up.
I really did not know what I was going to do. I don’t have dental insurance now, and I don’t have any credit cards or cash on hand either. I was hoping that whoever I could get in to see would find a way to work with me on the cost.
At about 9:15 pm when Sammie and I were settling into bed, my cell phone rang. When I answered a man said he had received a call from my number. I stated that I had tried to reach a dentist and asked him if he was a dentist. He said yes, he was Dr. Rodney Cook. I was so happy! Dr. Cook has been my dentist for over 10 years. I expressed my happiness that he was the one to return my call on a Saturday night. I explained my problem and he agreed to see me the next day, a Sunday!
As it turned out, the rogue tooth was in fact abscessed, and I had a choice of having it extracted, or having a root canal and crown. I talked with him and his office manager about my financial situation and they agreed to work with me, to let me pay it out as I was able. Since they were going to allow me to pay it out, I wanted to save the tooth so I opted for the root canal and crown. What a blessing!
He prescribed some antibiotics to reduce the infection and set me up to come back a week from Monday for the procedure. Well this presented me with a new problem.
Since I have no medical insurance, I get my medications through the county hospital at a reduced rate, but they will only fill prescriptions from their own doctors. So, I could go ahead and pay full retail or I could all my primary care physician and ask him to call it in for me. However, that would take all day, and I wouldn’t get the medicine until the next day, and I needed to start it immediately so that the infection did not spread.
Infections in your mouth can rapidly spread to your bloodstream and enter the heart. It is very dangerous and requires immediate intervention to protect the heart.
Well, I called three pharmacies that Sunday to get a quote on the medication. The retail price was $170.00 for the name brand, and the cheapest I could find was at Wal-Mart for the generic at $45.00. The problem was I just didn’t have the money.
I do get some of my meds at Kroger, and I have a medical discount card on file with them, it’s just that they were not open on Sunday. But on Monday morning I called, and they quoted me $43.00 for the generic, before my discount. They said they couldn’t give me the discount price without actually applying the prescription in the computer.
Dad forked over the $43.00 and I hopped in the car and headed for Kroger. Guess what?? The price after the discount came to $19.99! I was so happy and relieved!
I started taking it right away, and it is supposed to reduce the pain as it diminishes the infection. However, today is Wednesday and I am still having pain, on and off.
I did some research on home remedies for tooth pain and found lots of information. I finally decided on a course of action that involved rinsing my mouth with hydrogen peroxide, then rinsing with Robitussin DM, then applying Sensodyne toothpaste right to the tooth and the gum. I place a rolled up gauze pad between my cheek and the tooth to hold some of the toothpaste in place. Then I took 2 Advil and 2 extra strength Tylenol. At last, I was able to sleep. For four hours. Then the pain was back, so I repeated the process only this time I cut up one of my Lidocaine pain patches ( which I use for my back) and placed a strip along my jaw line. This helped a lot, and the pain stayed under control for several hours.
Right now, I am not feeling anything, but I have to eat soft food so as not to bite down on that tooth. If I do bite down on it, it will zing me pretty harshly. I just need to get through the next 4 days, then the root canal will take place and the pain will be gone for good.
I can not express deeply enough my gratitude for Dr. Cook, and his willingness to help me out during this rough time in my life. He is a good and dear man, very gentle and caring.
I have another chipped tooth, and believe me, I am going to have him look at it as well. I do not want to go through this drama again!
Please read and take note, I am sharing this to help others avoid the same nasty experience!
Brush twice a day, floss often! If you feel a sharp edge on a tooth that was normally smooth, get right in to the dentist. A lost filling or a cracked and chipped edge will fracture and decay will set in, and once it hits the root of the tooth, you are in for a world of pain like you have never experienced. You will fork over your life savings without batting an eye to get rid of that pain!