hipstercrite says

Accessible in theory but not necessarily practice: Aren't we all deserving of dental care?

Accessible in theory but not necessarily practice: Aren't we all deserving of dental care?

Currently, I'm teething.

My lower right wisdom tooth is trying its best to do a Tim Robbins at the end of Shawshank Redemption impression. I can imagine that little bugger expects an epic Thomas Newman swell once it finally breaks through the surface, but I'm not going to give it that pleasure, no. You don't deserve anything other than instant removal from my face, wisdom tooth! You're just lucky that I can't afford to do that right now.

Neither can I afford ten cavities filled, a permanent crown put in or extraction of two other wisdom teeth (one is fully exposed, another looks like a drunken missile haphazardly trying to navigate it's way through my gums and the other never existed at all). This fact often drives me into a depressed state where I begin contemplating how easy or hard it would be to remove the teeth myself. If Tom Hanks can do it with a rock on a remote island, why can't I?

When I get too worked up about the whole situation, I think about a recent conversation I had with a panhandler in where he asked me for some cash. I apologized and told him that like most irresponsible people my age, I don't carry cash on me. I explained that I did have candy in my pocket and I would be happy to share with him.

 The cost of dental care in America sucks ass. Whether you have dental insurance or not, it is still an expensive.

He stared at me point blank and said, "Girl, I have seven teeth in my mouth." I told him that I understood, that I was quickly on the same path and that if I saw him again one day and did have cash on me, I would give it to him. He gave me a high five, told me that he loved me and we went our separate ways.

The cost of dental care in America sucks ass. Whether you have dental insurance or not, it is still an expensive. I could get rambling on about health care in America in general, but I'd rather spend that time finding ways to save money for a flight down to Mexico.

I did apply to and get selected for a clinical trial where they remove your wisdom teeth and give you a yet-to-be-released drug. Though the whole experience seemed harmless, it didn't stop be from developing an anxiety attack an hour before the procedure and cancelling. I wasn't so much scared about the surgery, but more nervous about being referred to as a number and not as a person and laying in a cold, sterile hospital bed for 24 hours. It seemed like the beginning of a futuristic horror movie and that's not my scene.

So here I am with a teething wisdom tooth, an impacted one confused about its purpose in life, a fully exposed wisdom tooth that looks like it belongs in Sloth Fratelli, ten cavities, a temporary crown and God knows what else. I wouldn't be surprised if I discovered a feral cat living underneath my tongue.

Wait, how the hell do I have ten cavities, you ask? Well, it used to be fourteen, but I was able to knock out a few fillings a couple of years ago. Contrary to what that implies, I actually do take care of my teeth. I'm a very healthy eater, drink mostly water and brush twice a day (sometimes I'll throw in a third brushing, some flossing or some mouthwash).

I've been cavity-prone my entire life and my cavities either have to do with the fact that 1) my great aunt Stella used to pump butt loads of candy into my mouth on a daily basis as a child; 2) I don't floss nearly enough; or 3) I have a lot of acid in my body. I tend to believe that answer number 3 is the culprit, and when I mentioned that to a previous dentist, he said it could be possible. We also had this exchange while I was high on nitrous oxide, so I probably thought I was a genius and he was agreeing with everything I said. 

I'm currently shopping around dental plans, but even then, I'm not sure how I'm going to afford all the work I need to get done. I know I need to take care of it sooner than later, but seriously, how do people afford dental care?

Many dentists are touting affordable payment plans that come in the form of applying for a credit card to pay for your dental work. What if you don't want to apply for another credit card? What if you just want your wisdom tooth to stop giving birth in your mouth? What if you want to avoid telling people that you can't eat candy because you 'only have seven teeth in your mouth?'

Don't we all deserve to have strong and healthy mouths

Austin Photo Set: News_Lauren_toothache_april 2012
So here I am with a teething wisdom tooth, an impacted one confused about its purpose in life, a fully exposed wisdom tooth that looks like it belongs in Sloth Fratelli, ten cavities, a temporary crown and God knows what else.