All I Want For Chrifmaf Ith My 8 Fwont Teef

by Venomous Kate

I’m still pretty groggy and on lots and lots of painkillers, so forgive me for any rambling or incoherence. But, since posting last night’s “Emergency Room Blogging”, I’ve been swamped with email from you. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and good wishes. I’d reply individually to you, but I’m running out of steam. These are good painkillers! Thank God, because the pain of this is in no short supply.

Anyway, as some of you know from emails we’ve exchanged, I’ve had numerous appointments with my ortho- and periodontist over the past 6 months to finally get my teeth fixed since my parents hadn’t done that when I was a kid. Having crooked teeth has been a major confidence killer throughout my life, and the matter has just gotten worse over the years. Every time we managed to save up enough money to do something about them, one financial crisis or another has risen and derailed my plans. Then, just this past year, the Venomous Hubby and I decided that no matter what crisis arose, we’d somehow find room in our budget to get my teeth straightened at long last.

This month, I was finally going to get my braces on. Then, after seven “preparatory” appointments, my ortho- and periodontists announced that I’d had too much bone loss and braces were no longer an option. I was back to square one: in my dentist’s chair, talking about my options. The best solution came down to extracting four teeth and having crowns with bridges put in their place.

Fine, I figured: they’ll look straight, they’ll work, they’re permanent, and they’re a lot faster than braces. What’s not to like? I found out the answer to that question when I left his office: the price tag of $6,580. After talking it over with the Venomous Hubby, we decided it was worth it. Besides, insurance would cover a portion of the cost.

Last week, I had another dental appointment and forked over the $6,340 — the amount the insurance company wouldn’t cover. The dentist took molds to serve as the models for the permanent bridges and for the “flippers” — temporary retainers with teeth affixed to them, which I’d have to wear for 4-6 weeks while the extractions heal — and scheduled me to come in next Friday to get the extractions and the “flippers.” The ball was rollling, and I was excited as hell.

I have to admit that last night, when the shock and pain of wiping out on my bike had passed and I was sitting – happily anesthetized — in the ER, the first thought that went through my head was: “Well, now we can save money on those extractions!”

I was wrong.

All told, when I hit the handlebars last night, I lost three teeth entirely, chipped two at the tip, and cracked three more from crown to root. The good news: two of the cracked teeth were already scheduled for extraction. The bad news: two of the teeth that got knocked out were to serve as the anchors for my permanent bridges. The even worse news: the other tooth that got knocked out, the two chipped teeth, and the other cracked tooth will all need crowns now, too. (One may possibly need to be extracted as well, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.)

So, because the teeth which were to serve as anchors for my bridges are now gone, I have to get all-new bridges made — and I didn’t even get to wear the other ones yet! But I can’t get those new bridges made or installed until my injuries heal, so now they also have to make new “flippers” for me.

Meanwhile, I have no front teeth at all on either jaw and, I swear to God, I look like something out of Deliverance. It’s horrible. I can’t bear looking in the mirror — although, considering all the facial bruising I also have, I wouldn’t be looking in it that much anyway.

The kicker? (As if this wasn’t enough to send me over the edge?) That $6,340 we already put down paid for the original bridges and flippers which, because of my injury last night, I’ll never be able to wear! So now the Venomous Hubby and I have to figure out how to come up with an additional $8,200 to cover the cost of the new bridges, the new flippers, and the new crowns to repair the teeth I cracked in last night’s accident. And, since I’ve already reached my maximum annual benefit under our dental insurance, that’s all got to come out of our already-empty pockets.

In other words: because we’ve already exhausted our resources, I may very well remain a toothless wonder until we can save up enough to do this all over again. Lovely, eh?

Needless to say, if it weren’t for the painkillers numbing my senses, I’d probably be a basket case right now. Lucky for me, I have a supportive and doting husband who assures me that, teeth or no teeth, he still loves me and that somehow we’ll figure out a way to take care of this.

For now, though, I am going to go back to bed and hope that when I wake up I’ll discover this was all a bad dream. If it’s not — if all that money really was a big waste, if we have to come up with even more when I know we can’t afford it, if I really do have to walk around without teeth in the front of my mouth for the next several months — I’m gonna lose it. I know that sounds vain and I know I should be glad that I didn’t get injured even worse, but right now I just can’t make myself think noble thoughts.

29 Responses to “All I Want For Chrifmaf Ith My 8 Fwont Teef”

  1. Kate…when I was a teen I slid under a parked car.

    I know…don’t ask.

    The problem was that I was screaming as I slid and my upper jaw caught the door.

    I feel/felt your pain. None of my teeth up front on top are fully my own.

    So it is with empathy that I will send up some prayers. My teeth were taken at a high price, restored at a high high price but the heart developed a certain perserverance a lot of folks don’t experience. Your beautiful because your soul is beautiful.

    eh…but you know that crap already…it may sound trite but it’s true. I have no doubt you will find a way through this.

    Someone trusted (or you) should take up an offering. Sorry for the Christianese but I can’t think of a better way to say it. If someone can come up with a way to take up donations in a secure way…I would totally promote it on my blog.

  2. Have you looked at your homeowner’s policy?

  3. Kate,
    I lost 3 teeth when I was a kid. Skateboard. Curb. Parked car. Big mess. It cost a fortune. Sounds like you are getting a good deal from your doc.

    FWIW I’ll start the contributions. I just clicked your Keep Venom Flowing button with my donation.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  4. Oh my! I haven’t had too much blogging time lately and it looks like I missed a lot! I am so very sorry to hear this. I agree with Mark… look into your various insurance policies – I would think SOMETHING covers this – or at least some portion of it! And what isn’t covered might just need to be financed – if that’s doable it will save you from even more work later. Once you lose even one tooth – the others start moving about in strange ways and they would all have to be realigned at a later date if you let it go now.

  5. Mark & Teresa – Good advice, but I had the VH call our homeowners’ insurance company and they say that since I wasn’t on our property at the time of the accident, it’s not covered. Talked to our health insurance, and they say that the dental insurance company should cover it. Talked to the dental insurance company, and they say that only last night’s ER visit and pain meds are covered. The crowns and bridges would be covered but since I hit our annual maximum already, they aren’t… unless I want to go toothless until May 1.

    Pete – Thank you SO much for the donation! At this point, that’s about the only way I’m going to be able to afford new teeth.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear about all the pain that you are going through.

    Some dentists will happily finance their work, sometimes without charging any interest. That’s how we paid for our daughter’s (the TeenWonk)orthodontics. Would your dentist consider doing so?

  7. Our dentist offers an “Easy Payment” option of four equal monthly payments, with no interest. If this were just one crown, that’d be doable.

    But we’re talking about $2231 each month for the next four months, and that’s not doable.

  8. I sure am sorry, hon. Let’s have a fundraiser. I’ll talk to Kel. She a good organizizer.

  9. Kate, I’m so terribly sorry this happened to you. Any chance your orthodontist will give you some kind of break in the price?
    If there is anything I can do for you, I’m actually working at home this week, and I can run any errands you need – just call me at home – we are in the book under John Donovan.

  10. Noble thoughts are highly overrated. I recommend going totally and completely apeshit. It doesn’t solve anything but it’s quite therapeutic.

    I like Velociman’s idea. I think a fund raiser is in order.

  11. My five-year old had a similar experience about a month ago – bike chain came off halfway down our hill and she hit the neighbor’s garage door going pretty fast. At least the four teeth she lost were mostly baby teeth, though…I’ll never forget her sitting in the emergency room and looking up at me, mouth full of blood and asking me if she was still going to get paid by the Tooth Fairy for this. :-)

  12. Man, if you only knew in advance. You can buy yourself a sweet set of breast implants for 6k these days.

    Oh sure, you’d still be missing half of your teeth at this point, but no one would be looking at your face. :)

  13. Look into implants instead of a bridge. Bridges are not permanent. Implants are better than original and will last until your next handlebar accident. Spendy, but you get more for your money.

  14. Tooth implants that is.

  15. If we kick in enough Kate can get the titanium implants. Let’s do it!

  16. Just wanted to point out this Day by Day entry. It involves the one-and-only VK.

  17. Wait, they’re going ahead and charging you for the bridgework they never got around to creating, and then charging you again for what you need now?

    That’s evil.

    Assuming you can’t get them to be decent human beings, you should at the very least insist on receiving the bogus faux choppers. If they’re going to take half the cost of a new small car from you, they should give you something in return, just on principle.

    You can put them on the mantle, or scare trick-or-treaters with them at Halloween, or something.

  18. David, I think you may have misunderstood. They actually had created the first set of bridges but first needed to extract a couple of teeth before installing them. Then I crashed and in the process handled some of my own extraction work.

    Unfortunately, I also knocked out teeth that were supposed to anchor the permanent bridges. That’s why I have to get a second set when I never even got to wear the first.

    My dentist is actually being quite awesome through all of this, waiving as many fees as his bosses at the clinic will allow. He’s even made twice-daily house calls for free.

  19. Complete stranger (directed by John Hawkins) to this blog, but felt that $25.00 was needed from our end. Really sorry to hear about the accident, Kate.

    Get well soon

  20. Don’t even bother with bridgework. I’ve had a bridge that’s been replaced three times–and I will shortly need implants. Bridges last 10 years max. Then one of the anchors goes, because of the stress of the span, and you need a bigger bridge. Pretty soon you have no anchors left. I don’t know how old you are but if you are 30 and live to be 70, you will have to pay for three bridges and then implants. Do not pass go, go directly to implants.

    Have you considered a bank loan. I had to borrow when one of my daughters had braces. It got paid off eventually, and she has lovely teeth.

  21. Don’t let your health ins. co bamboozle you, Kate. I’ve seen this situation before, and all my buds who smashed their faces into goo had them rebuilt by their HEALTH INSURANCE, which paid for the emergency dentistry.

    Also, take a look at your AUTOMOBILE policy. It might just cover this, especially if it’s USAA.

    You’re a legal beagle, but you need professional help on this one. Talk to a specialist in insurance law.

  22. Yeah, it’s for your health isurance to cover. They usually cover dentistry related to the accidental loss or damage of natural teeth. They might turn you down first (they almost always do) but you have to be persistent and appeal. It should be covered, especially since you went to the emergency room.

  23. I was just sitting here minding my own business, wondering how I’m going to come up with $800 to have a couple fillings put in, when I stumble across this post (never been to this blog before). Seriously, I should just be grateful that I HAVE teeth to put fillings in to. Best of luck to you, Kate.

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