Saturday, May 07, 2011

My Crowning Achievement

Warning - this post is more than likely a poster child for Too Much Information. You have been warned. Don't blame me if you are grossed out.

Now that I've really got your attention - some background info is in order. I've got three dental crowns - two upper front incisors and a molar. One of the incisors and the molar don't stay attached, so I keep some gel type super glue on hand, and just glue them back in. The ol' Dremel cleans out the old glue quite well. While the super glue isn't as long lived as the dental variety, it does save me a ton of money. No dental insurance - unless it's a referral procedure or an emergency.

The incisors are my second set. The first were knocked out during intubation when I was knocked out for a kidney stone zapping. I woke up and felt they were gone, and the attendants had no clue. Apparently I'd put up quite a struggle. A quick xray found them in my stomach.

Their solution? They gave me some rubber gloves, a stack of "stool catchers" that fit over the toilet, and some large tongue depressors to dig through - yep, you guessed it - my stools. Until I found the crowns.

Now, if you're fresh off diaper detail, this may not seem like much of a chore. I, however, was not. It was a chore. I found only one, and my dentist wanted to put in some different ones anyways. His crack insurance staff hounded my company until they went after the hospital for the bill. They knocked 'em out, they should pay. They did.

Okay, fast forward to yesterday afternoon. The incisor crown was a bit loose, but it pretty well has to let go on it's own. I was feeling kinda short blood sugar wise, so I snacked on some pork rinds (yeah, but they're low carb, so there). All of a sudden, I discovered the cap was missing.

Well, great. Okay, what to do. If I could force myself to hurl, what was lost could be found. I looked on the floor just to make sure. Nope, no crown. Mkay, for a thousand bucks, I'll fish through my barf.

Apparently, I'll never be a splurge and purge dieter. I could not do it, no matter how hard I tried. Gag reflex? Not so much. A quick Google search told me I needed some syrup of ipecac. Niiiice - I'm out in the boonies and wouldn't you know it, I'm fresh out of ipecac. Other alternatives? Warm water with table salt. Still have some from years ago - I don't salt my food any more. So, I drank a very salty glass of water.

Still no success. All I did was make myself severely thirsty and bring up my blood pressure. Red faced from the sodium and the exertions, I finally just resorted to drinking about a gallon of iced tea. I was so disgusted, I decided to hell with saving and digging through the excretions from the other end. Screw it, I'd pay the thousand or so bucks to get a new crown.

All that salt didn't help with sweet dreams so much, either. I woke up early and in a foul mood - but the sodium after effects had passed. Other than retaining most of that water - but that's what the diuretics are for, I guess. I like to make Spanish stye omelets for breakfast, so that's just what I did. After I was done, I happened to see something out of the corner of my eye.

Yep, you guessed it. The wayward crown was on the floor several feet from the original search area. Lucky the cat didn't decide to bat it around.

So thank you, God, for not having me sift through disgusting body fluids for a crown that wasn't gonna be there.


drjim said...

I've got 4, all on my molars. The most recent one I paid for out-of-pocket because my wife's dental insurance would only cover pulling the tooth that had gone south!
I went back to my 'regular' dentist who examined me, and said it was insanity (or a reeeal cheap insurance plan) to pull a restorable tooth.
A couple of weeks ago I was eating a caramel (BAD idea!), and a crown popped off. I called my dentist, and at first they were worried that it was the new one that they had just put on. I told them the location, and they looked at my records, and it turns out it was the *first* one they did, about 10 years old. I went in a few days later, and they examined me, cleaned the "old" crown, and put it back on.
Now that I'm working again, I have the same dental coverage as before, so it will be really nice to go to a great dentist that I'm very comfortable with, and who has all my records and history.

Jeffro said...

I think I could buy a dental rider - my company has the next to the top BC policy. I'd still go to the same dentist as always, but sheesh - getting in is always a pain because he's so booked up.

drjim said...

Yeah, finding a good dentist is almost like finding a good mechanic or plumber!

CGHill said...

Now usually stories of this sort involve the family dog who somehow swallowed Mom's wedding ring. Not that this is better. ;)

Anonymous said...

Like the ol boy who swallowed his gold tooth, as the poemn goes,

"They heard him holler from the bathroom,

then the sound turned plumb forlorn

thought he'd found the fancy gold tooth,
but it was only a piece of corn!"

Jeffro said...

That right there is funny, I don't care who you are.