Back when I could still walk, I used to hate exercising on a treadmill: I’d spend a large amount of time pretending to go some where, but I’d never really arrive. The same feeling holds true for yesterday. We spent a large amount of time traveling to a dentist some distance away, but we really didn’t seem to get anywhere. OK, maybe we eliminated a few possiblilities, but the fact is I’m not really sure about those answers either.
Here’s how it went: After a nearly two hour drive (a little more than expected), we arrived exactly on time. I filled out the usual paperwork and insurance numbers, and then got taken in to see the denstist. A round of photograhs of my teeth were taken (yes, actual photographs) and uploaded to the computer before Dr. Mark came in. From there things began to go awry though, because he was hesistant to touch dental work that was already in progress (done by someone else from somewhere else) and concerned about what was in it for him since most of the work was already completed. Trying to relieve that uncertainty, I told him that I was not only looking for immediate help, but also help for the future as well, because it wasn’t feasible to travel to Texas every time I had a problem and I needed someone closer as a regular dentist. I’m not sure that totally eased his mind, but he seemed to mellow out a little from there.
Eventually, after another full mouth series of X-rays (because the ones emailed from Texas were not acceptable to him because they were all pre-surgery, and not current any more), he began an exam. He said I have a very senstive/sore/swollen jaw muscle in the upper right (probably caused by my seven hour surgery in October) and discussed TMJD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) with me. Though I’ve never had any teeth grinding issues with my mouth before now, the long surgery or a slight malocclusion might have caused either a ‘bite’ problem or one caused by only chewing on one side of my mouth (which is what I’m doing right now out of necessity). From the new X-rays though, he said that he thought that the tooth in question was not the back right top molar (tooth number 2) like we’d thought, but a bicuspid (tooth number 5), instead. He was pretty unwilling to even discuss extractions though, because he wants me to send the new X-rays to Dr. Freeman in Texas and let her take a look first, so we can get her opinion.
This, of course, means another long delay spent doing nothing because we have to send the physical X-rays (that cost a lot of money) to Texas on two day delivery (more money) rather than send them instantaneously via computer (for free). They also won’t arrive until after the weekend. Worse than that though, is the fact that Dr. Mark said he doesn’t really want to do the extraction himself and encouraged me to find an oral surgeon closer to home. WHAT? I came home shaking my head, wondering what I’d accomplished with this particular dental visit.
Can you understand now why I feel like I’m running on a treadmill, but still not getting anywhere?