two-timing witch

Root canals are fun!

Especially when they are over with.

I needed a root canal, and put it off for a while while. If I didn’t put off getting the filling I needed I wouldn’t have needed the root canal to begin with. But, anyway, I found a good dentist, he was too expensive though. I perused various cheap dental insurance plans and liked one, but it was still a bit much. I ended up going to the University of Washington Dental School Clinic. Which I still think is a good idea. Some people suggested that the student dentists are amateurs, and were concerned about the quality of the work. But I don’t think that is a problem. They have a professional certified experienced dentist looking over their shoulder all the time. And they are students, students who want good grades, students who are really worried about getting every detail right, they have something to prove and someone looking over their shoulder to prove it too. So I was not worried and I expected the quality of work to be in the same league as anywhere else. And it was cheaper, the only catch seemed to be that I would end up with a whole classroom full of fledgeling dentists taking turns looking in my mouth. But I can be entertaining when I have to be.

But I couldn’t get in right away. First I had to go through a general evaluation, then have the student’s evaluators evaluate them, then get general mouth x-rays and follow the student dentist bouncing around from room to rooms while they compare their diagnosis with various other teachers and staff. So basically a twenty minute procedure becomes a three hour boredom fest with my mouth gaping open or full of dental instruments half the time. But it is cheaper, and I like the college atmosphere, and they are even more careful to do a good job than I first thought they would be. The last obstacle (so I thought) to getting my root canal was that I needed a referral from a certified dentist. I didn’t have one of those. And I am still not sure if I got it or not. I thought at the time that the head supervising teacher dentist person implied that he was going to give me a referral to the endodontics people, but I never got a simple yes or no. I didn’t ask for a simple yes or no so it is not surprising that I didn’t get one, I was so tired by that time and my jaw hurt and I had other things on my mind so I forgot to ask. I forgot to pay too, but they were pretty quick to remind me of that. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that I did not know whether I had a referral or not.

They also needed the x-ray of the specific tooth that needed work that my other dentist took. So I got it and mailed it to them, payed my bill, and called to find out when I would know whether I was accepted as a patient or not for the endodontics people. They said I should know something in two or so weeks, they said that they would mail me a letter. This was in December, right before Christmas break, so including that they meant I wouldn’t know for four weeks. But my tooth started hurting. When I say hurting, I mean after an hour of that I was seriously considering digging out some pliers and pulling it out myself, I still don’t it would have hurt any more than it already did. I called the UW emergency dental clinic, but had to leave a message, I spent a whole day calling them, but I guess they were all gone for the holiday. Sort of defeats the purpose of the term ’emergency.’ So I went back to my old dentist.

I got really strong antibiotics and good pain killers that made me throw up every time I took them, but they worked so I didn’t mind that. So now I figure that putting off dental work is a bad idea and I want to get the root canal done with as soon as possible. I can’t get in touch with any actual living human being at the UW, but the UW is still cheaper than my dentist even if I get the insurance I was told about. So I am all indecisive when a letter arrives from UW dental, they returned the x-rays I sent them. Thats it, thats all thats in the envelope, just the x-ray, no explanation, no nothing. Now I’m kind of pissed off, if I didn’t go with UW I could have had this done by now, if I would have just got the damn insurance and got the root canal months ago when I first found out I needed it, it would be done by now and I wouldn’t have to fuck with it anymore. I tried calling the UW, but all I got was a busy signal, so I gave up on them and got the insurance and got the root canal with my dentist. It did take longer than I thought it would to make the appointments, but I got it almost all done.

But, here’s the thing. At Christmas and all through January Comcast fucked up my phone service. Sometimes we had a phone, sometimes not, for two weeks or more we had no incoming calls. Incoming calls went straight to voice mail, and I still do not have access to my voice mail… But, I have incoming calls again. And now that I have the root canal all done with and am now just waiting to put a permanent crown on next week, I got a call yesterday from the UW. From the student-dentist I liked who for some reason always wanted to be a dentist, whose brother is a surgeon, who didn’t want to do that because he liked getting the chance to talk to his patients and get to know them. He said they left two messages on my voice mail trying to schedule a time to come in for the root canal, but I never got back to them.

Now, I feel like I am cheating on them.

I still think the UW was a good idea, even if Christmas was the worst possible time to need dental work done. Also I like helping out students, they may have been counting on me so they could learn how to do a root canal, and I let them down. They did say that they would send a letter. So I wasn’t expecting a phone call. But still, I could have at least called them one more time. The x-rays they sent back, in retrospect, they probably just scanned them and kept a digital copy.

Now I have to call the UW back in the morning and tell them its over, it was a good thing while it lasted, but I am with M street dental now. I really would prefer the UW, but its too late now. I’m sorry. I want to go back, but I can’t, I already made the appointment at M street. I didn’t mean for any of this to happen, it just did. Its too late, I’m sorry.

I’m such a horrible person…


1 Comment

  1. Carl

    Because of the background I can’t read comments, maybe you can, maybe it doesn’t matter.
    Anyway, I have a dentist story, too. Ask me about it next time I see you.

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