One of my guilty (and time consuming) pleasures is YouTube.
I watch a lot of YouTube. Mostly video game and movie stuff, lots of WoW channels (even though I’m not playing much right now), a few Let’s Players and of course all of the upcoming Pokemon Sun and Moon hype.
Well overtime, you really come to connect with these hosts, many of which have stories of historically working hard service jobs to now, finally being able to do something they love for a living. You root for these people. Sometimes a life event happens to them, and since they are already sharing so much they share that too.
Yesterday I watched a video from a wise cracking WoW player by the name of Asmongold. In it he shared his ongoing trouble with his teeth, his early inability to treat it, his shame of the problem, the trouble it’s caused and how he is on the path to get things fixed. It hit home for me as I’m in the same boat.
My Own Dental Story
When I was working for myself, I was making money but not tons of money. I had emergency medical insurance when I first started but no dental. In fact growing up we didn’t have enough money for dental so I didn’t see a dentist much past early high school. While my teeth were out of alignment there was no major debilitation. For a while, outside of some embarrassment from the alignment problems it wasn’t that a big deal.
One day while attending a Phillies game we went out for a pre-game dinner. That night was the first fallen domino for me. I bit down on something and cracked my back right molar. I did not see a dentist as I didn’t really have a lot of extra money and in all honesty at this point there was a bit of fear in me about doctor’s in general. I let the problem grow and over time other teeth started to break down.
Fast forward to this year. Once again I had another event, a newly cracked tooth and this time a very painful result. Unfortunately when the pain really started to kick in I was on the road. There wasn’t much I could do outside of Advil and trying to keep the tooth clean with salt water. On the one Thursday I was in so much pain I almost didn’t show up to teach my class. It was a wake up call. I did not want to let this problem which I had procrastinated about for so long interfere with my new teaching job.
When I got home I looked through my employee dental coverage and made arrangements to see a dentist. It took even more time to really start to feel better. The first session was a general consultation, a full mouth set of x-rays to see where I stood. Unsurprisingly, I needed a lot of work. At least a few root canals and at least one extraction/implant (that first cracked molar from years ago, which by this point was ruined). On the second trip we did the first root canal and while the time in the dentist chair was not pleasant it (and a set of antibiotics to help with the infection) did come to quell my pain and I was really happy.
Since then I’ve had a second root canal, build up of the two teeth, and a surgery of the gum to prepare for one of crowns that needs more room. Today, I’m kind of in an awkward state where I have one temporary crown and one tooth “open” to let the gum surgery heal. I have to eat on one side of my mouth (which takes a ton of mental energy btw) and I can’t brush the top left set of teeth (only rinse with a prescription liquid). I’m set to do the two crown molds in another week from now. After that, they’ll take about two weeks to come back in the mail and finally have them installed.
It’s a long process, of which I’m really only just beginning — and yeah, very expensive. I am happy though to be finally on the road to improvement.
Why post this? For one, I’d like to share the story with Asmongold just to say, I’m with ya man — keep up the recovery.
For anyone else who might be in a similar situation, I’ll say this, do try to get your teeth cleaned and/or fixed as soon as possible. It really sucks that it’s so expensive but it’s something that time will only make worse. I do wish I had reached out to my family about the problem and been more proactive about it in the past. I’m sure I would have gotten some support from them to make it happen sooner. If you have people to lean on, don’t be stubborn like me, let them help you. Good luck and feel better soon.