Friday, December 23, 2016

All I Want for Christmas

Is my two front teeth. SO I got a gum graft today.

Earlier this year, I was told by my dentist to make an appointment with a periodontist asap because I was in danger of losing my bottom front teeth.

So I saw the periodontist in June. He recommended a gum graft in order to protect my teeth, because there was too much exposed bone beneath the gum line.

Let me explain how a gum graft works. After stabbing you in the mouth with giant needles of lidocaine four times (at least by the fourth time, you really aren't feeling ANYTHING), the periodontist then slices off tissue from the roof of your mouth (better let him know which side you prefer to chew on, because the side that he takes the tissue from is going to be unusable for at least a week), sutures it up so you don't have a gaping hole in your palate, and then sews that piece of tissue onto what's left of your gums to protect the exposed bone. He then stabs you one more time with lidocaine so that you at least have one more hour after the procedure is over to drive yourself home before intense pain sinks in. The whole process takes about 90 minutes, and you're awake the entire time. Meanwhile, you spend the following two weeks praying that the graft holds and new connective tissue starts growing (you assume it's going to be two weeks because that's when you have to go back to get the stitches out) so that you don't have to go through this misery again. That two weeks includes drooling all over yourself and probably taking most of your meals in liquid form.

Sexy, isn't it?

Anyway, after he explained all of this to me, the office assistant let me know they would need to receive a pre-authorization from my insurance company and that the process could take a while.

By "a while," they apparently meant six months. Now, I probably could have been more proactive in nagging my insurance company to provide the approval sooner, but... would YOU rush to get yourself a Frankenmouth as outlined above? Didn't think so.

You'd still be my friend even if my teeth look like this, right?
When the periodontist called me last week to let me know my pre-authorization had finally been granted, I paused. I really didn't think the days leading up to Christmas would be the best time to have this done, especially because I'm traveling to New Jersey and Pennsylvania next week to see my family. But over the course of the last few months, my employer had decided to change our insurance provider for 2017, meaning if I didn't get it done now, I'd have to wait for the new insurance company to provide authorization, which could take yet another six months. I also don't know how much of this procedure the new insurance company would cover, but my guess is that my employer is trying to cut costs and I'd be stuck with a larger bill if I waited.

So I had the surgery today. And now I regret it.

Because I can't have coffee for two weeks. (No, I don't count iced coffee or cold brew as coffee. Eww.) I actually can't have anything hot, which sucks because I'm headed to the arctic tundra next week.

Also, I tried quitting coffee earlier this year, and I didn't even make it a day. So this should be interesting.

I'm learning now what it's like to eat only for the purpose of staying alive. Trust me, food is bringing me absolutely no joy right now. Quite the fitting end to 2016 for me, wouldn't you agree?

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