Got a Dentist appointment tomorrow...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by McPaul, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    I have a dentist appointment tomorrow. first one in years. I'm afraid at what they're going to find.

    I found out just today that I have 800 bucks in a health spending account (it's supposed to be in an RRSP but I can't change it now) and it's 'use it or lose it' by the end of the year. do companies like dentists allow you to prebill? It is a pay, and get reimbursed system, so can I "set up an account" with them, and have an $800 credit for future cleanings, etc? does it work that way?

    I hate the dentist!!! nothing but pain! but I think this one's one of the better ones. Anyone ever not go for 2 plus years then finally go and have them find tons of stuff wrong with your teeth?
     
  2. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

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    Hi, Paul,

    It depends if you have been looking after your teeth....brushing properly twice a day, flossing once a day, etc. Regardless, you still may be have tartar (calcium) buildup in the hard to reach areas....which typically requires a dental hygenist to take care of. $800 doesn't last very long if you need fillings, root canals, crowns, etc. Even teeth cleaning will probably cost over $100 per appointment.

    Dave
     
  3. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    I have an appointment tomorrow too...only it's a scheduled cleaning. Sadly, I can also answer your question...
    A year ago I went in to start out with a new dentist. It had been about a year and a half since I had last seen a dentist, and for all I knew things were fine. Unfortunately the dentist found about 5-6 cavities! One was so bad that the dentist was worried that I would need a root canal. Fortunately I didn't, but I may need to go back at a later date for a crown. He did what's called a crown build-up so the insurance would pay more of it, instead of a regular crown.
    Turns out that my last dentist didn't want to bother filling in the little cavities because he wasn't getting paid enough by the insurance company. So he just let them go until they were big enough to be a problem and didn't tell me about them. Well, because I wasn't drinking enough water and had a soda (with sugar, can't stand diet) every day at lunch, one of those minor cavities grew pretty big. And many others formed. Almost all of the cavities he found were between the teeth. A sure sign of too much soda and not enough flossing. Finally, after many visits for fillings, I should be cavity free. I've also improved my dental hygene. I used to never floss and only rinsed occasionally. I now floss and rinse with Listerine every day. We'll see how things turn out tomorrow.
    There has been a great improvement to my teeth. For one thing it no longer hurts to floss. It used to be really painful and made my gums bleed. Now it actually feels kind of good. Almost like a gum massage. Switching my floss to Glide floss instead of that Reach stuff has made flossing much easier. Listerine still burns my mouth, but I've gotten used to that too. But the best part is that my wife never complains about my breath now. Even though she's pregnant and smells are amplified, no complaints. [​IMG]
    My routine now is brush in the morning. Drink water with lunch. Try to remember to drink more water throughout the day. Brush, floss, and rinse at night before bed. I've also switched my toothpaste to Colgate Total...as recommended by my dentist. I really noticed a big difference at first with that. We just ran out though, and we've been using Crest. Again, I can tell a difference. The Colgate Total left my mouth feeling much cleaner, and the clean feeling lasted longer throughout the day. I'll be going out to get more Total soon, I just can't put up with that Crest any longer.
    Good luck with your exam. Hopefully we'll both get a good, clean dental bill of health. [​IMG]
     
  4. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    Thanks guys. I needed some encouraging words. I'll add that I've never had a cavity (but I'm now wondering because of Bill's story) and I'm a total WUSS when it comes to my mouth.
    Can you tell if you have a cavity or not? does it hurt?
    I brush my teeth every day 2 times, I never floss - I always remember it being too painful. I use mouthwash after every brush. Scope or Presidents Choice brands.
    I drink a lot of coke (see other thread by me) and am wondering what this is doing to my teeth. when I drink this coke, I usually have snacks like chips or candy or peanuts or whatever. This probably isn't helping my teeth.
    My two front teeth need caps or something, as I have a biting problem (biting into the back of them with my lower teeth) and this is causing them to be so thin that the last time I went to the dentist, he could see the pick through the teeth. That's bad.
    I have a lot of work to get done, and I'm not really looking forward to it.
    Bill - is this common for all dentists, them not filling the cavities because of the money they get for work done? Or is it only in the states with their health plans (laugh) they have down there? I'd hope it's different for Canada.
    David - I don't mind how much it costs as long as I get reimbursed for it. Hand them my visa, then get reimbursed by my insurance company 30 days later. and the funds I have in the account I have to use them or lose them by the end of the month. so why not do my teeth?!!
    Bill - I'm using Scope and Crest Complete. Are your brands that much better? Have you tried these at all?
    Hoping no root canal is necessary.
    I hope they wont try to take advantage of me knowing I have so much cash to blow by the end of the month.
    I am comfortable with him though. He's a friend of the family of a friend of mine. I'm told he's very good.
    For caps and crowns, etc... what is the process involved in these?
    Good luck to you too, Bill!! [​IMG]
     
  5. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Paul, if this helps, if they do find a cavity, just tell him to pull the sucker. I had a molar pulled last summer, and was VERY surprised at how little it hurt, barely any pain at all. He numbed me up real good, and just took a nutcracker looking device and CRACK, tooth came apart, he removed the fragments, and I was outta their in less then a half an hour.
     
  6. Rob Speicher

    Rob Speicher Supporting Actor

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    Paul, if you're worried about the pain, don't be. Trips to the dentist are much easier now. Not only do they numb you up real well, but they even give you a topical numb before they use the needle to numb you even more. You can't feel a thing.

    On another note, I find flossing to be a pain in the ass, but I do it as I figure it's a necessary "evil". Does a waterpick replace flossing, or is that another thing altogether? Is there anything that does for flossing what the mechanical toothbrush did for brushing?
     
  7. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Hey Paul,

    I never took care of my teeth as a youngster...around four years ago or so, I returned to the dentist after not having gone for over five years. This was my sole New Year's resolution. During those five years, I brushed once a day and Never flossed. So...it wasn't fun - several cavities were noted, and I also needed an extraction. But I did it. The embarassment of it all was probably the most difficult part to overcome.

    Anyway, now I floss daily and visit the man every six months for the routine stuff. Flossing is really no big deal if you just make it part of your routine. Typically, when I go for a check up now, the hygienist will often comment that I was her only patient that day who flosses (they can always tell).

    Here's the main point you should know: if you go twice a year, the visits are virtually painless. It's the neglect that causes the anxiety, the decay, and, ultimately, the pain.

    I'm due for an appointment; thanks for the reminder.

    Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

    Jon
     
  8. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    Well, I've never had a cavity and have almost zero tartar build-up. Of course, I also don't drink sugar filled drinks or eat a lot of sweets.

    For those who hate flossing (I used to be one) may I suggest the "Glide" brand of dental floss. It goes between teeth real easy and makes flossing much less of a PITA.

    I'd recommend against pulling a tooth if it can be fixed. Pulling teeth can lead to bone loss in the jaw later in life.
     
  9. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    I just went in for a cleaning yesterday! Here's the story...
    Two years ago, it had been 4 long years since I had a cleaning....I finally got up the nerve to make an appt...they found four cavities [​IMG] one per year I'm thinkin. They drilled three in one sitting, and it wasnt bad at all...just make sure they add another shot of novocaine even if you're as numb as fredo. The second shot is nice b/c you're already 80% numb from the first one. Anyway, I went in a few weeks later to get my last cavity filled...they couldn't find the root! the pain! 6 shots later, including one in a different area, and I was ready to go..a tear in my eye and a mouth that was numb for a week.
    Ever since then, I've been going in for apropylaxis (that's what a cleaning is called :p)) every six months, I've heightened my brushing routine which includes flossing (you gotta do it, it won't hurt or bleed if you floss long enough), and rinsing with listerine before bed is the icing on the cake. Also it helps to give up the sweets, esp. pop.
    So Paul, get this visit over with (maybe you'll hear some great news), and after you're good to go, practice good oral health for the rest of your life so you don't have to go thru with this bullshit ever again.
     
  10. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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    Wow, I have an appointment tomorrow, and I don't take very good care of my teeth. I go on jags when I will brush and floss like crazy... followed by periods of, uh, inactivity. I'm worried, too. I hope that they don't need to pull anything out!
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    FLOSS! FLOSS! FLOSS!
    I can't emphasize the neglect you inflict on your teeth if you don't FLOSS!
    Everyone thinks flossing is a PITA. You know what's a PITA? Spending $3,200 for 4 crowns! I know, I'm living it!
    Flossing is your best defense in preventing the bacteria growth between teeth that cause cavities, and gum disease. You can brush and gargle all you want, but if you don't floss and get that gunk out from between your teeth, be prepared for some bad news from the dentist SOONER OR LATER.
    And it's best to floss at the same time every single day because the bacterial build-up takes about 24 hours between flossing to cause detrimental effects on your teeth.
    In early next year, I have 2 more crowns to be installed.
    I look at it this way: If I had taken better care of my teeth, I'd have a nicer TV now. [​IMG]
     
  12. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Paul - Here in the US there are many different types of dental insurance plans. Some cost more than others and some pay out more than others. Also, some plans dictate which dentists you can go to. The plan I had a couple years ago was a very cheap plan that dictated who I could see. I had to pick from a list. They also dictate to the dentist how much they will be willing to pay. So then you're left up to the trustworthiness of the dentist to administer proper dental care. Because he was getting payed less for the same work (with my dental plan) he wasn't as willing to do a good job. In fact when I specifically requested he use a white colored filling he used silver without even telling me. I wouldn't have even known about it if I didn't check the mirror before I left. I was pretty upset but he gave some lame excuse that the hole was too big to use white. I've now had that filling replaced by my current dentist. He never told me about the other cavities I had. I only know of his negligence because my current dentist said they were too big for him to have let them go unnoticed. I would have had them for at least 2 years, and the last guy had seen me during that time.
    My plan now is different. My monthly premiums are a little bit more and they pay the dentists differently. I get free cleanings, but pay 20% on everything else. I can also choose any dentist I want, so this time I got a good one. Also, with this plan, the dentist is guaranteed to get paid his usual price, because even if the 80% that the plan pays is higher than what they're willing to pay, I pay the difference (they pay out the average for the area and bill me for the rest). I've found that when you go to a cheap dentist, you get what you pay for.
    My dentist recommends using the tarter control Listerine and Colgate Total toothpaste. I've never tried Scope, but he says it's nowhere near as strong as Listerine. Scope is a bad breath killer whereas Listerine is a gum disease and tarter killer. I'm using Crest Complete right now and it's nothing like Colgate Total. I'll be getting some Colgate on my way home from the dentist today because the Crest just doesn't work as well.
    If it's painful to floss then that's a bad sign. You're on the road to gum disease. I used to use Reach floss and it was difficult to get in between my teeth and would frequently break. Then I discovered the Glide floss and it's made flossing much more enjoyable. It's easier to get in between the teeth and doesn't break as easily. When you floss you should slide the floss up and down between your teeth, like you're scrubbing the sides. Push the floss down into your gums, into the pockets of the teeth, as far as you can go. Don't slide it back and forth, like you're threading it in and out. It's suppose to be a motion like you're trying to scrape the sides and pack down the pockets. This cleans the sides of the teeth and prevents gum disease. Make sure to get both pockets on each side of the tooth. Go slow at first, and even if it hurts you still need to get down into those pockets. Over time the bleeding will stop and the pain will go away. That's a good sign of healthy gums.
    As for toothbrushes, you should only use the soft bristles. Medium and hard bristles cause the gums to receed and expose the roots. You should also change brushes every 3 months. I don't know how it is in Canada, but in the US you'll get a free brush every cleaning. So if you're going every 6 months like you should then you'll get 2 free per year. Then you just have to buy 2 per year yourself. Your dentist should have samples of Glide floss available too, so if you don't get a sample then ask for one.
    Also, if it's not too late, take some Advil before you go into you're appointment. If he finds cavities and decides to fill them while you're in there, the Advil will help you deal with the pain. Since you drink a lot of caffeine it may be difficult to sufficiently numb your mouth. My lower teeth are difficult to numb even without a lot of caffeine intake, so I have to take a few Advil or I feel the drilling.
     
  13. Kurt B

    Kurt B Stunt Coordinator

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    As a youngster, many years ago, I had a couple of very bad experiences with dentists. I always had this great fear of the pain, the drilling, the after effects.
    Todays dentistry is so very different. My current dentist is great. I needed one filling replaced a couple months ago and I had absolutely no pain from the procedure. I was delighted. I also went thru some jawbone surgery in October, and was sweating bricks on that one. Again, modern dentistry came thru for me and I needed absolutely no pain meds after the procedure. To be honest, the worst part of it was the soft foods like jello, mashed potatoes and brothy type soups for a week [​IMG]
    Good luck to you.
    ~Kurt
     
  14. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

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    FWIW, my dental hygenist recommends Listerine over Scope. It's got something extra to protect the teeth. I have to get my teeth cleaned every three or four months....got gingivitis or something a bit more severe.

    If your teeth gets really bad (mine were years ago since I stopped going seeing a dentist after he told me that I was going to lose all my teeth by the time I was 30...I was 13 or 14 at the time), then you have to a periodontist (sp?). Been there once.

    Floss at least daily....after awhile, your teeth will be use to it and it won't bleed anymore. I was good at my last appointment since I was flossing daily for three or four months straight. Been lazy/stressed lately, a few times a week.

    Dave
     
  15. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    Well, 9:00 came and went and I am finally back. Guess what? No cavities. YEAH! They took X-Rays and made some impressions of my teeth. If the X-Rays reveal that I have cavities, then it's a different story. He didn't do the cleaning as he had people waiting for him, so I have another appointment tomorrow at 11:00.

    The only thing he found, and I've noticed this for a LONG time, is that again, my 2 front teeth are wearing VERY thin and he says I should do something about them. He gave me 3 options: filling in the backs - about $200. drilling down a millimeter and making a veneer to go over them $5-600. Crowning - most expensive at $900. None of these options thrill me. He couldn't really come up with any reason why I have this wear. We did a lot of 'grinding' excercises in the chair and even though I have a huge overbite, he couldn't find any real spots when I grind over my teeth. I mentioned the cokes (see other thread again) and he says yes, Cokes could do it. Lots of acid, but he asked me HOW I drink it (I thought this kind of wierd). I drink coke just like any other drink. I know people that guzzle a whole can in like a minute, but myself, especially when I'm at work, I sip it throughout the afternoon. He said this was the problem. He says it stays in your mouth for a long time eating away at your teeth when I 'sip' it like that. (No, I'm not like gargling with it or anything), but that is how it can sit in your mouth for longer.

    So, $186 later, I'm done, and all he said was how to properly drink a coke. Whatever. It's a damn good thing this is costing me nothing. I go back tomorrow for the cleaning etc... which the receptionist (his wife) said would be between $150 and $200 dollars. So this is good, I'm getting the chance to use up my $800 Health spending acount. Not all of it, but at least not all of it is going to waste. If any of this is for some reason NOT covered by my HSA, I'll be going through the roof!

    So wish me luck that I have no cavities by the time the X-Rays are developed (that tells you if the cavities are between your teeth). But so far, a clean bill of dental health, and a smiling new patient.

    If you are in Calgary and looking for a GENTLE dentist who is VERY good, Dr. Abraham Ber is the guy to go to. He is seeing new patients, and use my name when you go in. He's at the corner of Glenmore and Elbow, SW. Parking on the back off Elbow drive behind Ethan Allan Furniture (but the office building faces Glenmore trail. See me for an address and phone number.

    Thanks for all your input guys and gals, and if you ever have had one of these 'procedures' that I listed, please comment. I'm in no hurry, but it has to be done. He is booked up for the rest of December, so it wouldn't qualify for my health spending account this year at all. Too bad! at least Clarica will like that...
     
  16. Tom Meyer

    Tom Meyer Second Unit

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    Holy s**t. That's a LOT to spend on a cleaning ... especially in Canada !! I've been going to the same dentist for like 25 out of my 32 years and actually just got a filling last night -- $88. Cleanings are like $70.
    And I agree with what everyone says about flossing -- you HAVE to do it. If you get cavities between teeth, it's because it you don't floss. I hadn't had a cavity in a couple years and I was royally pissed when they said I had one a couple months ago at my cleaning. I went straight out and got a Sonicare toothbrush. Now that's a good investment. It's like getting a dentists' cleaning every day.
     
  17. Rob Speicher

    Rob Speicher Supporting Actor

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    I broke my front tooth when I was 6 or 7, and I recently had the false tooth replaced with a venear. I really recommend this option if you can afford it. It should match perfectly.
     
  18. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Got back from my appointment and I got a clean bill of oral health. [​IMG]
     
  19. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Paul - Spare us the details, just answer one simple question:
    Is it safe?
    [​IMG]
    Jon
     
  20. Paul O

    Paul O Stunt Coordinator

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    Lay off the Coke Man.
     

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