Got home a few minutes ago from having one of my top right molars extracted. I didn't think the dentist was ever going to get that sucker pulled. He ended up cutting it into three pieces just to get it out. It's the first conscious extraction I have ever had done and it was absolutly painless. (Four years ago, I had seven teeth extracted by an oral surgeon so I could get braces, but I was asleep for the whole process.) Here goes my story: When I was a kid, I got a small cavity and the dentist drilled the entire tooth out and filled it. Fast forward about sixteen years. Seven months ago, the back of the tooth broke off while I was eating and part of the filling also broke. At the time I had only a part time job with no insurance so I figured I would wait to have it fixed because it wasn't hurting. That silly idea changed last Friday night. I awoke to the sensation of someone working my jaw/cheek area over with a 9-iron. I didn't sleep a wink all night or the next night. Luckily, my girlfriend had just had surgery (she's doing much better now by the way) and I nabbed a couple of her pain pills to help me cope with the pain. My head hurt all weekend and I looked like I was smuggling acorns because my cheek was so swollen. My mom was able to get me in to see her dentist first thing Monday morning and he gave me some antibiotics and Vicodin and told me to come back in a week and we'd see if we could save the tooth. The plan was to perform a full root canal, anchor the tooth to my jawbone, reconstruct the tooth then crown it. I spoke with the office manager after my appointment and we went over my options and the cost. To do the afore mentioned work would be a multi-session process and cost a bit over $1300. Since money is tight, and my job pays a bit less than the average Kathy-Lee Gifford sweat shop, I opted for a routine extraction which only set me back $74. I wish I had been able to save it since I'm only 28, but I figure I can always go back in a couple years and have a bridge made to fill in the gap so I can chew more efficiently on that side.