Monday, January 3, 2011

Crentist, My Dentist


I love The Office.

Over the last couple years, I’ve started dreading my dentist appointment every 6 months. It’s not that I’m afraid of the dentist, like some people, I’m just afraid of her bad news.

And the resulting bill.

As a kid I always took a lot of pride in not having any cavities, despite the tons of candy I ate. (I’ve always been a candy fiend.) When I became a teen, I had the normal amount of cavities from time to time, but I never really thought it was an issue. I brushed, I didn’t floss, but for the most part my teeth were fine. My freshman year of college I was diagnosed with TMJ, and fitted for a nightguard to wear while I sleep, because I grind my teeth pretty badly.

After college life was so up and down and I was so broke (weren’t we all…) that I went about 2 years without going to the dentist. Big mistake. I was brushing, but flossing was a joke, and I hardly ever wore my nightguard. I eventually started having tooth pain and reluctantly made my way to the dentist. Because of that time lost, I have had to get 3 crowns, several fillings, and have even had a few chipped teeth from grinding in my sleep in the last 2 years. After the crowns, I needed to get a new nightguard (because the imprint of my teeth had changed), but because I was spending so much on dental work, I didn’t want to shell out another $500 on a new night guard. So I continued to grind my teeth, need more dental work, pay for more dental work, and not buy a nightguard. It’s been a cycle. About a year ago I started using prescription toothpaste, bought a sonic care toothbrush, started wearing my nightguard more, and flossing more often (admittedly, not daily).

Back in June I went to the dentist and got a clean bill of dental health, so I assumed I was good to go and this was all finally behind me. So when the time came for my appointment last week, I was very surprised when the dentist told me there was a tooth that might have to have a crown put on it. I wasn’t in any pain, I had been taking better care of my teeth, but part of me started thinking “great…here we go again.” Every crown is about $500 with insurance, and a $500 surprise is not a fun one. (During the time I was having all this dental work done, I joked that I didn’t want the most expensive thing I owned to be in my mouth.)

All of that dental history is to explain what I adore today. When I got to the dentist and she started working, she discovered that I didn’t need a crown, just a filling! Woo hoo! That’s a huge weight off my shoulders. As backwards as it may sound, today I’m grateful for the pleasant surprise of not having to spend tons of unexpected money on dental work. (More camera money!) I was really glad that I didn’t have to waste money fixing another tooth, especially after the frustration over the last few years and the things I’ve done to improve my dental habits. Sometimes being scared about something and then having it end up being nothing to fear makes you realize how blessed you were in the first place.

So,what silly things are you grateful for?

Have something you adore? Leave a comment below or email it to adoretoday at gmail dot com.

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