Prison Pete

Friday, October 14, 2005
  Doctor, there is a hole in my tooth.
Several weeks ago I had the awful feeling that comes when you are basically chewing soft food and something goes crunch. I assumed what I crunched on was a filling. I filled out a request to see the dentist and four days later I was ushered into the dental chair.

The dentist mentioned that I appeared to have an untreated cavity on the right side of my mouth but no fillings appeared to be missing. He said that what I may have felt was a piece of tartar that had come loose. He said he would put me on the list for a cleaning and on another list for the cavity that needed filling. I asked him how long the wait was for both those lists and he said he could not tell me.

While waiting for either of those two events to happen, I felt that crunchy feeling again. This time it was definitely not a loose piece of tartar as I was able to recover the actual filling. I was able to do this BEFORE it was swallowed in case anyone is wondering just exactly I mean by 'recover'. I retrieved a Dental Sick Call form and taped the 'lost' filling to the form along with a request to see the dentist.

This past Thursday, seven days after reporting the problem, I again climb into the dental chair. The dentist looks into my mouth and confirms that yes I have indeed lost a filling. The fact that I have spent the last seven plus days chewing only on the left side of my mouth was good enough for me. He said it looked like I had some decay under the filling and a small piece of the tooth might have broken off, causing the filling to come loose.

He confirmed I was already on the list to have the cavity filled and he could probably do both of them at the same time. Whenever that time would be, he did not seem to have a clue.

At least in Club Fed, lost filings were treated as an emergency and the two or three lost fillings I had over the years I was there were all filled the same day I reported them.

Meanwhile I have a nice dull ache in the tooth with the missing filling, and I am hoping that I do not do further damage to the tooth while I wait to have the filling replaced.

This hurry up and wait approach to dental care might end up with me being toothless by the time I get out of the New York State system.
Boy do I understand what you're going through Pete. I just dealth with my first visit to the dentist and today I had a root cannal, some fillings and wisdom teeth removed. What fun!
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