I don't expect a lot of adventure to happen to me while in Ohio. I've traveled to too many exotic corners of the world that make the Buckeye State very calm in comparison. I certainly don't expect anything of interest to happen at the gas station. But, that's just what took place recently.
After filling up my car, I went inside to pay. And, that's when I spied some delicious dip with some kind of crackers or tortilla chips. The combination was simply irresistible. I snatched up the pack, paid for everything, and headed out to my car for a treat.
There was no treat. No, it's not even close to October, but I got a trick. And, as it turned out, it was a very pricey trick.
As soon as I bit down on the first cracker, my tooth broke. It was no little chip off of a tooth. It was a full-fledged split with a large part of one tooth just hanging on to the gum. I'd not been to a dentist in a while since my hometown dentist retired. Locating a new dentist was one of those things on my "to do" list. I just hadn't gotten around to it. But, fortunately, I knew where a dentist office was located just about a block from the gas station. It was time to face the piper and the dentist.
I actually had to wait two days to get a temporary fix. And, that temporary fix cost me $200! The dentist took x-rays, looked at the tooth that had finally broken away from the gum, and gave me the bad news. The break was deep to the bone and down to the nerve. He saw two options for me, both way out of my budget as a starving artist. Option one included a root canal, crown and an expensive procedure on the gum along the crown (done separately by an oral surgeon). The price tag for this option was around $2,500. Believe it or not, that was the better option. The second plan was to get rid of the tooth and replace it with a $4,000 implant.
The dentist sent me home with my temporary fix and a date to come back for a final consultation. The very nice young man who scheduled the appointment asked, "What are you doing for the rest of the day?" I assured him I was going home to be depressed.
I was given instructions by the dentist to do my homework. He said to talk to family and friends who might have had root canals, crowns and implants. Find out about their experiences. "Go online," he said, "to reputable sites like The American Dental Association to see their recommendations."
I did as instructed, but it wasn't what the dentist wanted at all. I talked to my sister. She "enjoyed" a lot of dental work this past summer that included some crowns and root canals. She was pleased with the work, the service and the price -- in Cancún, Mexico. It was all I needed to hear.
When I received the contact information, I wrote to the dental office in Cancún to tell them about my two options. I expected an email, but I received a telephone call in less than an hour. They would do the cheaper option, if they felt it was the best way to go after examination, for $900. It was all the research I needed. I cancelled the next consultation with my new dentist, and I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to ever return to his office.
But, I am determined to make lemonade out of it. So, painting at Walnut Elementary was put on hold while I fly off to the Caribbean for some dental work. I have to stay for six days. Hopefully, treatment will be completed in one day, but they want me to recover there to make sure all is well. Yep, that's right, I'm forced to go to the Caribbean for a week to save an incredible amount of money. This kind of situation makes no sense to me at all, but if I have to go to Cancún, well . . . I'm willing to sip on that lemonade.
And, if I'm really lucky, I'll find a mural