Running Around: Making up for lost time at the dentist no walk in the park

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 7:06 p.m.

I can't blame anyone but myself.

They told me more than once. They warned me. I ignored them.

They called me. They emailed me. They sent me letters. I never answered, I deleted, and I threw away.

As a result, I have one less tooth in my mouth, and another one will join the first in the bad-teeth graveyard at the end of the month.

One of my favorite things to do — eat — is not as pleasurable right now because no matter what side of my mouth I chew on, it's uncomfortable or painful. I often find myself eating with my front teeth like chipmunk.

I suppose the matter of a huge dental bill and my fear and distrust of dentists had something to do with me putting off the inevitable. I have come to the realization now that if I don't start to get my teeth fixed, they won't be there much longer.

When I finally decided to go to dentist near my home just to get my teeth cleaned, he gave me an entire laundry list of items that needed to be done

Just the cleaning that day was very painful, and I was bleeding for hours after.

Overwhelmed and fearful of further procedures, not being able to pay the price he gave and wondering if he was recommending procedures I really didn't need, I went home and did nothing.

Soon, though, I decided I should get a second opinion. I went back to my previous dentist who had done so much dental work on me in the past.

He, unfortunately, agreed with the first diagnosis, but isn't charging me huge amounts, as the first dentist proposed.

He is working closely with the insurance company and quickly repaired a few teeth.

I was nervous about the first tooth being pulled, but as I tell everyone now, “It was a walk in the park,” with no pain throughout the entire procedure.

Afterward, my husband very kindly bought both of us smoothies to have for dinner that night. I never even needed the prescribed pain medication.

I still have a long journey ahead to get all the work done, but I'm glad I'm finally moving forward.

Unfortunately, I can't go back in time and answer all those telephone calls, emails and letters and heed all those warnings from the dentist.

But I can tell others how important it is to keep up to date with cleanings and procedures so they can keep all their teeth and continue to eat like humans instead of chipmunks.

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or

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