March 22nd, 2012

Conrunner Kevin

Fifth Time's the Charm?

I went to the dentist yesterday to have the permanent crown fitted over the tooth on which I had the root-canal work done. Including the two root-canal visits to the specialist next door to my dentist, this was my fourth trip to the Redwood Shores Medical/Dental Center since January. Alas, the new crown didn't quite fit. My dentist said there's too much space between the teeth after he put it in place. So it had to go back to the lab to have more gold added to it, and I'll have to go back in next Tuesday.

There was a bit of a delay getting finished yesterday because they had to cast a new temporary crown on account of having damaged the original one while removing it. I'm not too fussed about that, however, for it only has to be in there for a week. And I really want this new crown done right. It's the second crown on that tooth — they had to grind off the old one to do the root canal — and I never want to have to do anything with that tooth ever again. I trust my dentist on this; if he says the crown needs fixing, I'm sure it does.

Once the financial dust settles from this, I'll be able to decide whether I can afford to start the work on getting two other teeth crowned. Both of them have old fillings and hairline fractures. My dentist warns me that the sooner I get them crowned, the better. I set aside a lot of healthcare spending account (FSA) money this year expecting to do the dental work, but I have to find out if my insurance will cover any of the crown work on the root-canal'ed tooth. Because it's replacing a crown that was less than five years old, there's a chance that insurance will deny all payment, in which case the FSA will have to cover 100% of the cost, not 40%.