I have bad teeth. There. I said it.

I mean, I guess I don't have a whole lot of shame to get over. I'm eating Fritos and Bean Dip. I just had to look at the bag to see if there was an "e" or maybe an apostrophe in "Fritos." I went to a dance at a Medieval Studies Conference last weekend and have a troubling gap in my memory sometime between the song "Like a Prayer" and waking up fully-clothed in my dorm room.

But back to the teeth: I haven't been to a dentist in years. Fucking years. And I did not brush nearly so often as I should have. And so I've steadily been loosing parts of my teeth. In addition to the hockey player look this gives me, I'm also blessed with occasional crippling tooth pain. Sometimes topical lidocaine (Orajel or Anbesol) works; sometimes it doesn't. Right now I'm on Tylenol 3 for an ear problem that may or may not be related, but that will run out pretty soon, and I'm pretty sure I don't want to become an opioid addict just now. I mean, I'd like to at least get an article published first.

Here are the reasons I'm not going to a dentist:

1. I have no dental insurance. Which is ABSOLUTE COMPLETE FUCKING BULLSHIT, ISN'T IT? I pay assloads for health insurance (which is good health insurance) yet teeth are apparently not part of "health"? Oh, and I'm not nearly poor enough to qualify for Medicaid dental.

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2. At this point, the work I would need would be well into the thousands of dollars. Even with the po' people discount I'm sure some places offer, I'd be looking at a nice steaming pile of crippling debt stacked on top of all that I have already. Then again, I have a feeling the same would be true even with insurance.

There are ways around these financial constraints, I know: there's the county hospital dentists, and I think Catholic Charities does dentistry. I just need to bite the bullet (but not with those teeth) and do it.

Except

3. I'm deeply ashamed of my teeth. I really hate the thought of opening up to a dentist and being exposed as a non-brusher.

and oh yeah,

4. Pain. Oh God the pain. Even what with anesthesia and whatnot, and I'm sure as a self-pay, the best I could hope for would be anesthesia by mallet, it's going to be uncomfortable followed by painfully painful.

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I don't know why I'm dumping this on just my second day back, I just needed to share.

Le sigh.