Thursday, December 1, 2011

a skipped lunch and visit to the doctor (lyn)

I spend the afternoon in my favorite New York Library, the Morgan.  I figure that roaming the streets of New York is too dangerous, as every store beckons me with signs of pre-holiday sales.  Still, even at the library, I buy a must-have tinted moisturizer called Revision Intellishade SPF 45.   The The New York Times makes it sound like the world’s most incredible beauty invention ever.  With my iPad, I am not safe from spending anywhere.

At 3, I meet Gail for my doctor’s appointment with a Maxillofacial / Oral Surgeon. After my near-nervous breakdown in 2006 over a tooth (the same tooth), I do not want to make any mistakes, and so I am consulting with the best of the best.  

A nurse brings us in to an exam room and asks me to step on one of those balance-beam scales that seems to be in every doctor’s office.  Why can’t they have digital ones?  Aren’t they more accurate?   I step on the scale and it registers three pounds higher than my scale this morning.  Could my breakfast have added this much weight? Or maybe was it the large latte I finished minutes before?  The no-nonsense nurse entertains none of my questions.

The doctor comes in.  I like him immediately.  He reviews my chart, checks my tooth, and then confirms what I have already been told:

  1. I have substantial bone loss around tooth #20.
  2. A periodontist can try and save the tooth through a bone graft, and if that can’t be done, the tooth will need to be prepared for an implant.
  3. In 2006, when this same tooth received a crown, the crown was not properly placed, as there was no contact with the adjacent tooth.
  4. Over time, food has gotten in between the teeth and has caused substantial bone loss.
  5. The STANDARD OF CARE with the placement of a crown requires contact with its neighboring teeth.
  6. In other words, my problem (and substantial upcoming expenses) today could have been avoided if the work I had done in 2006 had been done properly.
I am not surprised by what I hear, but still, it is unsettling.  Especially since the statute of limitations on malpractice suits is two and a half years. 

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