THE TOOTH CARPENTER
I’m a pretty honest kinda gal and I also think I’m a fair person. If I think something is not right I will tell you or them or whoever will listen to me. This is going to be that kind of a story.
I don’t know how to describe a visit to the dentist for me other than please slit my wrists now and get this over with. Or.. Lord, please help me get through this. Going back in time, in the dark ages when I was a child; a dental appointment went all wrong when I bit the dentist’s hand that was in my mouth; he not only cursed me but also sent me home with an unfilled cavity and lots of pain.
I’m now a grown-ass old woman and still have a fear of dentists. My eyes literally fill up with tears and they flow freely the whole time I am in that chair. Sometimes the dentist has to stop so I can breathe, I hold my breath a lot while in that chair. I know it is irrational but it is what it is.
I broke off a crown about two months ago, right in the front top of my mouth. Opening up plastic things with my teeth was obviously a mistake and I admit it was giving me pain for a while, now I know why. I saved the tooth that broke off and visited a dentist in my area of Stonebridge. Did I mention that I’m a senior on a fixed income with no dental plan?
This young dentist, everyone under fifty years is young to me btw, took an X-ray and then proceeded to give me options going forward. A bridge to attach the crown back was kinda iffy having to use the other two teeth to attach it, plus it was an estimated four thousand dollars. An implant was approx. seven thousand dollars! I looked him in the eye and said;
“I have three hundred and sixty-five dollars in my bank account.”
“Well.. you can get a denture for seven hundred dollars” he informed me.
“Well can’t you just put some kind of a post in and attach my broken-off tooth to it?” I asked him earnestly.
“No, that is not even a possibility, there is not enough tooth showing on the base to do this.” That was his answer and I believed him.
I never wanted a denture, my ex had one and used to leave it sitting out everywhere and it grossed me out. This was not an option for me, but I also didn’t have the money for the other options either. My dental work and all my teeth had been done by my beloved dentist in Algodones, Mexico. The first time I went to him, his wife the receptionist, held my hand the whole time he was drilling and filling a cavity that needed immediate attention. I never forgot that and he has been my dentist ever since.
I left that Stonebridge dental office, eighty dollars poorer for the consult with an x-ray. I called a few more dental places to cost out a few things and even visited a denturist to compare pricing. I was beaten and looked like a redneck whenever I smiled with that big gap in my front teeth. Damn, it was not looking good for me, nor was I looking good period! My other option was waiting for the borders to open, I could drive south to my dentist in Mexico and he would fix it for me I know.
I was lamenting this fact to my best girlfriend on the phone a few weeks later. She had lost two crowns and told me to contact her dentist at Sutherland Dental, Carolynn Oleksyn. My girlfriend owned a hair salon back in the day and Carolynn was a client of hers. She raved about her and said;
“You will just love her, she is so nice and it only cost me seven hundred dollars to get my crown wired back in” she already had a root canal done on that crown.
I got a little bit excited, my girlfriend said if there is a way to put your crown back in Carolynn will find it. I immediately called this dental clinic and made an appointment. I also asked if I could get my x-ray sent over would it save me money, they said yes. I gave them the background on my teeth (Mexico) and my finances (a poor senior living on a pension). Information overload I know but I wanted them to know. I also told them I was not a good patient, with all of my anxieties around dental work.
Dr. Carolynn Oleksyn and her assistant Bridget and later on Brianne were so great with me, I was immediately put at ease and felt I was in the right place. She explained everything to me and I do mean everything. This is where the story gets interesting, I know.. I drag shit out but I need to sometimes.
Remember Stonebridge dentist, he outright said he could not put a post in and reattach my tooth. They know I went to Sutherland Dental because I stopped in there to give my consent to them to send over my x-ray. They are also going to be getting another visit from me to show them my winning smile. I may also drop off a copy of this blog so they can learn something from my experience, and be better for it? Dr. Carolynn Oleksyn and her wonderful team of assistants took all of my concerns seriously and treated me with much compassion and care. The first visit was a consult with the x-ray sent over from the Stonebridge dentist. My second visit was a root canal and prep for a post. A week later they put my crown back in and I was good as new.
Yes, it cost me more than a denture, 1400.00 to be exact because I needed that root canal.
I am somewhat pissed (sorry but that word seems appropriate for me) at the Dentist in Stonebridge, on the corner by Shoppers Drugmart. I ASKED specifically if I could get a post and my tooth put back on. It was not an option and I was specifically told this. I told my story to Carolynn and her assistants and thanked them profusely for giving me this option. She informed me that they do a lot of posts and I was somewhat surprised by this, but not anymore.
I had a final question for her, I was really curious what would possess her to become a dentist? Of course in my mind, anyone that wanted to be a dentist must be crazy. Well, she wasn’t crazy and laughed at my question. She started out by becoming a dental assistant and after a couple of years ended up going back to school to become a certified dentist.
What she said next made me appreciate her even more;
“I look at it this way, I consider myself a ‘Tooth Carpenter’ and although I have never said this out loud before, it is always there in the back of my mind.”
Well, Dr. Carolynn Oleksyn, I just love this ‘tooth carpenter.’ You are my hero and you are definitely MY Tooth Carpenter going forward. If you are reading this and need a dentist, you should check her out and tell her My-Third Life sent you. My best friend Kathy sent me : )
copyright August 28th, 2021