How many people out there have been reading this blog for years? Remember that one time back in 2005 when I didn't have dental insurance because I didn't think I needed it? Oh yeah, and I got A HOLE IN MY TOOTH (aka: my first cavity) that turned out to be a $2K, eleven cavity debacle.
Oh yes, wasn't that fun! See here for that story if you want to really want to dig into the archives of this blog!
Well, yesterday I had my semi-annual dentist appointment. The cleaning and check for cavities visit that I dilligently go to without fail. I don't dread these so much anymore since I now do have dental insurance and actually go to the dentist twice a year... and brush and floss every day. The thing I do dread about the dentist?Exhibit A.
And exhibit B, also known as the horse pills that precede the dentist appointments.
As I found out from my dental experiment back in 2005, if you have a heart murmur (which, coincidentally I do) and you disclose that fact (which I did), you have to take 2000 (TWO THOUSAND!!) milligrams of antibiotics before you go in for any dental work. 2000mg seems like it could possibly cure a small village from an infection.
I know most of you are thinking, WHAT?!
Basically, if any bacteria gets into your bloodstream from the dental work, which it can because of the myriad of bacteria in your mouth, it can re-circulate in your heart (because of the murmur) and kill you. The dentist in 2005 that originally told me this asked me if I had a death wish for never having had taken antibiotics before. Lovely.
LIKE I WOULD KNOW I was supposed to disclose a heart murmur to a dentist!! Seriously?! Not to mention it's a VERY slight murmur that I've had, since, oh, BIRTH. Apparently that doesn't matter.
There's a lot of research now that says you don't necessarily have to take the antibiotics anymore for dental work if you just have a murmur. But to get the ok from the dentist you have to get cleared by your cardiologist. And seriously? I'm 28 years old... the cardiologist is the LAST doctor I want to go to right now.
Last time I went was about 8 years ago when I had heartburn and thought I was having a heart attack, you know because I was being a slight hypochondriac. That was a weird experience too.... I think Iowa had that affect on me. Anyway, at that cardiologist, I sat in the waiting room with ANCIENT people that looked like they really might need to be in a hospital and people that were about 250 pounds overweight. And I was just a 20 year old skinny girl that everyone was looking at like, "hey, do you work here? Can you help me?" It was AWKWARD. Even the doctor came in and looked at me like, Seriously, dude, you are insane and not to mention the youngest person I've seen in here in YEARS. Anyway, they did all the heart work (basically because I did have a murmur and I guess it's good to get it checked out) and they ok'd my murmur. They could barely even hear it actually!
But going to that cardiologist was in Iowa and my dentist here in Washington is OLD.SCHOOL. Meaning, if I want to get my teeth cleaned and avoid the 11 cavity debacle all over again, I better take the damn antibiotics, or gravel with that cardiologist in Iowa that probably threw away my records 5 years ago, or find a new cardiologist here (NO thanks).
And not to mention, I got sort of scared shitless by that Iowa dentist who asked if I had a death wish by not taking antibiotics. So I do it. Begrudgingly.
And after the fact?
I'm cavity free with a clean (dental) bill of health. And I am probably immune to catching any sort of infection for the next few weeks two while these horse pills are coursing through my system.