Monday, April 2, 2007

NYU Dental Hospital - My Experience

I wanted to post about my NYU dental experience because it wasn't a very pleasant one. The problem is that I havn't seen a dentist for a little over 10 years. I dreaded going because during my college year at around 1998 a piece of tooth fell off in my molar leaving clear access to my gums and easy place for food to get trapped. Now it's 2007 and I thought it was time to fix it... I really should have did something when it happened but I didn't like going to the doctor. It's mainly from the analgram all over my molars which I got in my teens and I knew it was going to be expensive.

Anyway, I went to NYU dental hospital cause it was supposely cheaper by 1/2 what other places were charging in the city. So I went in with a friend in the morning... The early appointment is one week from the time you call in. As a new patient it cost 90 dollars for a full exam. My friend who went with me who was still a student opted for the student plan which was around 270 dollars (you just need a student id from any school). Anyway my first impressions was very good... one dental student did all my xrays and than i was introduced to another student which was to be the person that will take care of all my dental needs. They did an accessment and it was pretty bad. That's what you get for not going for 10 years... Anyway the total came around to something like 600 dollars. I really hated they didn't give me the low down for the total costs since I was given the impression I might need like 3 root canals especially with that molar that had a hole.

That's when everything went downhill. Let me tell you what happened first. The dental student started by doing one of my teeth that was the other side of teeth that had the hole and which I went to get fixed cause they saw some darkness in the xray that means there's a cavity. He went in and it's only on one side of the molar which took a session and it was so close to the gums that he wanted to do a root canal. I was like no no and fortunately a dental professor came along and said it could probably get a pulp cap. Worst mistake ever since what happened was he did a direct cap and I wanted a composite instead of analgram which caused extreme sensitivity to hot and cold food/drink (later on).

So now I never cheweed eaten on my right side which had the molar with a hole and now I can't really eat from my left side that just had the direct cap. Do you know how horrible that is.

Anyway the worst story is that he than went on to work on the tooth with the hole and it's a horror story. He opened it up and said it's heavily decayed and infected and have to do a root canal. This session he closed up and had me reschedule next week. So next week I came in and he had trouble anesthesia because I had some sort of variance in anatomy in my tooth. This goes on till my 5th session but now for the second session; I was fortunate that a dental professor came to help cause it took half hour to anesthesize me. He shaved it down to the roots and pointed that I had 4 canals in my molar (not good) and it was the end of the day so they closed me back up and rescheduled next week. My third session.... another problem with anesthesia, half an hour later a professor says to shave the teeth down .10 inch to work better and it didn't matter cause I needed a crown anyway. So that was down and there's another problem. It appears they can't seen to go thru one of my canals cause there seems to be a block. anyway that was the end of my 2 hour session and reschedule another appointment. my 4th session is the same, problem with anesthesia and half an hour later, he started measuring my roots to fill up except there was still the problem with one of the canals... he can't seem to locate it but fortunately a professor came by and said the problem could be it's calcified and that's why it's blocked. That canal also was some sort of weird angel and they have to enlarge it with these thin wires. Anyway they closed me up and rescheduled for an appointment 2 weeks later cause he he couldn't fit me in and he had spring break next next week so an appoint 2 1/2 weeks later. Now this appointment another dental professor had to help and solved the problem with the anesthesia by poking the needle to the bone on the side of my jaw. Usually my dental student will plug those needles down to my teeth. Anyway, he seemed to once again enlarging my canals so he can do the root canal. Didn't finish and closed me up. I still need around 3 more sessions at this point to close up my root canal and get a crown. Now the crown takes another 3 weeks cause they need to fit it, etc. and I will come back 2 times to get the fittings done.

In short and not so elegantly... I havn't been able to eat in 2 months cause one side of my teeth is too sensitive to hot/cold from food/drink and the other side is undergoing tooth canal and I can't eat cause the filling shouldn't have pressure on it or it will potentially shatter the teeth. My root canal has undergone 5 sessions already equally 10 hours. 2 hours which was spent anesthesia me cause of my different anatomy and i wasn't taking the anesthesia well.

In conclusion, DO NOT DO ANY MOLARS in dental hospitals. I was told one canal can be done in one session but due to my complications like calcification, 4 canals, one canal being oddly shaped... it is taking a long time. After this root canal is done, I'm going to get a specialist to finish up all my other molars and come back to finish up my front teeth which I'm sure will take one session each or so I was told. The root canal of my molar costs 495 dollars. A crown will cost 450 (500 if I want the one with more gold). 89 dollars to do a composite filling with 17 dollars for the direct cap on one side of my molar (I still need to do the other side which also has a small cavity). In short don't wait to do your dental work cause it might turn out like me which will need 4k in dental work to be complete.

The good news I suppose is my dental student told me one of his patients will most likely lose all her teeth because of some gum disease... Ok not good news for the other patient but still, things could always be worst. I'll clean up this post cause I know it's hard to understand but there you have it.

Updated: I saw the endo guy and it took over 4 hours to finally complete my root canal. I was so embarassed because I didn't know I would be there so late and I missed breakfast... My stomach was making so noise I couldn't control it.

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