This is a rant.
As may of you know, I had braces (that I like to refer to as my "adult orthodontia") for 2 years, and jaw surgery in April of 2005 in which I voluntarily had my jaw broken in two places and screwed back together (note: this screwing is not what the title of this blog is referring to. We'll get to that). After the braces came off in March of this year, I thought that the fiasco was over and I would only be returning for occasional check-ups.
Until my retainer broke. My orthodontist gave me a regular retainer, when what I really needed was a splint to keep me from grinding my teeth at night, which causes some pretty severe jaw pain. The retainer that he gave me eventually gave way and split under the pressure of my apparently strong jaws and teeth. Since then, there have been a few problems.
Problem #1 -
My orthodontist is in Tuscaloosa. I live in Birmingham. My boss gets annoyed every time I tell him I have an appointment. I got my orthodontist to refer me to one here. I go today for what I think will be a quick visit. Wrong ... 2 1/2 hours.
Problem #2 -
I know that I have TMJ. That is the whole reason why I have gone through all of this. In order to get a splint and have it covered by insurance, the new doctor has to give me a TMJ exam. This costs $125.
Problem #3 -
The cost of a splint - a little piece of plastic - is $950.
Problem #4 -
My company doesn't have dental insurance. We have dental reimbursement, which goes into affect after one year of employment. I will be eligible on Oct. 31st. And even then, the amount I am allowed for the rest of the year is $202. Perfect. Now the piece of plastic is only $748.
Problem #5 -
In addition to getting a splint, I will also have to have more orthodontist's appointments, which will further annoy my boss.
Is it too much to ask for the constant f-ing pain in my jaw to be taken care of? All I want is to be able to open my mouth all the way. Geez.