Friday, July 20, 2007

Continuing Adventure of Trying to Get to Kandahar

After I finished the last entry we ate dinner at the Air Force One cafe in the passenger terminal while we waited for our flight. As I was watching Battlestar Galactica on my computer I was eating a Starburst. All of a sudden I felt something hard in the candy. My first thought was that it was something in the candy and then I realized that it was a tooth. I had pulled off a crown. As I pulled the crown out of my mouth and felt the hole that was left in my mouth I was startled to feel no real tooth there. Long story short it was a tooth that had cracked and then broken off. When my dentist and friend, Dr. Craig, put the crown on there wasn’t much of a tooth left. When I finally got to see the dentist in Kandahar he confirmed my fears – not only had the crown come off but it had broken off most of the remaining tooth. He said it was a miracle that the crown had stayed on for as long as it did. He said that my only real options left were to have a gold post drilled into the remaining tooth and have the crown reattached but he said the same problem would exists – not enough tooth left. He said the real option and permanent option, would be to have the root extracted and have an implant put in. I’d then have to wait 3-6 months for the bone to grow around the implant, then I could go back in and have a tooth put back in. I thought “I can do that.” “I’ve got great dental insurance at work” and mentioned the fact. He then said that most dental insurances in the states don’t cover implants. My heart sunk a notch. I then asked how much the procedure cost and he said around $2,500 – 3,000. My heart plummeted at the thought of all that money. I suppose I could live with a gap in my teeth. It’s not that noticeable as it’s further back in my mouth. But then I’m not sure my pride will let me live with it but I’m not sure my wallet can afford it. So with that said, I’m setting up a charitable foundation where you can all send me donations to “fix my smile”. OK, not really but now I have to figure out some way to pay for it.

The dentist said there was a remote chance the military would take care of it. The only drawback, as I understand it, is that I would remain on active duty for the duration of the procedure and I’m not sure I want to do that. I know other guys who have had major medical issues, like this one, who have been sent to some Army base, no where near their home, and basically sit around as they get their issues resolved. Not something I really want to do so I’m back to paying it for myself. Oh well, decisions, decisions.

OK, update since I wrote this and before I post it. Things are looking up for the military to take care of it without having to go to some Army base. It could be that I can return to my civilian life and have Tre-Care take care of the cost of the repair. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!!

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