Friday, July 24, 2015

Unladylike Luck

Members of my family shared a belief that unexpectedly finding money made the discovery date "your lucky day." Thus, I was pleased to spot a penny in the parking lot of my dentist's office when I opened the car door.

Why not, I thought. I was there merely to have a final cap placed over what had been a troublesome
Not all pennies are lucky.
tooth. No problems were expected. I'd paid for the procedure in advance, so not even financial unpleasantness was in sight.

The new dental assistant told me what to expect. "I'll pop off the temporary crown, clean up the old adhesive, fit the final, and take an x-ray so the doctor can be sure all is well. Then he will cement the final crown in and you'll be good to go."

That worked for a couple of minutes. The assistant failed twice with the x-ray. She called in another assistant. Two more attempts failed. An assistant who had worked there for several years was summoned. Zip. Done. "Would you look at this, please?" the original assistant asked.

"Hum," said the veteran. "Where is that image from?"

"It's one we took from the wrong angle before you got here."

I heard a muffled conversation in the hallway, and the dentist appeared. He clicked the computer monitor back and forth several times, studying the screen intently. "Well," he said, "there's good news and not so good news. Your crown work is perfect, but the tooth next to it is in serious trouble. You need a root canal. We'll set it up."

"How much?" I asked.

"Only about $700."

I later figured my net good luck for the day could be valued at around minus $699.99. Old family beliefs aren't always reliable.


Rummuser said...

You were indeed lucky that the root canal problem was discovered! Perhaps delaying the treatment would have ended up costing you a great deal more than the 700 bucks!

Anonymous said...

David just got a dental bill of $1600 for a new porcelain crown. I have had more difficulty with several root canals and new crowns, (and big bills). I'd say you were darn lucky!

Dick Klade said...

My spirits are soaring! From the previous two comments, perhaps it really was my lucky day.

Anonymous said...

$700 .. Ouch ! 'That's about 460 of our British pounds. Here in the UK we have the so-called 'free' National Health Service, except that it's not 'free' ! Working people pay for it through their taxes, and dental care costs extra. My wife was quoted £500 for root canal work by an NHS dentist. She shopped around and found a private dentist who did a good job for £350.

Dick Klade said...

Interesting, John. We are treated to lots of misrepresentations (well, lies) about your NHS. It's good to have some facts. I've always wondered if dental care was included. Somewhat strangely, here it is included in Medicaid (for low- or no-income folks) but not in Medicare (for most of us over 65). However, our dentists are free to turn down Medicaid patients, and many do. so the poor people often are forced to use clinics in inner cities where the quality of the work may be questionnable.

Tom Sightings said...

Two weeks ago my dentist suspected I needed a root canal and sent me to an endodontist. As the specialist checked me out -- asking questions, tapping my teeth, etc -- I asked, so how much does a root canal cost? His reply: $1900! (New York prices.) Fortunately, he said my tooth was fine; he just needed to file down a crown a little bit. P.S. Make sure they give you plenty of novocaine.

Dick Klade said...

If my specialist says the other docs estimate was wrong, and it really will be $1,900, I'll need a few shots of straight bourbon in addition to the novocane shots.

Kay said...

Oh ouch! I'm so sorry. That was very painful. I have a dentist's appointment coming up next month and I am NOT looking forward to it. I hope I don't get socked with a huge bill. If I see a penny on the ground, I'm going to ignore it.

joared said...

Had I only known that finding a penny didn't automatically indicate I'd have good luck, I would have stopped picking them up years ago. I've been picking up found pennies and all sorts of money denominations all my life, specifically because of the good luck feature. When good things didn't always immediately happen, I concluded that there must be some sort of delay feature for a cumulative positive effect sometime in the future when I least expected. Perhaps your wife failed to explain that facet of the found coin effect. After reading others comments, it sounds like you may already be reaping the lucky penny benefits. Keep picking up those pennies plus any other coins and paper money you may find!

Dick Klade said...

Just returned from having the root canal done. It went very well, so I'll look upon that as good luck.

Jhawk23 said...

I used to pick up just any penny, but in my wife's family they pick them up only if they are face up. perhaps yours was not?

but you avoided the fate of one frind of mine, who went in to get the root canal his dentist told him he needed, only to emerge having had it performed ,,, on the WRONG TOOTH.

Quinn Kimbrough said...

No matter how many times I hear it, that good news/bad news conversation never goes my way. It always goes like this, good news your tooth took to the crown, bad new is that the took next to it needs one. It always seems when he says this to me. I need to get my pocketbook ready for a huge hit.