A fine way to spend a Saturday

Youngest son was full of excitement. After Saturday morning cricket, he rushed home, grabbed his bicycle, and took off:

“I’m off to see Fred, don’t hold lunch for me, I’ll be back later.”

This happens now and again (and the names are changed to protect the innocent). Of course, every parents nightmare is to get a phone call to say their little scrumkins has been maimed / injured / bitten / run over. But you have to let kids go and do stuff.

The Lady Of The House had to work Saturday afternoon, so I was happily minding my own business when came the dreaded call from Fred’s mum:

“There’s nothing to worry about, he’s not hurt. He’s just broken a bit off a tooth, we’re bringing him home. It might be an idea if you get him to a dentist.”


Righto then.


Imagine my surprise – that’s not a piece broken off. That’s a front tooth snapped in half. He’d done the right thing and found, and salvaged the broken piece.

Now do you think the medical / dental profession are open on a Saturday afternoon? I rang the usual suspects – his dentist, then mine. Got plenty of out-of-hours numbers to call, none of which answered or were helpful. Eventually I found a dentist across town – 24 hour emergency – who could see us – only an hour’s drive away. We hoofed it off there, lugging our busted piece of tooth in a jar of milk.

The nice dentist, in running shoes and a polo shirt, took one look.

“Nah – the root is exposed. If we put it back together it will just break. There’s only one thing for it. Root Canal, then eventually you can get it capped or crowned. It’s going to cost ya though.”


So, we’ve begun. The tooth can’t be saved but root canal + lots of messing about should mean that something can go there and eventually fill the gap.

The bill – for an hours dental work and step 1 root canal on a Saturday afternoon. A cool $680. And from what I’m told, there’s about two grand still to go. Oh joy.


Ouch. :-(

In addition, looks like he’s got some significant calculus build-up on the other teeth.

Comment by Mark B | November 10th, 2009 10:02 pm | Permalink

…Poor little guy… Is he OK apart from the tooth?

Comment by Kath Lockett | November 11th, 2009 8:53 am | Permalink

He’s fine. No painkillers AT ALL. He was wandering around with the tooth broken (which I would have thought hurt like hell) saying “oh yeah it hurts a bit if I bite on it”. As it would.

Apart from that he’s fine.

AND… he didn’t fall off the bike. It was one of those freak accidents. He was walking the bike along and went over a bump – the handlebar smashed him in the tooth and broke it off.

Comment by Wally | November 11th, 2009 9:40 am | Permalink

Very expensive yes, but thank god for emergency dentists. With the root exposed the tooth would have soon gotten infected and been extremely painful.

Comment by river | November 11th, 2009 4:29 pm | Permalink

Ow! Ow! Ow! (That’s one for the handlebar, one for the dentist and one for Dad’s wallet.)

At about age 14 I had a similar accident. During some rough and tumble on the school parade ground I managed to bite the asphalt from a great height. Yep, root canal. And the job had to be redone about 30 years later. More $$$

Comment by MikeFitz | November 12th, 2009 1:02 am | Permalink

I did the same thing 15 years ago. I broke my two front teeth in half in the middle of Easter long weekend when I was on holiday in Victor Harbor. The nice dentist came in to his office to get me out of trouble.

I eventually required 15 or so visits to my dentist over a couple of years. Much of the $2000 or so was covered by medical insurance (this was back in the days when insurance was good).

I will probably need to get a Titanium implant at some stage though :(

Comment by darren | November 12th, 2009 12:05 pm | Permalink

Brave little mite. It’s sooooo expensive. I had it done a while back but the tooth wasn’t broken, just a dead nerve I think it came in just shy of $2000 and three visits to Painless Pete! Health cover for dental is rubbish.

Comment by Baino | November 13th, 2009 4:50 am | Permalink

Neil did a similar thing on the Aquadome water-slide quite a few years ago.. on a Friday afternoon..
My dentist wouldn’t look at it, going home etc. We ended up calling the School Dental Service, they saw him that evening at the clinic (Sals. East).
All fixed with the full set of Root Canal treatments no charge!! Best investment ever, paying for the school dental scheme! I believe now it only applies for those on benefits.

Comment by Paul | November 14th, 2009 1:48 pm | Permalink

Go to Italy… On our trip TWO of our rellies had to have root canals.. Cost them about $200 (cash of course) and it was all covered by travel insurance!

Comment by Nick D | November 30th, 2009 8:10 pm | Permalink

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