We live in a drive through society. Most people want their burgers in less than three minutes, instant replay on certain scenes, and instant mac n cheese from the microwave. We want what we want, and we want it now.
I have to confess that I am guilty of the same.
But this last week, I learned a lesson in delayed gratification.
You see, I’ve worn dentures since I was about eight years old. I am affected by one of the ectodermal dysplasias syndromes (Hay Wells Syndrome) and was born with only six permanent teeth buds. So, when my baby teeth started falling out, there was nothing to replace them with, sans a visit to the local prosthedontist.
During my pregnancy with Mister, I gained quite a bit of weight, and my dentures wouldn’t fit anymore without leaving sores on my gums. So I stopped wearing them. Over three years ago. I was determined to lose the weight before I got new teeth. But, I have found that it is difficult to lose weight when your diet is restricted by the inability to chew properly. So, when I finally decided that I was ready to get new choppers, I made an appointment at one of those “$99 dentures in one day” places.
My appointment was scheduled at 8 a.m., to allow ample time for the impressions, molds, etc. Despite freezing rain on this past Wednesday morning, I arrived at the office fifteen minutes early, just in case there was new patient paperwork to complete. I completed all of the paperwork and sat to wait my turn.
When the dental hygienist escorted me to the exam chair, I handed her my old dentures with a mixture of excitement and dread. I hadn’t worn dentures in three years, and there is always an adjustment period to new teeth. After an x-ray and brief exam of the two teeth that I do have, the assistant must have said, “I have your estimate.” But what I heard was, “The damage is $1599.”
I had seen the sign. That’s why I chose this place. We didn’t want to use our dental insurance on this set of dentures, since we know I will need to do this again once I hit my goal weight.
“What about the $99 sign?” I asked. The assistant explained, “That is our basic acrylic denture, which wouldn’t work for you because you are accustomed to a metal cast partial on the lower jaw. We can make that for you, but I can virtually guarantee that you won’t like it. What you are accustomed to is our top of the line denture. We would need to make that for the bottom denture, so we would also need to make it for the top denture, as the two need to be made of the same material.”
With tears in my eyes, I sent Hubs a text. Before I could even say anything to her, my phone was ringing. It was him. “Go ahead and have them run our insurance,” he said, “and we’ll figure the rest out later.”
So, I handed over our dental plan card and since the office had a “pay today” policy, discussed with Hubs what the max we could afford to spend on dentures that morning was. “$700,” he said. After waiting for what felt like ever, but really must have been only fifteen minutes, the assistant returned. “The patient portion would be $684.10.” A sigh of relief went through me, as I handed over my bank card. We could do this.
At this point, the assistant smiled and said, “I just want to make sure you understand that the type of denture you are getting is not a “one day” denture.”
She continued… “The acrylic only dentures we can make in one day, however, because we need to have a metal cast for your lower partial, we have to send out for that, and it takes up to two weeks to get it back. I just want to make sure you understand that before we take the impressions”
So, I sat there with tears in my eyes and gook in my mouth knowing that I would walk out without my new teeth. And then I had to ask myself, “What is the problem, really? You waited three years to come in for this appointment, why are you upset that you have to wait two weeks to get them back.”
Two weeks isn’t too long to wait to love my smile again.
And there you have it… my lesson in delayed gratification.
I can’t wait to show off my new choppers!