You guys, I'm seriously going to get dropped from MP's insurance!
This time, one of her pre-broken top premolars has broken some more. They're both broken in the same kind of way, but this one just got worse. Every time we see the vet it's looked "OK enough" so we had been doing a wait-and-see. MP is still acting normal, although I can't imagine how it could not suck.
I sent a picture (posted here) and the vet told me to get it seen, soon.
I have an appointment booked for next Monday, which was the earliest I could get for either of the vets we see regularly. They said that if she goes downhill before, they should be able to get me in with a different doctor. I sure hope this is soon enough.
At the exam, we're supposed to decide if this would likely be a simple deal or a specialist deal. However, it turns out that the standard procedure is to do the x-ray right before the surgery, so they basically decide what to *really* do once they see the pictures. Meaning, it could turn out to be just the one tooth (which I'm guessing would need to be extracted; it's got a full-on vertical crack), or there could be some funky stuff elsewhere that might require a specialist's expertise. The specialist said that they're happy to look over her x-rays and provide consult/guidance if the regular vet has any questions, but I don't know if that would be super helpful if it ends up requiring some kind of special technique/equipment.
I am leaning towards a specialist (there is a bad-ass place I can bring her). I talked to a dental assistant for the specialist (who was super patient and explained everything in detail), who explained that they take multiple x-rays during the procedure to make sure they've addressed everything, and the benefit of having a bunch of other specialists around (they're a referral clinic that has tons of different specialists).
I don't know how much the regular vet costs for whatever it might take, but I'm guessing it's hundreds, not thousands. Specialist estimated it would be something around $1600-$2000 based on what I've told her, although we won't know until we get in there. Insurance would cover 100% at normal vet after deductible ($200), and 80% at specialist.
She's never had a dental because I've been (emphatically, really) talked out of it by every vet I've ever seen; her teeth and gums are supposedly extraordinarily healthy, otherwise. At least upon superficial examination. I have a big fear of "stuff underneath" and "stuff you can't see" so I've always been preemptively worried.
MP's acting and eating normally for now, but she is super stoic and there's just no way it doesn't suck.
I feel pretty scared and sad because I experienced an "OMG I could very easily completely lose my mind over this pain" kind of tooth nightmare last year.
I know they do extractions all the time at the regular vet, so I'm sure MP will be totally fine there. My concern is what they'll find in the x-rays, and if they'll be able to address it the best way possible. In terms of guiding us towards a most healthful recovery (post-op pain meds, abx, etc.), I totally trust my regular vet because they know me very well and how I am.
Sorry for the rambling. :S I'd love to hear any input about your experience with dental work, etc. Of course, Acorn is probably going to be out of town (he is now) so I'd like to warn you guys that I'm likely to come here whining and scared, *again*! Sorry in advance!!!