Friday, May 28, 2010

A moment of Tooth

Are you friends with your dentist?
I am.
We're on a first-name basis.  I am a dental frequent flyer.
I know how many kids each of the hygenists have and what sports the doctor's kids are playing.
They keep up to speed on the happenings chez-moi and I think we could hang out, if it weren't for the stigma associated with "the chair."
Last December I had an old crown removed and a new one put on.  At my cleaning in March, they discovered that the new crown was cracked, and would have to be replaced.  It's a fairly invasive procedure, and to be honest, anything more invasive than a cleaning gives me anxiety.  I was happy to postpone a couple of times due to the invasion of strep, but you can only postpone for so long... last week it was out with the old, and on with the temporary.  The new, permanent tooth comes back from the lab in June.
Nothing hard, sticky or chewy, they said.
And I was on my way.
Since that moment I've been chewing gum and eating candy.  It's my way.  How can I explain that in my mind, those things don't count?
I had a big movie theatre-sized box of red hots hanging around that eventually needed to be consumed, so I took it upon myself to complete the task.  Ne'er a thought for my teeth, I sucked on and chewed that gooey stuff and reached in with my finger tips to remove it from my molars as it would get stuck... something you can appreciate if you are a true candy-lover like me.  To the dentist's credit, I got through almost the entire box before that temporary crown popped off.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I was shocked.  I was driving to the store at the time, and I had to reach in my mouth and pull out a tooth.  Kind of creepy, actually, since my tooth-losing days are decades in my past.  I felt my IQ drop instantly when I felt the gaping hole with my tongue.  I was able to pop it back in place, no problem, but as soon as I took a swig of water (to wash the sugar down) it floated out of position again.  Dang.  I called the dentist and confessed.  They put me in for the next morning.  Meanwhile, I had to figure out how to hold the tooth in place until I could get re-glued.  I opted for fasting.  It was either that, or go toothless.  The whole go-without-food-thing lasted until I had to fix dinner for my family.  I am weak.  It was a soft meal, I figured, so I could partake.  The first bite went in, and out popped the tooth.  I decided I might as well use this moment to my advantage, so I pulled out my tooth right there at the dinner table and held it up for all the kids to see.  In a rather commanding tone, I said:
THIS is what's going to happen to YOUR teeth if you don't keep brushing and flossing!!
suffice it to say I think they've been traumatized.


Aaron H. said...

Why do you have to go all Aunt Shirley on them? Keep your teeth in your mouth!

Sherry said...

My freshman year of college I went to the dentist for the first time since I was like four years old. (Even in the few years when my parents probably could have afforded to take me, it just wasn't a big priority for them.) My teeth were actually in pretty good shape; in addition to one giant cavity in a molar (that had caused that tooth to go dead and even break!) I had two small cavities. And that was it. So, I started getting things taken care of. At the end of the semester I had to get a root canal with a temporary crown put on. My dentist told me not to let the temporary crown stay on too long, and to get the permanent one as soon as I could. Well, "as soon as I could" ended up being about six months later because I had to go home for the summer. And I was poor. That temporary crown lasted the WHOLE TIME. It was awesome.

A few years later, as a married lady I watched pretty much the opposite happen to my spouse. He got a nasty infection. Got a root canal and a temporary bridge, which though he did not eat sticky foods, came off very promptly. Same as you, any time he ate or drank anything. Except, that he was still not completely recovered from his root canal, and it was EXTREMELY painful. Then, to top it off, there was some sort of delay in the bridge coming in, so he just had to deal with this crown coming on and off for well over a week.

This is why my dentist is better than his. :)

P.S. LOVED the lesson to your children. I bet they all did great with brushing and flossing last night!

ellen said...

All you want for Memorial Day is a new tooth...

Janssen said...

That is such a great story. Except, you know, the part where it's hard to eat.

Eric and Tammy Mitchell said...

you are too funny! I hate the Dentist, but love him when I'm done!

LL said...

I SOOO feel your pain.
Hate teeth. Glad I have them. Just hate the issues involved.

Cathy said...

My son just had a molar "ripped" out as he describes it by the dentist. The filling fell out, the hole was too big to repair, and he has a new molar waiting to come in.
He wrote a nice letter to the toothfairy asking for 10$.
Needless to say, he was disappointed when he didn't get very much money. I kindly told him the tooth fairy doesn't give much money for teeth that were extracted due to cavities. Start brushing !!!

Becky said...

I'm brushing...I don't want that to happen to ME! ;) (sorry)

Smilin' sunshine said...

Couldn't you just chew on the other side??

Jo Jo said...

Having tooth issues myself. Almost called you TEN times this week to get me through my first canal digging.

shirlgirl said...

Loved Aaron's remark. It made me laugh!! Right now I am going through a temporary crown situation. I had an onlay on the tooth because it could not longer be filled. It had been on for about three years when it became tender. I had an abscess. So the doctor had to do a root canal and later put in a post and crown. My dental insurance wouldn't pay because I had to wait 5 years from the onlay before they'd pay again. So it all came out of my pocket. I had my teeth cleaned on March 1st and mentioned to the gal that I had a little "bubble" on the gum above that crown. The dentist looked at it and said I had a lingering infection, so made an appointment to have the crown removed, drill out the post and cement and put in medication. This is still being done and I have a temporary crown. I won't even eat on that side because I had chewed on a piece of meat and the crown came off when I was in Costco's. Fortunately I "saved" it. I also had broken off a piece of tooth on a back molar the night before that eating a piece of hard candy. So, off to the dentist to get the molar repaired and the crown put back on. So, Jenny, I can "feel" your pain. However, I am so used to sitting in that dentist's chair that it is old hat to me. I think I'd stay away from even eating on that side if I were you. And to Aaron, my tooth saga continues. If the treatment to the tooth is not working, I'll probably have to have the tooth pulled as a last resort and have a "flipper" made. Can't afford another implant at this point. And so it goes with my "love affair" with my dentist. And, he really is an awesome man. I am grateful to have such a fantastic dentist.

Marilyn said...

Sorry about your tooth, I can relate.

Trueman twins said...

I feel your pain! I go on Tuesday to get my permanent tooth on. I too, am a rebel and chew gum but ONLY on the other side. Seriously I was having anxiety over taking the anxiety pill that my doctor gave me for the anxiety that I have at the dentist!