Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"All I Want for Christmas are 3 New Teeth"

Remember that song? Well I'll be singing this tune in about a month. I am getting 3 new teeth! That is my Christmas present from Tom this year. I am very excited but also petrified.

When I was 13 I had never lost a baby tooth on my upper left side. Well I'm a freshman in highschool and one morning I awaken to find this hard blob protruding out of the roof of my mouth. It was very painful and started to break through the skin so I went to the doctor. The doctor had no idea what the heck it was and told me to see my dentist because it looked like it could be bone. I went to my dentist who had been practicing for about 30+ years and he took xrays and was utterly gob-smacked at what he saw. I had my adult tooth coming through but it was attached to another phantom tooth! These 2 teeth had fused together and were also attaching to the bone of my current baby tooth that had not popped out of my mouth. He said I would need extensive oral surgery to have it all removed. I'm guessing it was maybe a week or so later that I had the surgery because each day the protrusion started to get worse.

The surgery was the most painful thing I have ever had both physically and emotionally because since the 2-tooth-anomaly had fused with my baby tooth I had to have that removed as well. So here I am a freshman in highschool, toothless on one side. You couldn't really see it unless I smiled or laughed really hard, so needless to say I kept my mouth shut most of the time. I had to go toothless for about 6 months to allow for the giant gaping hole that was now the left side of my mouth to heal.

When it was time to reconstruct that side I had to have what is called a Maryland Bridge put into my mouth (no clue why it is called that, is there a bridge in the state of Maryland that is made from teeth?) There was a lot of bone loss from the initial surgery so I was told I would need more reconstructive surgery to fill in the gaps but after all of this I just wanted to be done. My dentist told me that this bridge should last me about 5 years and once I am 18 and my mouth is fully developed then I would need to have it replaced. Well 18 came and went and so did 20, 25, 30... well you get the picture. I was absolutely terrified to have to go through another event like this so I just kept putting it off. I had made consult appointments with my dentists back in Chicago to have the procedure done and at the last minute I would chicken out. Well now, I am ready. I think. I don't know. Ok as I'm typing this I'm starting to feel my nerves quiver! Ok deep breaths.

So yesterday I met with a dentist out here for the first time in 3 years. (That does not mean that I had not been to a dentist in 3 years, I used to go home to my dentist in Chicago (LOVE HIM!) but since this procedure will require several visits I am going to have to stay local.) After talking to the dentist and his staff yesterday for 2 hours and going over all the options, I decided on a 3 unit bridge. They will remove my current bridge (which by the way the dentist was AMAZED it held up for 20 years.) I told him a few years ago it started to come apart from the back tooth and somehow I was able to fix it with small pliers and fixadent. I think he thought I was kidding at first but then I told him that I'm always prepared for it to come apart at any given moment so I always keep the pliers close by. I'm not sure what he thought after that...anyway! I digress!

I will have my current bridge removed and then will have the 2 teeth on either side of the missing tooth shaved down to nubs and then a 3-toothed contraption will fit in the hole and the surrounding 2 nubs. I will not require any oral surgery (as opposed to having an implant) so I am very relieved about that. And the best part is I will not have to be toothless (or teethless) for a day. He will make me a temporary set of choppers while the porcelain permanents are being made. I'll be able to remove the temporary set (sort of like dentures) and I'm thrilled about this because we all know what fun there is to be had with fake teeth!! I am even contemplating taking our Christmas card photo sans the teeth. Oh Tom is going to be in a for quite a treat. This may be the best Christmas present he's ever given me. Thank you honey!!

271 comments:

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Christina Shaver said...

Why is it that while I'm reading this I'm picturing Dr. Rey from Dr. 90210 as your dentist???? Because I watch too much TV, it's my favorite show, I wouldn't put it past you do somehow get yourself on that show in a specialty he doesn't know, and you live in LA.

Good luck with your new chompers!! We're exact opposites on it though. I LOVE the dentist because those of those goofy drugs they give out.

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Peter said...

I have a tooth in my mouth which is actually two teeth fused together somehow - dentist says it is very rare. No complications from it, except that sometimes I chomp down HARD on my tongue with the mutant tooth. And yes, oral surgery is the worst. (Get the gas :-))

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