Long in the Tooth?

Sometimes life just isn’t fair.  Take today for instance.  I have faithfully practiced good dental hygiene all of my life.  I brush my teeth throughout the day.  I get my teeth cleaned every six months.  I even suffered through braces twice, donating a total of 8 teeth to the cause just to make room for everything because I’ve been cursed with such a tiny mouth.   And yet…..the darn things are letting me down.

I noticed last week that my gums were swollen above the biggest offender in my mouth…..the tooth that had given me all the trouble over the summer.  I had finally reneged and gone to the dentist when the aching had gotten really bad and they discovered I had a cracked tooth.  The dentist put a temporary fix over everything and told me it might hold for years or maybe just a few months.  Darn tooth!  Looks like this wasn’t going to turn out to be a long-term fix.

So off I trundled today to the dentist—-AGAIN!

“We’re ready,”  the nurse said, sticking her head out into the reception area.

I looked around but seeing no one else in the waiting room, I couldn’t find anyone else to palm off on her so I had no choice but to follow her down to the examining room.

To make a long story short, turns out bacteria has made its way into the crack and up into the root area and now I have an infection brewing in the tooth’s roots.  My dentist was more than willing to go into greater detail but I told him I got the picture and I was feeling woozy.

Bottom line is that I need to get the tooth out and then pick from several options:
1.  Go for a partial plate. (NOT a good choice since I have a very prominent ridge in my upper mouth which would make it uncomfortable.)

2.  Go for a bridge.  (An “ok” choice but one he wouldn’t recommend since it would involve filing down the healthy teeth on either side to make room for the fake tooth plus it would need to be anchored to those teeth.  It would be harder to keep clean and would involve several hours sitting with my mouth open while he works away on it (also not a good option given the exceptionally tiny size of my mouth – THANKS, Mom!)

3.  Get a tooth implant after the extraction.  (His recommended choice – the “gold standard”, as he called it.  After seeing the price just from his end of things, I can see why “gold” is in the description.)

I mentioned that there was a fourth option.  Why not just pull the darn thing and leave a blank space?  OK, maybe not such a good idea.  He went on and on about how my teeth would start shifting until it sounded like the darn Continental Plates with some “Bucky Beaver” thrown in there for good measure.

We’ve reached a compromise.  I’m on antibiotics this week so I can attend my 3-day scrapbooking retreat this weekend and enjoy the food and festivities.  Next week I see the oral surgeon to set up my extraction and consult to get the ball rolling for the implant.  I told my dental crew that I have one stipulation or I’m NOT opening my mouth.  I want to have NO anxiety when they start this thing.  That means they need to either shoot me up with drugs or give me pills to take before they begin working.  And if they mean to put an IV in my arm?  Uh-uh…..I have to be feeling no pain before they ever try to get that IV in.  As I told my dentist, my last tooth extraction was in college when I had my wisdom teeth out.  They gave me a shot and I felt nothing during the entire procedure.  I was awake the whole time, heard all the crunching, etc. and couldn’t have cared less.  Surely they’ve got even better drugs now after all these years, right?  I want them! ‘Nuff said!

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Hot Flashed Funk

  • I feel your pain…..I went through alot of dental work last year. Not fun. Hope it all works out.


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