Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Anti-dentite

I'm not really an "Anti-dentite." Actually, I'm an anti-pain person(APP)- particularly of the kind that involves shots in the mouth and exposed tooth nerves. Because of that, I'm practically obsessive about my teeth. In fact, I'm probably one of the few people in America that flosses nightly not only her own teeth but also her children's teeth. And let me tell you, that is no small task being that I have four little munchkins to supervise during said nightly teeth-brushing-and-flossing ritual.

So it was no surprise to me that I didn't have any tartar build up when I went in for my annual teeth cleaning (even though I haven't been able to get in an annual teeth cleaning for two years). Clean teeth - check. No gum disease - check. "Bizarrely straight teeth for someone who hasn't had braces" - check. No surprise there. What was a surprise is that I have a cavity - through no fault of my own - or so I'd like to think...

Let me take a moment, first off, to blame my parents for not instituting better teeth cleaning habits, for letting me eat candy, and for...whatever else they did that made me cavity prone. Of course neither of my brothers ever had a cavity when we were kids. Perhaps I am a genetic anomaly? Nevertheless, I was their child. Whether it be via nature or nurture, somehow, my parents are to blame, right?

Anyway, one of my molars had work done on it 30 years ago, and eventually that tooth cracked two years ago. Which meant I had to get that tooth capped. To get the tooth fixed, I went to the same dentist I've had since I was eight years old (he probably fixed that darn tooth in the first place). He used to be a young and competent dentist. Of late, his eyeglasses were getting thicker and thicker. So much so that I couldn't bare to look at him directly in the eyes any more...without laughing. And after the usual minimal pain dulling, he capped the tooth (thank God that Lamaze breathing finally came in handy for something).

But the capped tooth looked kind of strange from the start. For one, there was clear tooth cement hanging over my gum, as if he over-estimated the amount of cement needed (or glue...or whatever they use these days) to adhere the fake tooth to the exposed nervy stump of the existing tooth (did I mention he didn't numb me up for that part of the procedure...that he said it would only "hurt a little bit"...didn't I blog about that before?). And two, the gum never came up snuggly around the tooth as it should have. I went in for a check up a few months later and explained my concern. My elderly dentist explained that he couldn't "see" anything wrong with my new cap.

Fast forward two years, a change of dental insurance, and a visit to the new, young, technologically equipped dentist. Although it didn't take all of the fancy x-ray machines to clue her into the fact that there was a problem with this tooth. She could "see" that there was a problem with this tooth. Because of the geriatric dentist's failure to properly seal off the cap, bacteria got under the cap. Now I have a cavity under the cap. That's right. A cavity.

To make a long and boring story shorter, I have to get this tooth fixed (aka re-capped) on Thursday. Oddly enough, the dentist office called to confirm that appointment while I am writing this post.

I'd really like to deck the geriatric dentist, but he retired last month - lucky for him. Hopefully, this new dentist considers the value of pain killers. Lots and lots of pain killers. And, hopefully, she won't be anything like the Russian mobster dentist of Ch@ndy's past. Power to the APP!

4 comments:

pjd said...

I, too, have been blessed with cavity-free teeth and relatively straight ones at that. Our aging dentist (who was Maria's childhood dentist) retired before he got to the can't-see-it stage. We now have a young Indian woman who seems competent and also well equipped. Technologically.

If she'd been Russian instead of Indian, though, I probably would have switched dentists based on Ch@ndy's story. >shiver<

bluesugarpoet said...

Yes - I really wish she would re-post that story. I tried looking for it on her new blog without any success.

Dentistry + technology = very good

Mimi said...

the moon lady actually keeps dental tools in her desk at work and has started using them while talking to me right after lunch (we're good friends, or she wouldn't do something so uncouth.)

Ch@ndy said...

I reposted the story.