Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Life's Little Curves and TMI so skip if you hate dentistry


So - life has thrown me a little curve. Well, actually a massive curve in the form of oral surgery. After 18 months of sporadic efforts (on my part) to save a tooth, I've been told that it is a ticking time bomb and MUST GO. I have learned more than I ever wanted to learn about dental problems and the biggest thing I've learned is how insidiously they sneak up on you. One day you are minding your own business, brushing your teeth, checking breath with the occasional cough cough into the hand and the next you discover that one tooth must go and two others are in dire trouble.

The next several months of my life will be wrapped up in extractions (one), bone graphs (three), sinus lift (one) [with no discernible improvement on my aging face - sigh], gum reconstruction (two) and an implant (one). Good Grief!!! The next nine months of my life will have me devoted to some level of discomfort and/or pain with the end result of some nifty but hard-won dental improvements. Nine months. Hmmm, can you say pregnancy? Sounds like a gestation to me. The big first day in Friday at 10 a.m.

Funny the things you think about when you have this sort of thing facing you. What's on my calendar? How do I time things for least discomfort and maximum fun? What IS on my dance card??? Well, there is a visit from an unnamed person that I will crow about here after our meet-up and there is Erin's bridal shower in Oregon (my future daughter-in-law). Then there is the wedding in June. OK, round two of the major work will happen in mid-March after the shower and three months before the wedding (and parenthetically, my first real vacation in three years. I am so ready). That will have the "worst" of it behind me for a while.

And what is the big lesson here? Well, when your dentist is warning you about deep pockets (and I don't mean of the money sort), pay attention. This stuff is truly insidious. There generally isn't any pain associated with it until you DO feel pain. By then it is too late. Sad to say, but a hard and expensive lesson. Even with good insurance coverage, I'm going to have to dig into some deep pockets and those ARE the money ones of speaking of.

21 comments:

Star said...

Oh, Annie. I guess the only good thing is that the new tooth should arrive in time for the food holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. But considering we're both trying to cut back on those eating holiday things, perhaps that isn't really a boon.

I'm a big believer in brushing and flossing, but I tend to brush to hard and have worn away the enamel in places and have sensitivities.

Here's hoping that everything goes well each step of the way.

Gypsy Purple said...

My sympathy!!!!
All the best of luck...

Chamara

diana said...

annie..annie...annie...I read this twice.. before I could even comment.. dang it.. I am so sorry to hear about this... and I am not much help... I have SEVERE dental phobia... I would have to be put into a coma for 6 month.. ok.. ... this is the 2nd dental horror I have heard... are they going to put you on antibiotics before they do the big procedures ? ya gotta be careful about releasing alot of bacteria at once in the mouth.

AnnieElf said...

Yes, Diana, antibotics right from the get go. And speaking of get go, get thyself to a female dentist, girl. That may be the ticket to feeling more relaxed about being in that chair. My regular dentist and my surgeon are both women and they are terrific.

Susie said...

This sounds so NOT fun! I don't think I knew that your son was getting married in June! That's got to be a bright spot in all this dental badness!
:)

Naturegirl said...

Awww I am sorry to hear this news! My friend has been having similar work done and she is now going on 5 months later!Going to the dentist has to be on my list of all time fears!Sending you an angel of courage>hugs

miss*R said...

Since last October, I have had work done on my teeth. serious work. thousands of dollars of work. I spent my children's inheritance on my teeth so now when I pass over, they each get a couple of teeth. You see, I had 5 porcelain veneer crowns put on. Hours in the chair. is it any wonder I am mental?
thinking of you & your purse xoxo

VintagePretty said...

Oh no! That sounds awful ~ I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for a pain-free time. Good luck with it all and just keep focussed on your son's wedding (exciting!) :)

tongue in cheek said...

makes me want to go visit the dentist right now! Ouch! that is alot of work to have done! Milkshakes and soup sound like the new diet for you, chewing seems like it will be a lost activity!

My thoughts are with you.
What name will you give this nine month tooth fairy?

trailbee said...

Ouch!

Rosa said...

Oh dear. I hate dentists so I just skimmed your post, grin. I've had to have my gums scraped. Good luck! hugs.

paris parfait said...

Oh no! And I thought I hated going to the dentist! Poor you, Annie! Am so sorry to hear this. Your post is a warning that we should be more vigilant about care of our gums and teeth. xo

Lee-ann said...

O! no Annie that sounds such a horrid nine months.

Dentists and I do not dance on the same page and I feel your story could soon also be mine. Having said that they will not enjoy seeing me either I fainted last time they smiled at me. :o)

I wish you well! I truly do.
Lee-ann

turquoise cro said...

Isn't it ridiculous what they charge for fixing our little teeth??? Good Luck Annie!!! If you're nervous in the chair just think of a happy place, somewhere you would rather be but liking your dentist is half the battle! xo, Cinda

AnnieElf said...

Cinda, you are absolutely right and here's a really interesting story for you all. One of the students in my department is from Bulgaria. She had to have a lot of dental work done a couple of years ago. It was cheaper for her to fly home to Bulgaria and have the work done THERE than to have it done here. And now her teeth are just fine so the quality of care can't be questioned. Amazing.

Frida World said...

Oh Annie, what a nine months to have ahead of you. I don't envy you and hope that on the days when you think you can't stand another day of dental pain and suffering that your blgger tribe will be there to brighten things a bit.

xx

Janet said...

This one I really relate to!! All my life I have had tooth problems and I know I have some serious ones right now but I keep putting it off. I know I'm going to have to bite the bullet and do it but Oh, my goodness, I don't want to!!

AnnieElf said...

Maryellen emailed this comment and I'm posting it for her since word verification is giving her fits.

I totally commiserate Annie. In the last year I've had 3 root canals and been to the Endodontist twice. I was luckier than you though, neither time did they extract. We'll all be here to support you, even though we won't be able to hear your unusual version of talking post procedures. Good luck kiddo.

susanna said...

Oh, I'm sorry to hear that you have to go through all of that. Ugh. On a good note, it sounds like you have a terrific dentist who knows what he or she is doing. And your mouth and body is going to feel so much better after the surgery and recover time is over.

Beth said...

I am the same as Janet,,I have always had terrible teeth problems. Not fun, and the expense is unreal. Even with dental insurance its not cheap. Sounds like you are going to be having a long spring and summer with your dentist. Hang in there Annieelf!!

Jone said...

Annie, I feel your pain and fear. I hate the dentist too.