21 January 2010

bribing the tooth~fairy

Preface: This is a long drawn out entry, cuz I wrote it that way. Sometimes stating the obvious solidifies thoughts. I write to think, I'm self~indulgent that way.


When I was thirteen, I had a horrendous sinus infection. I actually had many sinus infections as a child and into early adulthood. I've had some hellacious ones since, but not nearly as frequent; so that makes me happy.

But the Horrendous Sinus Infection I had at age thirteen is noteworthy for this telling. Why? What could a sinus infection possibly have to do with tooth~fairies? Well, as I am sure almost anyone who's experienced sinus difficulties can attest, my face hurt. My entire face hurt. Especially on the right side, where my lower right sinus cavity was placing quite a bit of pressure unto my upper right jaw, especially in the front.

I know this now.

But at the time, I trusted the Dentist from Hell {pictured over there <------} who assured me that I was in dire need of a root canal because my tooth had abscessed. The tooth is question is a very little one, just to the side of my larger front teeth, which those in the dental professions call "#7". Its twin, on the other side of my two front teeth, is very little, as in I've~seen~corn~kernels~bigger~than~this~tooth little.

In this case, size truly does matter. Why? Well cuz when Dr. Hell got done drilling and posting, I had almost no tooth left. Just a large white plastic core of a post with the thinnest tooth~shell ever.

And because Dr Hell had actually sliced open my gum, to the jaw bone and up to my nose, and then REMOVED part of my soft tissues, my gum~line never quite came down from the extreme recession it was forced into. I had a beautiful smile, with one slightly grey spot with a rather large white area above it. The grey was the enamel from my tooth that had been killed, and the large white area was the plastic post. It's telling that the post area was twice the size of the tooth.


I had a cavity at age seventeen and another filling at age twenty~one. I'm not sure if either was legitimately needed, but I do know that the root~canal was not necessary as a different doctor actually had to scrape my sinus cavity clean of abscessed infection and that pocket was what was resting on my jaw, pushing down onto the root of my tooth, which was in good condition. My doc was stumped about the whole root~canal deal.

Dr Hell? Arrested later for dealing outta his scuzzy office. Henceforth, he became known as Dr Dealer Dentist in most newspapers throughout that area of Pennsylvania. Oh yeah. And ya wonder why I have so lil faith in certain professions.

Fast forward to age thirty and to Alabama, when and where I have DENTAL INSURANCE for the first time evah!! This is when I met the Mickey Mouse of Dentistry, Dr Duhd. He wanted to pull all my perfectly good top teeth and give me a top plate of false teeth because, he said, they would look so much better.

I wasn't thinking.

Fortunately, I did not go that route. But I did ask him to put a cap on the above mentioned tooth/post {#7}. He reluctantly agreed.

Yea, me, right? Wrong. sigh.

He ground away the rest of what lil of the lil tooth remained. And then capped the actual plastic post which had replaced of the core of my tooth for about seventeen years. So not its job. This is not the purpose of plastic posts of this nature. Do ya see what I'm saying?

I can only assume that he was still stuck on the teeth~all~the~same~size train of thought, because the cap he put on was as big as my two front teeth. Years later I was to learn that as a result of him cramming a chicklet sized tooth in that space, the line of teeth on the right side of my jaw buckled from the constant pressure.


Then, eight years and one state later, I was sitting in my place on the farm here in Mississippi, talking to myself and my capped post *snap*ped off at the gumline. The reason I was talking with myself was because up to that point, I was having an intellegent conversation.

The capped post snapped off at the gumline, as I said, and there was no pain and no blood. Just lots of shock and then panic set in. Cuz dude, this is right in the front of my mouth and I had no dental insurance. Sigh.

So the next day, I visited a local sympathetic dentist who agreed that all my other 31 {all four of my wisdom teeth came in at the same time, when I was seventeen} teeth were in perfect condition and it would be stupid for me to have the two teeth on either side of the gap ground down so that a bridge could be fit into that space.

So he fit me for a partial, which in this case was a full upper plate that reached into the soft palate, and only had one tooth. The good news is this guy worked with me and explained stuff to me and respected me. The bad news is that I gagged when his assistant was casting the mold and when she removed the shelf she jiggled and so my plate never fit right. I know because a month later, I was talking with my then fiance {now, husband} and the plate started to fall out of my mouth, but didn't because the tooth snapped off the plate.


So I went back to his office to see if he could fix it, it being in only two pieces. His entire office was at a dental conference but the intern who was there to pick up the mail and water the plants recommended that I go to another office to have the plate repaired. She felt that waiting a week with a gap in the front of my mouth might be too long. I agreed, thanked her, and found another dentist in town who did in~office repairs instead of sending it out like most other places.

That dentist is in the process of retiring and the dentist taking over his practice and I met this month. For the last year, I had worn the ill fitting plate cuz I didn't really have too many other options at that point. Then just before Christmas, my plate shattered.


I went thru the Holidays and a visit with my folks with a large gap off center of my mouth. So just tight~lipped smiles. My husband's daughter's mother~in~law reassured me that my parents loved me the first time I was toothless. And she was right {and a very cool lady to boot!}. Boy did we get lots of mileage outta the whole situation.


SO earlier this month, I went to see my current dentist and explained the situation to him and to his wonderfully supportive staff {hi, guys!}. His dental hygienist/assistant was impressed with the condition of my teeth, my gums, tongue, cheeks, and sense of humor as well as my incredible sense of humble modesty {wink}. So we came up with a plan and made the first steps in that direction and man, do I feel lots better.

This next week, I'm going to see a periodontist {a Master of Dental Surgery~~that's said in a very serious, deep toned voice} to get started with whole implant procedure. A screw type post of surgical steel or titanium is placed into the jaw, this is the initial implant. Then my bone must heal and that takes three to four months. Then an abutment {a small piece that screws into the post at the gum line} is capped so that I can then smile pretty, bite and chew properly, and not feel so self~conscious. Once that work is done, the actual action of my biting, chewing, talking, etc, will help the bone to build and will keep the jaw from deteriorating form lack of use in that area.

Yea!!! So, perhaps this will have a happy ending. And I like happy endings. Especially when it involves fairies!! {wink}

By the way: every single visit I have ever made to a dentist has been listed here. So I've actually been pretty fortunate in that thirty one of my teeth are in perfect condition, even tho the cleaning I had a few weeks ago was the first one I'd had in a dentist's office in ten years.


  1. My teeth started to hurt in sympathy after reading all of that. Love ya!

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  3. Teeth are such a pain in the mouth. But you know ... worth it in the end!


Thanks for taking the time and effort to let your thoughts be known!