Jul
16
2008

  OUCH! My teeth hurt!

#$@#$ dentist. Now I know why many people dread going to the dentist. I haven't had a cavity in over 15 years or something like that so my dentist visits were uneventful affairs. The worst part was when the plastic film things pinched when I had to bite down for x-rays. Since I started using the Sonicare Elite toothbrush (I also have a different model, and I think the Elite is better) even my usual occasional visits go very quickly. I only bother getting my teeth cleaned every two to three years, there's never a problem since I started with the Sonicare. Seriously, brushing for two minutes a night with that thing keeps my teeth very clean, I recommend it.

But a few months ago, I felt a pain in one of my teeth when I had a cold drink. I NEVER feel pain in my teeth, so I became concerned, and scheduled an appointment to get my teeth cleaned. As usual, the hygienist (it was my first visit to the Crozet dentist) asked "how many years since your last cleaning?" and then "do you use an electric toothbrush?" since she was amazed at how little plaque & tartar were on my teeth given my infrequent trips to the dentist. But apparently this one had seen the Sonicare phenomenon before since she guessed it once I confirmed it had been a while since my last trip to the dentist.

Unfortunately, when the dentist came in to inspect my teeth he did notice a big problem in the one that hurt. My 25+ year-old filling had gone bad and decay had set in underneath it. He said there was no amount of brushing and flossing I could have done to fix it, it was just the nature of those old-timey fillings we all got as kids.

Today I went in to get that fixed. I got shots to numb my mouth. The shots aren't that bad, I get shots all the time for the @#$#@ mole biopsies, to get my estrogen levels checked, to inject hormones, the needles don't bother me that much. But the drilling!

Of course, the drilling didn't hurt, but I had forgotten how weird it feels, and how loud it sounds since it makes one's skull vibrate. And all the bits of tooth debris floating around in the pooled saliva in the bottom of your mouth. Ick. That's when I realized if this is what most people have to deal with whenever they went to the dentist, no wonder they are unpopular.

The numbness afterwards didn't bother me as much as it did when I was a kid. Although Terry was slightly alarmed when I came home and couldn't smile right. Apparently he could tell I was attempting a smile, but the sides of my mouth were still turned down.

The problem is now that the numbness is starting to wear off. Now my teeth really hurt!! Ouch! Wah! I've had one mint julep, and am about to fix another. Plus Terry fed me two ibuprofen. He knows all about toothaches, he spent nearly two years dealing with a root-canal gone bad. Me, I'm a baby, like I mentioned earlier my teeth NEVER hurt.

But Terry's taking good care of me, I got some groceries on the way home from the dentist, and now he's cooking me a frittata for dinner. I've got a temporary crown and 3/4 filling over the two bad teeth right now, and I'm not supposed to chew on that side. I figured an egg dish would be easy to eat.

I prefer gold teeth to that white composite junk most dentists use, and fortunately this Crozet dentist is perfectly happy to accommodate me. But it does require that my overlays be constructed in Richmond, since Charlottesville (much less Crozet) cannot support a gold-tooth specialist despite the many dentists here.

Unfortunate again is that I'm going to be in Chicago the week I would normally get the permanent fixtures attached, and that my dentist works in his Maryland office on Thursdays and Fridays so I have to wait until the week AFTER I get back for my next appointment. So I'll have to be gentle with the temporary for nearly a month. Oh well.

I do feel lucky that at least I didn't need a root canal, and that I live in a time and place where rotten teeth can be taken care of in a humane way. I could have it much worse than suffering some discomfort for a few days.