March 29th, 2004

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10:20 pm - well at least I have my health(y teeth)...
so whilst I have been complaining about my level comfort in my current job, I do at the very least have dental insurance for the first time in like forever... so I decided to give the old karma tornado a spin and go to the dentist today for the first time in what I think might legitimately be like 11 years. Yeah, that's right... 11 years... maybe even 12. I suck. So anyway, I went in full expecting that maybe I 'd have like one tooth left that didn't have a cavity in it. When I told the dentist it had been at least a decade since my last dental visit he seemed fully prepared to break out the dentures for me. So he sticks me in the chair and starts cleaning and is astounded by how good my teeth look and the fact that I have what he calls "the good enamel" He scrapes off the plaque buildup and polishes my teeth. He also removed the cement residue that formerly held my tongue spurs in place in a decade gone by. For the unitiated in extreme orthadontic torture devices, tongue spurs are little sharp spikes that are cemented to the back of your teeth in order to train your tongue to stay further back in your mouth. If your tongue comes forward to far, it gets poked and bleeds and hurts bunches and bunches and you make a concentrated effort to not do it again. I had these installed around the time I graduated from highschool. Once they had served their purpose, the spikes were filed down beneath my tooth level and more or less forgotten about, but the cement had remained uncomfortably on the back of my teeth ever since. Well, those have now been removed, so there is slightly more room in my mouth than there used to be. If you had occasion to french kiss me in the last decade or so, I certainly invite you to do it again and see if you notice any difference. But I digress... He then pointed out that he was amazed that I didn't appear to have a single cavity and my gums appeared to be in really good condition, despite something of a tartar build up (that he'd just removed). But he wanted to take x-rays to be sure.

So after the x-rays he determined that I had no internal cavities either. What he was worried about however was that I appear to have eroded or recessed bones in my jaw. He theorizes that I might haver periodontis, a gum disease (basically super gingivitis). And if left untreated, someday, the bones would theoretically completely erode away and my teeth would fall out. But it doesn't appear to be that bad and my gums are in good condition, so he just wants me to come back next week for a deep gum cleaning, and start using a water pick, which in theory should halt the disease if I do in fact have it. I personally am skeptical. I think there's a high probability that the bones in my jaw are just lower because I have a vastly reconstructed jaw. For those who don't know, when I was 2 years old, I crushed and mangled my jaw in a freak tricycle accident (no seriously, I really did). My teeth were so screwed up because of that, that I almost never smiled with my mouth open my entire childhood, even as early as age 6. In fact, out of habit, I tend to not do so today, even though my teeth are remarkably straight and nice due to extensive orthodontic reconstruction in my teens. (which involved the removal of several teeth, and the slow widening and retightening of my jaw over several years, followed by the aforementioned tongue spurs). But what the hell, as long as I have insurance I might as well use it right? if I do have periodontis, this should pretty much fix it. Well, not fix it, but halt it before the damage were to get any worse.

So anyway, my teeth are a miracle of modern science. Come and worship at my altar of dental fidelity....

uhh... or something...

Current Mood: [mood icon] thankful

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

well at least I have my health(y teeth)... - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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[User Picture]From: yozhik Date: March 29th, 2004 - 07:56 pm (Link)
I also broke my jaw as a toddler and as a result barely ever smile with my teeth. It requires a conscious effort to do so and always feels unnatural. I'm glad I had maxiofacial surgery, but it's an experience I'd never wish to repeat.

(Also, I believe that mandibular expanders are one of the most cruel and unusual punishement orthodontists have ever inflicted upon the human race. That thing seriously sucked ass whenever I had a cold.)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 29th, 2004 - 08:08 pm (Link)
yep... the pallette expander... I had one of those... about the most sadistic thing I've ever experienced in my life... twice a day.. for over a year.
[User Picture]From: yozhik Date: March 29th, 2004 - 08:27 pm (Link)
I don't know if I've experienced anything more disturbingly unnatural in my body than having to take a small rod of metal, stick it into the top of mouth, and then rotating it 45 degrees while feeling my jaw slightly expand.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 29th, 2004 - 09:11 pm (Link)
yeah, pretty much, though I assure you, the tongue spurs are no picnic either...
[User Picture]From: jeremiahblatz Date: March 30th, 2004 - 07:03 am (Link)
Oh, come on, the palette expander is boss! Well, okay so the expanding feels very much like cutting the roof of your mouth, but it makes eating spaghetti so fun! Nothing like reaching in your mouth and pulling an 18" string of pasta out of your esophagus to spark dinner conversation!
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 30th, 2004 - 07:24 am (Link)
I think your idea of cool differs significanly from mine...
[User Picture]From: mamarayne Date: March 29th, 2004 - 09:01 pm (Link)
Thank goodness! Maybe strong teeth are the best things you inherited from your father :-) Anyway, about the expander, I used to hide and cry almost everytime I had to turn that awful thing. I couldn't stand doing that to you! It was awful, but then look at the good it did in the long run. I would have been devastated if it hadn't worked!
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 29th, 2004 - 09:14 pm (Link)
Actually, I don't think Derrill has the best teeth either. I think I remember Jackie complaining about cavities and wondering why I never had any and him telling her that i inherited good teeth from your family. *shrug* maybe I'm misremembering...

ah and the expander wasn't so bad. I got plenty used to it after about six months. Just sort of learned to deal with the pain. Good skill to have actually, prepared me for the pain that is life...
[User Picture]From: kochansky Date: March 30th, 2004 - 05:00 am (Link)

Aww, man!

I've always prided myself on my teeth. I've never had a cavity and I've gone to the dentist twice a year for my entire life. I thought I had it down.

I went to a new dentist just recently... :(

Not only do I have three, THREE cavities that need to be filled, but my gums are in bad shape and need special cleaning. Even with dental insurance (I like my job) this may cost me $800, out of pocket.

[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 30th, 2004 - 05:34 am (Link)

Re: Aww, man!

$800 with insurance?!?! How much does your insurance cover?

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