Monday, July 11, 2011

The Dentist

I'm going to try to make this as short and sweet as possible.  I have two baby teeth that are still hanging on.  I don't know what they are called but they are... how do I explain... not the ones beside the two front teeth but the next ones over.  They have created a great deal of consternation and discussion amongst every dentist I have ever seen.  Apparently the permanent teeth are there but too far up to push the baby ones out and fall into place.  There have been discussions about pulling them and adding implants or bridges, discussions about oral surgery and braces to bring down the permanent ones.  A number of suggestions that sounded to me like they would satisfy some curiosity or desire for experimentation for the dentist but didn't really sound too appealing to me.  They have been loose for quite some time but they still work just fine for me thank you very much so let's leave them. 

I do not have the greatest record for taking care of my teeth.  I brush but don't floss, I used to go for cleanings regularly but haven't been for three years.  No surprise, I have a toothache.  It's been sore for  while but in the last couple of weeks it's been really bad.  I went to the dentist last week and the hygienist, Sandra, (very sweet, kind and gentle) did a little bit of cleaning and poking and took some X-Rays.   It seems the fillings in those baby teeth are deteriorating and that is what is causing the pain and sensitivity (to hot, cold, sweet all the regular stuff - by the way, Colgate for sensitive teeth works better than Sensodyne)  I have to go today when Sandra will finish the cleaning so that the Dr. can repair the fillings next week.  He also said something to the effect of  "We can see something a little funky going on but we can't get a clear picture on the X-Ray so when it's frozen for the filling repair I'll be able to poke around a little to see what's going on."  How's that for confidence inspiring to someone who is afraid of the dentist?

I have concluded that it is not the dentist I'm afraid of although I usually find the cleanings to be painful, it is the judgement.  "There's an awful lot of plaque here"  "You've got some tartar build up" "How often do you floss?"  I'm sure most people have heard it, at least I hope most people have and I'm not the only one who doesn't live up to the standards of the dental profession.  I have loads of excuses of course, dry mouth from meds, when you can't get out of bed who wants to shower, brush their teeth, you know, it's totally not my fault it is evil destiny or bad luck that I have plaque and tartar.  But the truth is, I feel ashamed and guilty that I don't do a better job and I really don't need a professional to confirm it.  I'm sure you are all fully aware that I am very adept at beating myself up and don't need any help. I do however, you'll be happy to know, give myself great credit for doing well enough to hang on to these baby teeth up to now (I'm 45 years old, so they've been hanging on for a while)

I would really like to know how you all feel about the dentist and has your "oral hygiene" (I hate that expression) suffered as a result of your depression?

So I'm off today at 1:40 to see Sandra again and find out when the dentist will do his thing.  I'm not looking forward to it but it's gotta be done.  Wish me luck.


  1. Oh dear! Sending you tons and tons of positive thoughts.
    Depression and dental hygiene? Hmmm... It makes sense. Most of my dental problems, however, stemmed from poverty and a crappy upbringing.. which in turn made me depressed, I suppose.
    It did take ages and ages, and a bit of upward mobility, to motivate me to get my teeth sorted. They're still in my head, and have managed to survive all my abuses of them. Flossing is a problem.. but mostly because my top teeth are all so snuggly wedged together that it's hell getting the floss (or those funky little between teeth brushes) in between them. My teeth tear the hell out of floss, which in turn annoys me, because then I'm stuck with stringy floss particles in my teeth. In short, I don't floss as often as I should.
    I think it rocks that you still have two of your baby teeth! Hope you get to keep 'em forever!

  2. I hate the dentist. Know you are not alone with this stuff.

  3. hmm, how I feel about the dentist. Generally, I don't care about going, however sometimes I have felt judged while others have made it clear to just move on with better habits.

    As for depression and oral hygiene--well I went from having braces as a teenager, wisdom teeth out at 25,and never having a cavity to-- by age 31 having 23 cavities from drinking too much soda. I was floored. The strange part was none of them hurt. That cost me an arm and a leg without insurance.

  4. Oh goodness, hopefully you will get it fixed. Hope you have a nice day. Kim

  5. Put 'dental phobia' in the search field at the top of my blog to get my true feelings and history.

    I hate going to the dentist.
    And I brush my damn teeth, they're too close together to floss much, I nod and smile and go yeah yeah yeah... so far, I still have teeth.