Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Teeth ~ an update (for Chrysta)

**be forewarned: I'm typing in a hurry....and the spelling and grammar is probably a mess** (and I have no intention of correcting any of it!)

All my life I have had issues with my front teeth. As a kid I was teased because they were large and protruding. Often called a "buck toothed beaver". I never let on that it bothered me, but it did. It was very difficult for me to close my mouth comfortably because I really had to try and get my upper lip out and over my front teeth and hold my lips closed, consciously. It was brutal. But what was worse was when I about 8 years old, I fell in the barn landing face first on the pavement and chipping/breaking my front teeth in half. This leading to 25 + years of front teeth complications!

First we started with capping those teeth. The dentist tried his best to give me teeth that were presentable but in all honesty I don't think he knew what he was doing and they were just too big, bulky and white. Not to mention crooked. As I grew older, the coloring started to fade and then BAM! I busted my teeth AGAIN; but this time on the ice. Off to the dentist we go....again. He puts more caps on and says when the teeth die, we'll crown them.

Well they did. My senior year of high school. He removed the caps and crowned them. Still big. Still bulky. Still ugly.

While I was away at University my crown FELL OUT!!! Thankfully I was at home when it happened. I made an appointment with the on-campus dentist and he saw me right away. He secured the crown back in place and then made a couple suggestions about how he could "fix my pretty smile". What every girl wanted to hear. Well maybe not every girl, but this girl for sure. After not wanting to smile or show my teeth, it was refreshing to know a qualified dentist thought he could "fix me" and let me smile again.

After consulting with my parents he came up with a game plan: extract my wisdom teeth, 2 root canals, braces, new crowns and a retainer I would only need to wear for 6 months. So over the course of the three years, we made it happen. Two weeks before my wedding, we removed the braces...YAY!!! PERFECT TEETH! Or so I thought!

A year after our wedding, we move to Naples, Italy and I'm sensing issues (again) with these teeth. Turns out I need to have surgery to fix an infection in my root canal. So we get that done. Then some additional work on my gums. The Navy dentist is absolutely appalled with what the dentist in Ottawa did and thinks that we should be worried about how much we paid him for what poor work he did. I was so sad to hear this: I just wanted to smile! In fact, he made that happen. My teeth were PERFECT on our wedding day and nothing could have stopped me from smiling that day.

Just before moving back stateside my Naples dentist suggest we have additional surgery on my gums because she's worried about future infections, etc. I say NO! I'm sick of surgery and if there is no immediate danger, I'm taking my teeth and heading CONUS...and we did!

Fast forward to a year ago, just before my half marathon, I am sensing yet again issues with my two front teeth. I'm dreading going to see anyone about it because I know they are going to immediate jump on the "you will need surgery" train. But I just couldn't avoid the inevitable anymore so I head in to see my local dentist. They take an X-ray: MAJOR INFECTION!!!!!!!! So much so they are worried it may "burst"> YIKES! So they send me to an periodontist in hopes they can salvage my tooth without extracting it. She says no...and refers me to an implant specialist.

This is where I meet THE MAN OF MY TEETH DREAMS!!! He finally FINALLY gave me a reason to believe there will be an end to this nightmare.

He removed my "dead" tooth and plans to do an implant procedure. A lot of what I'm about to write from here on out is a repeat of this blog entry so I will skip that and get to the point!

I had the surgery. The gums didn't heal properly (not anticipated) and Dr. Jeffery was pretty certain that even if we did go through with the implant on this day I may need additional gum surgery and that is where I drew the line. NO MORE SURGERIES....please! I just want this nightmare of 25+ years of tooth trouble to be over....and now it is!

Pictured is me....SMILING...and with a beautiful bridge that not many people even know about. The bridge is pretty, it's shorter than my natural tooth size, it's not bulky and it's the end of a long awaited ordeal. I don't even worry about closing my mouth or concentrating on that because I can't stop smiling! I'm very pleased with my result....and hope (and pray) that no ice, or pavement or punches or softballs come my way and take this out any time soon!


Pooh said...

Looks GREAT!!! I'm so glad you're happy and finally have a healthy mouth!

Deb @ Confessions of an Ugly Mom said...

YAY! But what an ordeal!!!! Following your story and knowing what's been going on, I totally CANNOT tell they are not teeth that the Good Lord stuck in your head Himself (and I'm looking). They look GREAT, no wonder you're smiling!