/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » time to face my fears

So it’s not a big secret that I’m a dental chicken.  I had 6 years of braces, 3.5 years of retainers, and a mouth full Aaaagh!photo © 2006 Finizio | more info (via: Wylio)
of amalgam fillings to show what we didn’t know about dental hygiene when I was a kid.  Add in a few extractions, some oral surgery, and a desperately horrible (tear-inducing) reaction to whatever disinfectant they use (I call it The Smell), and you’ve got a fantastic recipe for a near-phobia.

So I take super-good care of my teeth – I brush like a maniac, I floss (unlike most people, I really DO floss when I say I do), and I’m very aware of my teeth in general.  I do this so I don’t have to visit a dentist very often – an ounce of prevention, as they say…

Recently, I’ve become more aware of how my mouth full of amalgam fillings might be affecting my overall health and have sought recommendations for a biological dentist, with the idea that maybe someday I would have my amalgam fillings replaced with ceramic.  I chose one, but like the typical dental chicken, I didn’t do much with the information.  Until now.

I wasn’t chewing anything when the tooth chipped; I was sitting at ReKindle, listening to my group-members talk about how they wanted to define their futures with their spouses. Suddenly, there was a piece of something hard on my tongue.  I looked at it and realized it was tooth.  I hate when that happens – I’ve chipped a front tooth ever-so-slightly and had it filed smooth, because I hate the rough-edge.  But I came home and examined it and Mark said not to worry – it was just a small chip.

The next day I tried not to worry when a tiny piece of amalgam came out in my mouth.  Again, I picked it out and discarded it – the last thing I wanted was to swallow that bit of mercury-laden junk.  And I tried not to worry.

Today, as I was flossing after lunch (trying to get the bit of carrot out), another piece of tooth came out.  And then two more. By then, I was freaking out.  My teeth aren’t supposed to fall apart in my mouth!  This understanding collided with my reality and I fell apart.  Mark tried to calm me down – for whatever reason, I didn’t respond to his assurances.  There is no pain at the moment, but there is a hole in my mouth, and I’m pretty darned sure it’s not supposed to be there.

So I called the biological dentist I had chosen from the referrals and explained the situation; the receptionist indicated that the doctor I would see was very gentle and sensitive to chickens.  This is a very good thing.  She said that since I had no pain, it wouldn’t be considered an emergency and Monday was the first she could get me in, but to avoid chewing on that side and getting food stuck in the hole.  It’s a bit disconcerting, really.  I wish there was some way to know what will be done, how much it will cost, and how much pain will be involved ahead of time.  In the meantime, there’s a hole in my mouth.

Time to screw my courage to the sticking place and face my fear, head-on.  😐

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  • http://profiles.google.com/anij34 Jolene O’Dell

    Awww I’m sorry Sue…I do have to tell you though that I was a dental chicken of all chickens….until I found this Dentist. He’s so sweet and gentle…Hey I even get numbed up 2x a month now (ugh, don’t ask!) so Novocaine and I are on a first name basis. I’m actually a veteran when it comes to be numbed up!

  • http://profiles.google.com/narniatreader Justin Leonard

    Get that blender goin’ and knock back a few margaritas before you go.

  • Anonymous

    I like the way you think, Elizabeth! 😀 unfortunately, my time at the dentist will be directly preceded by teaching co-op. and somehow, teaching yearbook while vaguely tipsy doesn’t seem like a wise choice to me. 😉 love you!

  • Anonymous

    I like the way you think, Elizabeth! 😀 unfortunately, my time at the dentist will be directly preceded by teaching co-op. and somehow, teaching yearbook while vaguely tipsy doesn’t seem like a wise choice to me. 😉 love you!

  • heather

    Sue, I had my tooth fall apart while eating. Apparently the tooth with a filling in it got a new cavity, so the dentist took out the amalagan filling cleaned it out and now I have a crown. I also have a front tooth that chipped and got filed, the dentist fixed it with bonding but it didn’t stick so now it’s just filed.

  • heather

    Sue, I had my tooth fall apart while eating. Apparently the tooth with a filling in it got a new cavity, so the dentist took out the amalagan filling cleaned it out and now I have a crown. I also have a front tooth that chipped and got filed, the dentist fixed it with bonding but it didn’t stick so now it’s just filed.

  • Anonymous

    my mom thinks this will take a crown, Heather – i have no idea. i do know that this office doesn’t do root canals (which i like – i’ve done too much research to believe they are healthy for me or my mouth), so i’m good there. i think the other option (if the tooth is too damaged, b/c there a ton of amalgam in it) is to extract it and design a bridge. don’t know *what* i think about that – i’m okay with the concept, but would i be okay with the actual extraction? >.<

  • Anonymous

    my mom thinks this will take a crown, Heather – i have no idea. i do know that this office doesn’t do root canals (which i like – i’ve done too much research to believe they are healthy for me or my mouth), so i’m good there. i think the other option (if the tooth is too damaged, b/c there a ton of amalgam in it) is to extract it and design a bridge. don’t know *what* i think about that – i’m okay with the concept, but would i be okay with the actual extraction? >.<