Today was The Start of All the Dental Work My Mouth needs. I got props from the staff for just walking back photo © 2009 Bob With | more info (via: Wylio)
through the door – my level of chicken-heartedness is recognized there. 😉 I ended up taking Brendan with me, and he did great – very interested in the tools, the process, the (gulp!) needles, etc. And happily, this practice also cares for children, so I’ll have to get him in for a cleaning at some point in the near future.
I made it through the worst of it – the numbing. I despise needles. Having to get injections every day of my pregnancy with Brendan was a feat of motherly love, because I really, really, really hate needles. I still can’t feel part of my face and yes, we joked about the Bill Cosby “dentist sketch.” I’m afraid to drink water from my Camelbak bottle because I think I’ll dribble down the side of my face still, but hey, I was brave and got the first part of the work done.
The bummer is that we had to juggle stuff around – the broken tooth which had to be crowned also had decay under the amalgam filling, and instead of drilling too deep, they put a pulp cap and some other things in the tooth which will encourage tooth growth and healing. And then packed it with a temporary filling product – which will give us a good 8-12 weeks of time to wait while the new tooth material is reproducing. But in the meantime, we’re going to crown the other tooth. Blurgh. The only good thing that comes from this is that these two teeth represent the majority of work that will be done in my mouth (monetarily-speaking), so once these two are done, financially it’s a lot easier to manage.
I know that there will be huge benefits to having these mercury-amalgam fillings taken out; random people in my life have decided to share stories with me (unprompted) about how their health has improved after having this junk taken out of their mouths, and I personally believe I will see some major upswings in my overall health as well. I did not, however, expect what happened today and if anyone had told me it would happen, I would’ve said, “That’s probably psychosomatic.”
The process of taking the amalgam out was quite extensive – a dental dam, an oxygen mask (so I didn’t breathe in the vapours from the mercury filling), and eye protection for me as well as the dentist and assistant. The drill went at ridiculous speeds and the iPod was blasting my favourite Celtic tunes in to my ears at ridiculous volumes as I tried to drown out the volume of the drill. When the amalgam was completely out, though, I knew it. Not because they said it was out, but because almost instantaneously, my brain was clearer. I was more alert and awake at that moment when the mercury was out of my mouth than I had been all day, even with my nerves about going to the dentist in the first place.
I related that to the dentist and his assistant and they smiled and said that I wasn’t the first one to report that experience. Dr. Kovar then said, “And that was just one tooth.”
I’m genuinely encouraged about what I’ll experience as each amalgam filling is replaced, and slightly less chicken-hearted than I used to be. This practice makes it easier to be brave than any other dentist I’ve been to.