Ow, my tooth! Support Group and Drinking Society

Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 07:08 am
Come 'round, join me, as we discuss our various dental mishaps, indignities and God, how much does that stuff cost, anyway???!?!??

The history: when I was a teenager, I had braces. These were not to give me a lovely smile but rather to pull down an impacted eye tooth. Well, what was state of the art in 1977 is not so good now.

I have to have oral surgery as the tooth in question has died a noble death and is pulling away from my upper jaw as the bone demineralizes. And, the doc has to take out the aforementioned eye tooth, then (not for the squeamish) harvest (ewww) some bone from the roof of my mouth for the, er, hole, and give me a retainer with a fakeo tooth on it for a few months as it all grows together. Then I get an implant. It'll all finish next year (yes, next year, this fun will go on for some 6 months or so) and a lot of it isn't covered by insurance, either.

It is going to be about as much fun as it sounds. I've been told (by the dentist) that the retainer is not the most comfortable thing to wear, and then of course the whole roof o' my mouth thing is giving me a small cosmic freak out.

I suspect I am not the only one out there who will have to endure the Dental Follies. So please, share in your tales from Marathon Man or at least post some good soft food recipes. Thanks in advance. I would tell you personally or on the phone, but I suspect my speech is going to sound like Charlie Brown's teacher, come next week.

Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 07:14 am
Oh eek.


The roof of your mouth thing...

<more shuddering>

Best wishes, Jes...
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 07:17 am
You have my sympathy for the surgery and my empathy for the havoc caused by Evolving Orthodontia. My experience with braces was in the early 50's--which does mean that the experience is mostly behind me.

No insurance? Dental surgery instead of recreational spending?

Another Character Building Experience.
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 07:56 am
Insurance for some things (like the mold they've already made, and I'm about certain the anaesthesia is covered) but the implant itself is not covered.

Gutter replacement or tooth? Tooth.
Foundation patch or tooth? Tooth.
Nice vacation or ...

You get the picture.
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 07:57 am

We can hold each other's hand, jes.

I too have a tooth that has served it's useful life and will go under the ax later this week. It resides under a bridge and the top half of the tooth will remain inside the bridge after the root is pulverized.

Fortunately, I don't need to have my own bone harvested (yet). We're using cadaver bone mixed with my own pre-drawn platelets. Unfortunately, none of this is covered by insurance. Because of the pre-existing bridge, I'm not looking at an implant (yet). If this doesn't work, I'll be following in your footsteps with the autologous bone harvesting and the implant route.

Good luck!!

I'm making a large batch of gazpacho. Want some?
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 08:00 am
Bless your heart. Here, I offer beer and some soft focaccia bread.

Mah sistah in the dental cosmic freakout!
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 08:07 am

I haven't even checked on whether my insurance would cover an implant. I was floored when this estimate came back denied for coverage. I'd hate like hell to have this not work and then have to pay for round two. There better not be a round two.
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 08:10 am
Oh bugger.

I hate tooth stuff.

Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmms gonna do any good?

At least I have dental cover, and the crap doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

But I have a toothy peg holding on by the skin of its...er...teeth...and I will sooner or later have to have my first ever extraction.

But the roof of your mouth? Eeeeeek!

Look on the bright side......it's gonna be the first time your bite is worse than your bark.
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 08:29 am
Pity it's not Halloween (although this won't all be done by then), so I can scare small children (more than usual).

Implants are, I think, experimental or maybe the insurance company is just cheap. But, really, argh, I'm not even 45 and basically I'm doing this to avoid a bridge, which would also be an issue but not as costly.

They are all very nice at the dentist's, and they will be kind and try not to hurt me and my work is being very supportive and presumably they will just deal with it if I'm not around to do a report. But, oof, I wish I wasn't doing this.
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 08:30 am
PS Omming is good. A2K mojo is strong. Perhaps the bone growth mojo will be strong.
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 08:48 am
Oh poor jespah, having such complicated dental work done is no piece of
cake. I sympathize with you. We'll hold your hand while pumping up the
laughing gas.

I should probably let my daughter write here, as she had her permanent eye tooth surgically removed while still having most of her baby teeth. The eye tooth dislocated itself into her upper sinus region, but since she has small jaw bones, it's actually a good thing for her to have a few teeth less.
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 09:11 am
My sympathies, Jespah. I also have (had?) bone deterioration. Don't know if it's the same problem as you have, but the periodontist explained that it's genetic, which at least relieves me of my own responsibility. I've always been good about oral hygiene, and dentists have always complemented me on my teeth.

Teeth -- good. Underlying structure -- bad. Last October, I had a bone graft procedure on my full mouth. She (the periodontist) opened up the gum around all my teeth and went to work. Despite my angst beforehand, mostly because I've never had anything major medically-speaking, the procedure was fine. Although I was surprised at how tired I was for about a week after (apparently the result of anaesethic on a first-timer). Also, for several months after, I could not taste salt and anything with sugar hurt. The upside of that was it cured me of my bad snacking habits.

For the first few post-op weeks, I lived on milk, bananas, soups, scrambled eggs, overcooked mac & cheese, V8 juice -- all at room temperature because hot & cold also hurt. Even with that, meals were very drawn out because I had to eat very slowly. I lost weight, another upside.

One tooth, which was healthy but had almost no bone around it, could not be saved. So I'm also have an implant in my future. That's being delayed because my gums continue to be inflamed, despite the 10 minute long twice-daily teeth cleaning regime I do. (2 minutes with standard electric brush, 3 minutes with pointy electric brush around gumline, interdental brush, floss, antibacterial brush, rubber tip thingy for gum massage.)

And money! My insurance covered $500 (hahaha Rolling Eyes ). With the procedure itself, the anaesthetic, all the follow up visits, and the implant, the final total will probably be around $8k. I asked the periodontist to speak Spanish to me. Why, she asked. Because it represented several vacations to me, to Spain and South America.

But the alternative, the real reason why I had it done, is because dental bone decay can lead to major heart problems and diabetes, among other things.

Ya do what ya gotta do. Dammit.

(Hope all goes well for you.)
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 09:17 am
Eek! I just have to have a crown put in. This harvesting business sounds not very pleasant!
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 09:26 am
ow my tooth
Poor Jespah!

I too am in the middle of dental fun and games, with old bridges outlasting the teeth they're connected to, though nothing that sounds as Torquemada-ish as your situation.

I think part of the problem with dentistry is the long wait between steps in the process, whatever it may be. I've heard that the net results are worth it with the implant thing but patience and fortitude are needed in copious quantities.

So good luck, and I'll say my best prayers that all goes smoothly.
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 09:29 am
littlek wrote:
Eek! I just have to have a crown put in. This harvesting business sounds not very pleasant!

I agree, but it in itself will probably not be as irritating as those little thread ends of the stitches tickling her uvula. :wink:

Just looked over my last post Embarrassed Regimen, not regime. Antibacterial rinse, not brush. Not that it's important ...
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 09:39 am
((((((Jes & JPB))))))

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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 11:34 am
This thread makes me shiver, this thread makes me quiver....

I've had a lot of dental work done, in the sense that I've a mouthful of crowns, having had lots of cavities as a child/teen/prefluoride. I floss, but clearly not as smartly as Tico has. <considers reforming self>

My first dental cavity filling years involved no novocaine. I remember Dr. Schliesmann's fist in my mouth... The next guy had some water running device attached to the drill... I used to ride up the back of the dental chair seat.

Sometime later there was talk about what to do about my snaggle tooth. (Braces out of the question re money). It was resolved by giving me two caps after drilling Snaggle and its neighbor waaay back into pointyness. The caps looked great for several decades, but then those gums started to recede and the cap tops looked, and still do, blackish. Now I'm used to it; don't like my smile, the hell wit'ya.

Which reminds me, John Robert Powers, a guy who had a then famous modeling agency, came up to the desk where I was a hospital reservation clerk and told me I had a lovely smile. I think he may have even left a card. Blarney, I still had Snaggle then.

Anyway, Jespah and JPB, I feel for you - well, most immediately, Jespah.
I'll be holding your hand too.
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 03:13 pm
Thank you all for your well wishes, your omming, your hand-holding and the offer of laughing gas is appreciated very much.

Oh Tico -- thanks for the info. Yep, I'll be out a coupla mortgage payments when all is said and done. How lovely. Feh.

The temperature sensitivity thing is good to know, too. My boss already told me, if I'm not feeling up to it, to not come in on Wednesday, but the question is not so much re then but re later, when the fun just doesn't stop and ....

The other side effects, weight and snacky-wise, are also good to know.

littlek! Argh! For a crown, you'd think you'd get serfs with it or something.

And osso -- I know re the prefluoride thing. When I was, um, six I think, I had something like 12 fillings put in, my brother had similar. We had lived in NJ and had just moved to PA where there was fluoridation. We were not (and are not) big candy eaters. It was just from no fluoride that we were hammered in the tooth department.

My voice already sounds a little different, I can hear a very slight hissing intake when I breathe in and concentrate the air on that side (I've had this bit of fun for a couple of months but the demineralized tooth was diagnosed a few months even before that). I imagine it will be similar if not worse when the retainer thingie is in.

Long as I don't sound like Cindy from the Brady Bunch, I suppose I'll be all right.
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 03:49 pm
jes..sorry to hear it gal...teeth can be a bother. No teeth though...probably worse.

Hope it all works itself out okay.

I used to work in a dental laboratory where they made the crowns and implants...implants very cool stuff .....that's why they're expensive but, I would think they would cover more of that..stupid dental insurance.

I also have to do the crown thing later this year and replace a chipped crown too...blah. Those are the result of wearing a premanent retainer as a child. Eh, at least my parents were able to do that but no one told me about this stuff later. Sigh.

Good vibes to you gal
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Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2007 04:04 pm
Thank you dolling (ltns!), and I just saw you have foot woes. Please join in, drinking for tooth or foot woes, it's all good or at least medicating while awaiting whatever the heck it is they're gonna do (I really don't need to see, thanks).
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