Archive | January, 2014

Say “AH!”

23 Jan

Ah! The teeth! The TEETH! I have lost yet another one. What the dentist thought was a loose crown last week, turned out to be a tooth that was loose, due to the complete absence of a periodontal ligament. Did you even know that we had ligaments that hold the teeth to the bone of our jaws? I did not.  Well, we’re supposed to have ligaments that do that. This tooth did not. There is some speculation that these ligaments can calcify, just like the other ligaments that calcify on XLH-ers.

So, when Dr. Tooth begin telling me the bad news, that it wasn’t a loose crown at all, that there was no ligament to hold the tooth in, that he’d only seen this two other times in his 40-50 year dental practice, I did the UNTHINKABLE. I covered my face and cried (very briefly, 15 seconds maximum) and said, “I am SO tired of this.”

My dentist very wisely said, “We’re like Vegas around here. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” He knew that crying in public was not my normal behavior, but, like I said, it was a 15-second lapse in self-control. I think my brief cry upset him more than the loss of the tooth. It was a toss-up for me. I liked that tooth. It had a very expensive crown on it. That hole that’s in there now is not worth nearly as much as that tooth and gorgeous crown was. I admitted to two people that I had cried (briefly, mind you, 15 seconds, MAX), and they both said, “I’m sorry that it hurt so much it made you cry.” It didn’t hurt at all. I cried because this is the 15th tooth I’ve either lost, had pulled or had crowned. And this tooth was crowned and then lost. There could be more than 15 of my teeth that have been affected, but it’s hard to see up in there, even with a flashlight.

However, I learned some new dental lingo. The “dental flipper,” which I will be getting, is a device that looks like something you’d get at a theatrical shop, except this one is going to cost several hundred dollars and have only one fake tooth on it. The other lesser-known name for the dental flipper is the “cabbage catcher.” I don’t think I’m sworn to secrecy on that nickname, but it was an emotional morning, and maybe I did promise not to mention that. I can’t remember. You know how it is…lose your tooth, lose your memory.

So, I did the best thing I knew to do when I’m feeling really discouraged about my teeth. I called my mother. She always makes me feel better and I make her laugh and I love to hear her laugh. She understands all about the tooth thing. I feel so grateful that I have her to talk to about teeth.

By the way, I think the term “cabbage catcher” refers to both raw and cooked cabbage. I’m not certain about that, but when I find out, I’ll let you all know.


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