My blog posts, at least the past five or so, have been heavy-hearted, I know. Although today is a grey and stormy day where I live, I’m rather glad. Sunny days feel like “action” days to me and rainy days are more for reflection.
Yesterday, I finally completed two major dental procedures, that gave me a normal smile. Many years ago, when I was in the second grade, I was running and fell flat on my face,
chipping my front teeth. All through high school, I had chipped teeth because we didn’t have the money to fix them. Finally in my 20′s I got the front tooth capped. The other front tooth had just a tiny edge broken off so we left it.
Over the years, I have had more dental work than most people have in a lifetime. I am convinced my teeth are made of chalk. I think I could actually BE a dentist because I have had every dental procedure done that you can think of–some many times (root canals, crowns….piece of cake). Much of the trouble can be traced back to that fall–at least for the front teeth.
So yesterday, I got an implant for the front incisor crown that had broken off at the gum line while I was eating a cracker a few months ago. The crown replaced the original tooth that was dead (teeth sometimes die decades after a trauma)–some 20+ years after my fall. Implant in. It looks great.
I also got a new front tooth crown. The one I had had for so many years was an older style with a metal back and a dark line where the tooth meets the gum. That crown was more opaque, rather than translucent like teeth normally are. Having that crown has caused me to have a rather distorted smile in photographs, as I tried to hide the line.
My husband is delighted because he says he can see how natural my smile finally looks. No
more half-smiles or no smiles. It is really hard to believe that I have lived my whole life with a fear of really smiling. Why did I wait so long? Well, I have a bad dental phobia, caused by a dentist I had as a child who never gave me Novocaine to drill cavities and I had a lot of those. Now I won’t go to a dentist who doesn’t offer nitrous oxide, along with Novocaine and some type of nerve pill.
My current dentist is a dream-come-true. He’s smart, gentle, funny and totally gets what I need to have a successful dental encounter. I never feel silly and he never hurts me. I never really believe that dentists today generally hurt patients but what I went through as a child was really torture. The dental assistant had to hold me still while he worked and I kept sliding down the chair and they’d have to pull me back up. Back in the area where I grew up, I met 4 different people as adults who had the same dentist I had and we all suffered from terrible dental phobias.
I plan to use my new teeth to do a lot of smiling. What a blessing a smile is, especially an unguarded one.