Thursday, July 28, 2011

Appointment #22 and 4 more fillings.

On July 18th I went in for my 22nd appointment. It had been almost a whole month since my last visit and it was a refreshing and refocusing time to finally see Rakhee again and remind myself of this journey we are on instead of my other dozen daily distractions. I came to this appointment with both good and bad news, that I had raised another $400 bucks for my treatment from my recent fundraiser (and also that the store owner Kimber may even be trying to find a way to match it) but also, that the recent increased sensitivity on my first maxillary molar, tooth #3 seemed to be grounds for a new X-ray and possibly another emergency root canal that would take precedent over all other scheduled procedures. Nonetheless, it felt very good to be back in the chair and to see all of the familiar faces of students and faculty of ASDOH.

First things first, we took a new X-ray and lo and behold I did in fact need another root canal as you can see by the infected darker area at the root on the X-ray. It's crazy to me to see however that the bone behind that tooth that was the site of my second set of extractions on February 25th seems to have regenerated and filled in by now (or maybe I just don't fully know how to read X-rays) which seems to be a good sign.
I had already arranged with work and scheduled my next 8 appointments through August so luckily we were able to just block out two of the upcoming ones a week apart for the two step root canal process and unfortunately put seating my upcoming crown on #3 on hold just a little bit longer. With a deep breath and adding another $600 to my grand total for an approximately even number of $22,000 now, we prepped for the day's procedures.
It occurred to me that day that I rarely ever remember to capture an image of a CLEAN and neatly arranged tray.
Hello again, friends. We meet again.

How nice of you, always watching over me.
Today I went in to have four more cavities to be removed on the teeth that are tentatively scheduled to be supports for bridges for my two missing upper first premolars. You might remember these as looking like THIS from Rakhee's "before" pics in January after my gross debridement:
It's a little confusing cuz these are mirror images. These are the teeth on the LEFT side of my mouth, #s 11 and 13.
And these are the teeth on my right, first molar #3 scheduled for the root canal, #4 and #6 to be worked on today and later fitted for a bridge, and #7 which also was the site of my first root canal. Numbers3 and 7 both have crowns in the works being made in the lab as we speak.
 So first, we removed the cavities. After today this will make 12 total fillings I have had. Upon drilling out all the caries the possibility was presented to perhaps go with an implant instead of a bridge on the left side of my mouth since they were less significant than the other side. One more thing for to add to Rakhee's upcoming consultation with the Doctors now that more progress has been made to determine if any more modifications should be made to my treatment plan.

Fuur more teeth packed with composite like a little thanksgiving turkey ready to be baked by Rakhee's magic Harry Potter light curing wand as I called it, though we both agreed this particular one looked more like it belonged on Star Trek.

More tooth spackle, more shaping and polishing, and I'm almost ready to go with four teeth that don't remotely resemble what they looked like a few hours ago.

Taking some more pictures to see the changes, it occurred to me that this was not only the nicest those 4 teeth had looked in months, but that with the exception of that last remaining ugly tooth, number 8, and not including my two temporary crowns, that this was the nicest and most complete I have seen any of my teeth look in YEARS.

Slowly replacing more of my "broken windows."
It is mindblowing to look at myself in the mirror and see teeth that have smooth and shiny surfaces, even if they are not all there. I feel I am almost starting to begin to forget what a horrific sight my mouth used to be for me, to be rewriting in my memory what it looks like when I'm not looking at it, to be able to remember it in its present state, not lost in 20 years of sadness and poor self esteem whenever I looked in the mirror. That is an amazing gift, whatever the cost. It is a gift that I know that my dentists will never fully understand the power of, but that I try my best to communicate with them and the world in this blog, how much they are helping to rebuild so much of who I am from the wreckage of what I first walked in the doors of ASDOH with six months ago.

1 comment:

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