On June 17th I went in to refine the prep for a crown on my first molar (and ONLY molar we are saving), tooth #3. Rakhee let her mentee Meyer take over this time. It was a surreal change of pace, actually--it seems the majority of all the time we have ever spent together she has been on my right side but was now assisting from my left. How often do you have THAT sort of relationship with a person?
|Meet Meyer. Say "Hi!" Meyer. Oh, nevermind. You seem lost in my mouth...|
After the prep was finished I would receive a temporary crown to cover all the exposed and sensitive tooth surface. This particular type, an ProTemp, reportedly cost $30 and came in a little package like a contact lens:
For my next appointment on June 20th, we would begin the prep for tooth #7, the last of my remaining front teeth (and seemingly most visibly important for society's perception of you) which, if you will recall, was initially possibly going to be extracted but we decided it was worth saving and gave it a root canal. I guess maybe #3 was just jealous. In trying to imagine what I would one day look like again with a smile full of teeth, flipping through some of the few old pictures I have before I lost them, I found this one I brought in to show Rakhee, though it is still pretty hard to see my actual teeth:
For my final appointment of preparations for the surprisingly long procedure of getting a crown, I met yet another student and friend of Rakhee's, Maryam, who would be assisting on my 21st visit on June 24th. Today both teeth would be checked off by the faculty and we would make another mold of my upper teeth without their temporary crowns to be sent to the lab to use to create my final new porcelain crowns over the next few weeks. Color me intimidated! Which meant we also had to decide on a color. We matched two colors actually to my bottom teeth for them to transition together from the base of the tooth to the more translucent edges. Honestly, I kinda closed my eyes and just crossed my fingers. Rakhee was, after all, using tooth #7 for Competency, and I believed in her own perfectionism (or paranoia? Haha) more than mine.
Today, I would learn of a new little part of this particular procedure that would go down in my dental history of most annoying pet peaves about all I have undergone, up there with the infamous mouth-stretching "Minnesota" tool, and those little plastic wedges jammed between teeth for better access during fillings. Today, we would pack cord. Ugh. So, imagine yourself flossing and that uncomfortable feeling when you go below the gumline, and then imagine wrapping a whole bunch of floss soaked in medicine to slow bleeding wrapped around the circumference of your tooth jammed and poked further below the gumline. From what I gather the purpose of this is to push the gums away from the teeth so as to get a perfect mold of all tooth surfaces the new crown is to be cemented to, so as to maintain perfect margins between the tooth and the crown. (Any students out there reading who want to confirm? I keep telling you it'll earn you prizes for answering my blog questions! Come on, kiddos--don't you like surprises? Or perhaps you haven't had my cookies yet.)
|Do you think even though they have masks on they still smile beneath them when I take pictures? Funny. P.S.-I make the darndest faces. I seem to usually forget what the hell my eyes are doing I spend so much focus on my mouth.|
|Smile, Maryam! You're in the blog, and are one more soldier in my ever-growing army of dental students. Thanks for all your assistance.|