Yesterday, something happened that I never in a million years – or at least in my lifetime – would happen. I received a crown. No, it was not made of gold and decorated with rhinestones (poor man’s jewels.) It is the same exact color of my teeth and has taken its rightful place in my mouth and not on my head (where, in my opinion, the crown should be.)
Turns out, my sassy mouth needed a little taming. The fact that I had two weeks to anticipate my crowning just about drove me crazy. I thought about what I should wear and what my acceptance speech should sound like. I finally settled on comfortable attire and said to hell with the speech. I decided that I would be humble (okay – I would make an attempt.)
I am deathly afraid of needles and my active imagination had the dental techs pinning me down for shots and then producing a huge drill that they hoped to use in my mouth. My dentist, the kind man that he is, anticipated my first question after he announced the news at my regular check-up, and had the good grace not to just fall on the floor laughing. You see, he knows me well. When I asked if there were shots involved and would it hurt, he offered to give me drugs (with a straight face, but I could tell the smile was there.) I declined and decided I would wear my big girl panties when the day came.
THEN, I scurried out to quiz the tech that would be helping and had her explain the entire procedure – twice. I have never been one for the unknown. Even if it gives me nightmares or scares the begeezes out of me, give it to me straight. Then, I will just close my eyes through the entire ordeal.
It actually wasn’t that bad. The doctor came in and gave me the shots to numb my mouth. He is very good. He massages the gums as he sinks the needle in and it deadens as it goes. I bruise easily, so my mouth is a little sore this morning, but that’s all. Then, I sat for a while and read until they were ready to start work. This is where my imagination went a little wild.
In order to put a crown on a tooth, the tooth is first shaved down – all around the perimeter – get my drift? For all my anxiety, and me this is torture because as he is grinding the tooth down, I am mentally following the instrument around and around the tooth and freaking out. Of course, the tooth is not that big to begin with and your mouth is only so big, but in my vision, there is a huge drimmel tool grinding a huge tooth – I told you my imagination goes wild! Just picture one of those dumb television shows where they depict the patient strapped to the table and the mad doctor holding the drill. There is where my active imagination took hold.
After the grinding process, which, in actuality did not take that long, he sprayed the tooth with a powder film. That felt a little odd – like someone had sprayed baby powder in my mouth. Then, the dentist took pictures with a little camera. The images where then fed into a computer program and I was able to watch as he created the crown. I was fascinated by this amazing technology. Once he was satisfied with the image on screen, the computer was programmed to make the crown.
After the crown was constructed, the technician then fit it onto the tooth and had me bite down on a carbon paper. The carbon spots left on the crown indicated where adjustments needed to be made for my bite. She took the crown off and worked with it until it was perfect. I could feel the difference with each adjustment she made and once it was completed, it felt like my real tooth. I found that part quite tedious, but only because I have problems sitting in one place for so long, and my short attention span was wearing thin. The crown was then polished, baked, and glued in place. The entire process, start to finish, was two hours on the dot.
It was an educational afternoon. The only downside was that the injections were around three in the afternoon and I could finally feel my mouth around nine last night. Hot cocoa this morning soothed the soreness from the shots and now I am fine.
Hubby gets his turn this afternoon. Turns out he has to have the crown on a tooth replaced and just so happens, it is the exact tooth I just had worked on; strange coincidence. I have to give him credit too. He came to check on me during the process to make sure that I was okay. That was very sweet of him. I think he was trying to stay awake too. He said he woke himself up with his snoring (I forgot to warn the receptionist.)
Did I mention that I am such a chicken; I had sealants put on all my teeth as an adult so I wouldn’t have cavities? Oh, yes! I did! I always say, “An ounce of prevention”. (I do know that someone else said it first!) Does anyone out there have a dental story? Let’s share!