Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I Want To Smile

I always took good care of my teeth and went to the dentist regularly but I must have weak teeth. This past week has been a blur of pain and sleep. What started about 2 months ago as a good-tooth-gone-bad has turned into my own little horror story.
  • The tooth holding a bridge broke and I was left with no molars on the lower side. I had the option of a partial plate or a couple of dental implants. I decided to go with the dental implants as I know I couldn't handle having a partial. Problem is you have to wait for the bone to heal after the tooth is pulled. It takes a couple of months. So I didn't go to anything social in fear I may smile and expose this gap.
  • So the area healed and I had the implants done. I couldn't believe how easy it was. It was easier than having a root canal. I was smiling when my husband picked me up at the dentist office. (You have to wait for 3 to 4 months after the posts are put in before they put teeth on the posts as it takes time for the bone to grow around the implant posts. That's a long time but I figured it would be worth it.)
  • The next day my face swelled on one side to the size of a small orange. Then it started to turn black and blue and I looked like I had been beat up. Before the surgery they have you take an antibiotic and non-steroid anti-inflammatory pain reliever the day before and the following days. The pain had gotten intense by the 3rd day so I called the dentist office and they prescribed me a stronger pain killer.
  • 3 days later I called the dentist again because the pain was getting worse and I was walking around like a zombie. The whole side of my face was throbbing. My dentist wasn't in and another one told me to just keep taking the pain killer and they'd get me in on Monday. Monday finally came (it was 7 days after the surgery) and my dentist finally saw my bruising. The swelling was better but I was still in a lot of pain. He prescribed me a different, stronger antibiotic and some more pain killers but told me not to take them as soon as the pain was tolerable as they are addicting. They make me nauseas, I doubt I'd get addicted to that.
  • He told me that much swelling, bruising and pain is rare (I guess I'm special). And if this antibiotic doesn't work they may have to take the dental implants out. Great.
  • So now I'm on the second day after the new antibiotic. I still have intense pain when the pills wear off. But I went through the whole night last night without getting up to have to take a pain pill. That's improvement. There were a few hours this afternoon that I felt good enough to go out. I felt very sleepy and a bit shaky but my husband drove.
  • Tonight I can touch the side of my cheek without it hurting too much. I think it's going to be OK. I had to laugh a bit about how I didn't want to go out in public with my missing teeth a few months ago and how I didn't want to talk or smile in public. Heck, that was nothing. Now I go out with a puffy, black and blue jaw on top of missing teeth and would think I looked great if I only had a few missing teeth.

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