Did you know I am really bad at updating this thing? And did you also know I have about 15 drafts that I started in 2010 and never posted? Someday I should post all of the weird and wonderful things I’ve done… I need to get better at over-sharing, even if just a little bit at a time.
Here’s some over-sharing to begin with! I am missing many of my adult teeth.
(Do you have any phobias about teeth discussions?)
In fact, when I smile, what you think may be my lateral incisors are actually my canine teeth, just shaved down a little bit. Apparently the orthodontist of my youth didn’t want me looking too much like a vampire (though that really would’ve helped during my brief goth phase).
I only ever had one wisdom tooth extracted.
And, until just a few days ago, both of my first molars on my top jaw were baby teeth that have been managing to hang in there (yes, pun intended), despite the fact that they were primarily made up of fillings. This year I’m beginning the process of getting them both replaced with dental implants — one at a time. Late last week, I had the molar on the left side of my mouth pulled (it is/was apparently in worse shape than its counterpart). I was quite nervous beforehand, but this actual procedure took less than a couple minutes and then I got to stay home in my jammies for a few days, living on pudding and mashed potatoes. Not too shabby.
I’ve decided I probably shouldn’t post any of the real gory photos (like the one I tried to capture of what I’m affectionately referring to as my “tooth-hole”), but I was curious as to how the implants would change my smile. The photo above is the widest smile I could make myself give on cue, before anything was pulled, and it looks virtually the same as the photo after I got my tooth pulled:
But! I have this retainer with a fake tooth on it to wear for the next few months. It’s purpose is mostly to make sure the rest of my teeth don’t do any moving before my final implant happens, since my tooth-hole is far enough back in my mouth that barely anyone will notice it’s there (or not there?). Wearing this retainer feels a little weird, but it does make an impact on my smile:
I can feel that “adult” tooth on my cheek, but I’m sure I’ll get used to that. I’m also getting used to excusing myself to the restroom to take out my tooth. The end result will be nice: I’m sort of excited to brighten up the corners of my smile! One less thing to be self-conscious about.
Of course, this process isn’t over yet: my next appointment is in mid-March, when I get a CT scan. Since my implants are on my top jaw, they are awfully close to my sinus cavities. The CT scan will determine more specific details about needing bone grafts to help “root” the final implants. I’m not yet that nervous about this need, because I know I’ll be completely knocked out for this and then I’ll get to go home to wonderful drugs and more pudding, but I’m sure I will be in days to come.