Thursday, May 1, 2014

Getting the Crown I’m Due

Well, I kind of have a lot to say in this post so pull up a chair.

You have undoubtedly been wondering what is going on in our household within the realm of dental work. 

Am I right? I mean, come on! Who ISN’T dying to know about our dental work?

Well, let me tell you: the 11yo is doing just swimmingly (his word…no lie…this IS my son) with his braces. He’s all but forgotten about the major surgery he had just a few weeks ago. The crazy-crooked canines (not to be confused with the ones my foster daughters apparently thought Indy would use to bite them…which, as an aside, he most assuredly did not…he just has a horrible underbite that makes him appear ferocious) are pulling up into position so nicely. The braces themselves are not a hindrance in any way, even in lacrosse with that lovely mouthguard he gets to wear.

The 12yo is still waiting for a couple baby teeth to come out so he can get HIS braces. You know, because it’s that whole “rite of passage” kind of thing. We all remember reading “rite of passage” stories in lit class in high school, right? Or maybe that was just me paying attention in class.

See, Mrs. Baxter? I did learn something!

I don’t, however, recall reading a book in lit class in which a character (main or otherwise) getting braces was a rite of passage, but still…I’m certain that you understand.

Well, yesterday, I took the PBA to a new dentist. I did so somewhat begrudgingly…I LOVE my former dentist. I won’t say he's my "old dentist," but he IS a grandpa.

Just sayin’.

I have known him for years.  I babysat for his children. He came to my wedding. We still go to church together.

I LOVE him.

But he’s retiring soon. And he sold his practice. And the new guy…I should probably be more respectful…the new DENTIST…he doesn’t take our insurance.

To be fair, my former dentist may not have taken it either. We didn’t have dental insurance for years and years and years…instead we paid for visits out of our flexible spending account (not that you needed to know all that but I felt compelled to share; I sometimes give out more information than necessary, in case you didn’t know).

But NOW we have insurance. And after yesterday, I am glad. And all kinds of thankful.

I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Just a little foreshadowing for you. (Again with the lit terms…look at me go!)

I prefer to NOT know if my former dentist would have taken our insurance so I can make the break with the office a clean one and only having to reference the insurance issue and not make it personal.

But since I’m all about being honest…I don’t love the new guy. And I am OK with leaving that practice.

Since January I have been hemming and hawing about finding a new dentist. I was having trouble finding one which took my new insurance.

What good is insurance if you can’t find a doctor who accepts it, right?

Well, and to be honest (which I always am), I needed to find one who accepts our insurance AND one which a person I trust recommends.

I’m not too picky, am I?

Well, I finally listened to my friend SV. You may recall that I have mentioned her before…she has the same initials now as she did before she got married. And she didn’t even meet her husband in her homeroom class or anything…because seriously. What are the odds that you can grow up with a last name beginning with the letter “V” and then marry someone (who you did not know from high school homeroom) whose last name ALSO begins with “V”?

I think she should play the lottery....because how lucky is she that she didn't have to change all those monogrammed sweaters, right?

Anyway…she recommended her dentist. So I called the office on Tuesday. And they got us in on WEDNESDAY.

Which was a little unsettling…I thought to myself, “Are they just not that good/busy that they can get us in the NEXT DAY?”

Because as I may remind you…it was for me AND the PBA. So 3 of us. Three next-day appointments.

Hmmmm. I had my doubts. Sorry SV…I wasn’t meaning to doubt you. But I kind of was (Look at that honesty again).

But I did not act on my disbelief…I decided to give it a try. The 24-hour cancellation policy was kind of what did it for me.

Don’t judge.

So…long story short (ok, shortened): I was ah-mazed with this place. Lovely. Friendly staff. Didn’t make me feel rushed like they had somewhere else to be, or dumb for asking questions.

And very high-tech. Which I found to be somewhat intimidating. I’m sure they didn’t catch on to that at all.

But I won’t go into all that flashy stuff. I am here to tell you about our dental issues as of late.

The boys got x-rays and cleanings and all that fun stuff.

I got the same treatment. Mine took the same amount of time as the two of them. I’m sure it wasn’t because I was busy chatting with the friendly hygienist.

I really should get out more. I think the hygienist was thinking that too.

On top of all the excitement of making new friends (I am certain the hygienist will be calling me to grab some coffee with her soon), I must tell you that yesterday was the end of an era, my friends. Yesterday I was informed that I do, indeed, have my first cavity.

My first.


Yes, I said my first cavity.

In fact, I was so over-zealous in my break of this streak, that I have not one, not two, but three cavities.


And one of them needs a crown.

I almost cried.

OK, maybe I did.

To be fair, they are tiny cavities. Excepting the one needing a crown.

A crown.

I keep saying it so that hopefully it will eventually roll right off my tongue.

But as of yet, no; it still sticks in there like a popcorn kernel that’s been spot-welded on a tooth. You know what I mean.

I asked him "Why, oh why would I get three cavities NOW? After 40, I mean, 27 years without?" (OK, maybe I didn't say exactly that...but I was thinking it.)

He wasn’t sure, but he did have some thoughts on the one needing the crown.

I shall back up and describe that one for you though…it’s my back molar. And the cavity is on the back edge…not between the back two teeth. It’s in the very back.

And the hygienist’s little scrapey tool went right into my tooth. I was so thankful I didn’t feel that. Fortunately the cavity isn’t to the nerve. Yet.

They took pictures (and x-rays but I found the photos to be cooler…don’t judge) of my teeth so I could see the rot.

I won’t lie…it was gross and fascinating. He asked me about my wisdom teeth…he said, “This might sound strange but were they on their sides?”

Me: Um, yes, they actually were.

Him: Well, it looks like maybe the wisdom tooth over here was sitting on top of this molar at some point and rubbed against it, pitting it out and making it prone to getting a cavity.

Me: Awesome.

So…he went on to explain that since I have the same affliction as my 11yo…that being “the world’s smallest mouth”, and that it is at the very back, he was not confident that filling it would be effective, especially for the long-term. He said a crown would be better but it’s up to me.

Argh. A crown. Makes me a little sick.

Why? Pride. I have pride issues. For some reason I enjoyed the “no cavities status”. And now that’s over. It’s sad isn’t it?

I’ll confess it. I feel a little, ok a lot, sad about it.

Would you like to see a more interesting word than “sad”? Ok, I am full-service: I am feeling melancholy, gloomy, dismal, glum, miserable, despondent (ok, that last one is a little strong, actually).

But mostly I am just sad.

And do we remember what I do when I feel sad, gloomy or despondent?

I eat.

I am an emotional eater.

Which brings me to another point: what better way to celebrate three cavities at one? Buying a bucket o’ ice cream at the grocery on the same day.

Now what was it again that he asked me regarding the amount of sugar I eat?

I’m not really sure…and Christine, in case you were wondering, I am certain that my Tootsie Pops fix at soccer games have NO bearing on my recent tooth issues either…


  1. Oh hon... don't even get me started... Ok, I'm gonna start (obviously, because it's why I'm commenting here in the first place...)

    So, way back around the time I was 13, I got three cavities. No big. But, then, I didn't have ANY until just a few years. And then like, a billion of them! **MANY** of them needing crowns. Note: billion and MANY. *sigh* This is the short version of the story. But, all this to say, I certainly and 100% feel your pain/sadness/melancholiness/gloomines/dismalness/glumness/miserableness/despondentness. Truly. 100%

    One thing the dentist did tell me (because I also had the question of Why? After SO many years of no cavities all of a sudden a billion of them? First thing they asked me was "how many kids do you have?" Three. To that, they tell me that kids.... the thieves, steal & leach calcium and other good stuff from you when you're pregnant & breastfeeding....and so, they said this happens sometimes to mommies. Great. Good. So, I had MANY crowns. So not fun. I can't even tell you anymore which teeth are 'real' and which ones are crowns.

    I'm certain dentures may be in my future. Talk about melancholy, gloomy, dismal, glum, miserable, despondent... *sigh* I don't even like to think about it.

    I am having issues again and 'course we don't have dental insurance and we are poor. So, I keep praying that God will keep my teeth (cavities? crowns? whatever) in place and from getting worse until I can get to a dentist and feel like we can pay for it. (all of that, didn't need to be said in this here comment, but... it is still in line with the topic at hand) ;)

    1. It's funny you say all this because I was thinking of you when I wrote this, and wondering if you would have anything at all to say. :) Sorry to hear that you're having trouble fun at all. I would continue to blame your kiddos as much as you can. ;) It's what I'm planning to do...any mom worth her salt would do the same. ;)

      At least dentures won't get cavities, right? (I'm so glass half full, aren't I?)