Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Please Call Me "Princess," For I Have a Crown

I feel like a princess, a princess with a swollen, droopy face and pulsating gums. I had a tooth crowned today.

You know, it really irks me to have to report that. All of my life, I have had great teeth, only a couple of cavities very early on. The rest of my dental visits have been, "Wham, bam, floss it, Ma'am," and I'm outta there.

Apparently, my teeth, they are ... getting tired. In fact, one upper molar on my right side cracked under all the pressure of trying to stay as young as other teeth, and so I had to have a crown.

The process for getting a crown can be drilled down to 10 simple steps: (Ha. That's a little dental humor.)

1. Look at the assistant with an expression so full of terror that she strokes your shoulder gently as if you are four years old.

2. Get some giant, humongous injections that don't even look like they could be real but could only be a movie prop but turn out to be real.

3. Look at the assistant and make your eyes somehow cry, "Mommy."

4. Have 2 millimeters of your enamel drilled away until you have a stump left. Yes, they call it a "stump." This is not my mouth, but this is a good before and after shot.

5. Get some more shots because you are "burning off" your numbness by being so tense.

6. Get some thread shoved under the gum for some reason that they explain but you can't hear because you are nervously burning off your anesthesia.

7. Make some bite impressions on some material.

8. Get some touch up with the drill. ("Mommy.")

9. Get a temporary cap sealed on with temporary cement.

10. Have a single tear drop out of the outside corner of your eye and some water drip from your numb nose and mouth onto your paper bib, just for that touch of "insult to injury."

One of the most surreal moments was when the doc and assistant (I don't know what her official title is) were trying to decide what shade of fake enamel to order my real cap in. They were holding up little fake teeth to my molar, which of course necessitated pulling my jaw way back for quite a while as they debated which colors suited me best.

For a moment, I felt as though I were in the optometrist's chair: "Is 1 better, or 2?" "Two ... or 3? "Which is better, 2 or 1?" I had no say in this.

That went on for quite a while.

Then the dentist used a big ol' camera to take some pictures with the fake teeth held up next to my teeth. Coincidentally, guess what song was playing during the practice paparazzi test? Paul Simon's "Kodachrome."

Now, I think if I were a regular on a red carpet in Hollywood, I might have to worry about how my new tooth in the back of my mouth blended in with my other teeth because I might smile like Julia Roberts when she throws back her head and unlatches her jaw, but since I mainly stuff envelopes on an industrial grade brown carpet, there was really no need for the paparazzi test.

And although this isn't on the list, the next thing I did was go to work, attend a meeting with one side of my face trying to slide down to my shoulder and then try to answer the phone without sounding drunk, which is important when you answer the phone for a church.

Finally, I would like to say that both assistants and my dentist are awesome. Truly. And I'm not just saying that because one of them said she has read my blog.

But that did make me smile. In a swollen, droopy face-pulsating gum kind of way.


SouthLakesMom said...

Ow. Been there and done that. You have my sympathy. I sure as heck would NOT have gone back to work after that!

Lea said...

Well, I'm a Princess many times over if you base it on crowns! I have one dozen crowns. Can you believe it? My husband says that he or our children should cash in my mouth after I leave this world. :o) Great entry!

Betty said...

You summed it up perfectly. I just went through the same procedure on 8 (!!) teeth! NOT fun!

Jewel said...

Lord have mercy, Linda, I about died laughing at this post! What a story you tell! So funny!!
I hope you are recovering quickly!!! And without any complications!
My turn is tomorrow....at the dentist. Just cleaning and xrays! thank goodness!

The Bug said...

Well, we had a similar day LOL. Mine was just a filling, but my dentist claims that I'm high maintenance. He gave me two shots before pulling out "the good stuff" to get that tooth numb (it's no fun finding out you're not numb enough when he starts drilling). So after three shots you can imagine that my face looked very similar to yours. Then I went back to the office & TRIED TO EAT LUNCH (fail) & talk on the phone without sounding drunk.

P.S. I went to the eye doctor last week & ordered my first reading glasses - so I remember well the "is 1 better or 2" business. I'm always afraid I'll screw it up somehow!

Lois Lane II said...

Oh, I feel your pain. I had to have braces not once, but TWICE (because the orthodontist messed up the first time -- THANKS, DUDE. Free braces still doesn't make up for the fact that I have to have them AGAIN), and the day I got my braces off, I went in for a bridge and two crowns. Oh, the good life....(sense the sarcasm, lol).

Susanne said...

I don't know whether to laugh at your perspective or cry for your poor sliding face. I must admit though the laughter won out when you said, "try to answer the phone without sounding drunk, which is important when you answer the phone for a church". LOL. Yes, I think that just might matter. Hope you and your tooth are feeling better tomorrow!

SusanD said...

I have so had this done. Sadly, several times. I was right there w/you feeling your pain. ugh. But, I'd rather go thru getting crowns than lose my teeth. Dentures? No thanks. Not if it can be helped. Hope you're feeling much better. Your new tooth will look fabulous. Blessings. SusanD

Mocha with Linda said...

You made me laugh out loud reading this! And I'm supposed to feel sympathy?! Hope you feel all better tomorrow (or, today, since you're most likely snoozing away and won't read this 'til Wed.)!

I'm thinking being a princess is way over-rated. You got a crown and my girl got a cast.

Melanie said...

Oh My Linda. It is late. I was feeling a little sad. And you made me laugh.
I get so tense at the dentist office that the dentist wipes my upper lip when it beads with sweat. After he chuckles, that is.
Yeah...that's SO funny, doc.

Sweet Tea said...

Take good care of your teeth, cause like childbirth, it doesn't get any easier regardless of how many (crowns or babies) you have.

Brenda Susan said...

Oh you poor thing! I hate hate hate going to the dentist! Your clear and descriptive story took me right back there...thanx so much!

Barbara said...

Praying it feel normal soon, I have had a couple crowns and it is painful for a time, and some times has to be redone, but praying that yours will do great, and your smile will be bright as sunshine, hugs and blessings

Angie said...

Only you could make a crown entertaining! Hope you feel better soon.

Chambray Blue said...

Oh my gosh.This made me laugh. Thank you!!!

Shug said...

I know exactly what you are talking about. I had a dentist appt. the first of June. Had to have a root canal, went back to the dentist to have the new crown put on and guess what? The crown color did not match my teeth. Last week I had to go to the place that makes the crown's and have it custom colored. Still waiting to have the crown put on. A month and a half and the job is still not complete...Yikes!

Thanks for sharing.
Shug/ confessions of a razzle-dazzle housewife

Gypsy Heart said...

I so understand! Have more crowns & root canals than I do natural teeth ~ an inherited condition from both parents. You can breathe a HUGE sigh of relief once the permanent one is set in stone...uh, cement. Don't you hate the fact that you were prolly drooling and no one told you? :-)

Debbie's L'Bri said...

I pray that you feel better soon.

I have had good teeth all my life .. one cavity... Now you tell me this...


Anonymous said...

Catching up on blog reading...

I have to tell you that I totally identify with you and this procedure.

I've had a root canal, and I enjoyed it about as much as I enjoyed giving birth to my son...before the epidural kicked in (how would you like becoming numb after the fact...not pretty).

So, in January, when I had a horrible toothache, I knew I wasn't going to go that route again (not the childbirth but the root canal).

That's exactly what the doctor suggested, but I said no. I wanted the tooth pulled. It was a back tooth, so who cared?

Girl, first off, I found out that I am a wimp. I cried when the assistant took x-rays. My mouth is small, and I gag easily. I boo hooed like a baby, and she was not amused.

To add to my misery, I am petrified of needles, so the shots did not go over very well.

Add to that having a man stand over you and try to pull a tooth out. He worked for an hour, even breaking it in half, but it wouldn't budge.

He wound up pulling my sole wisdom tooth that was located right behind the bad tooth...because the bad tooth's roots were tangled with that of the wisdom tooth's. So, I had two teeth pulled in one day.

Yeah. Talk about a puffy mouth.

To show how tough I was, I went in to sub/teach the next day. The kids later told me that I was "extra happy" that day. Gotta love the pain pills!

So sorry for your woes. Hope I made you feel better by sharing mine...if I didn't bore you to tears!

Pamela said...

Nate can sympathize with you. He had a root canal last week and yesterday they did the first part of the crown work. Three hours in the chair! Two weeks and the crown should be in. Unfortunately, his insurance doesn't cover any of it :( But if he is able to eat again on that side of his mouth, it will be worth it.

Mom Taxi Julie said...

UGH I was just told I need a root canal which they say means you need a crown also. SO not looking forward to that.

Patricia said...

Linda!!! I am there, sister! I am just waiting for my dentist to call with my permanent crown. I am so ready to get back to chewing normally on that side. My healthy (and vegetarian) lifestyle changes are in jeopardy of being lost to the fear of popping off that temporary crown while crunching on my daily 24 raw organic almonds...and exposing my stump. Ewwww! You make me laugh! I love getting to visit here.

PS: Tune in this week...your blog is the subject of my first Weekly Blog Review on the new and improved Typing One-Handed. I'll let you know on Facebook when it is posting.