« Waiting for the Wii | Main | Show in New Brusnwick Dec. 1 »

November 21, 2006

Wear your braces kids

When I was a kid, the dentist was always telling me that I should get braces. My parents told me that they would pay for them if i wanted to get them, but for one reason or another, I just never did it. Only now am I realizing the magnitude of that mistake.

I recently went to the dentist for a "routine checkup." I religiously brush my teeth at least 2X per day, so I thought they would look around, clean my teeth, congratulate me on my fine dental hygiene, and send me out the door with a new toothbrush and a sticker that says "Smile your dentist loves you." WRONG!!!

My dentist looked in my mouth and said, "Hmmmmm.... when is the last time you had a bone probe?"

"Excuse me?"

"A bone probe. It is where we measure the depth of your gum pockets and the density of the bone tissue surrounding your teeth. We take 4 measurements per tooth. I am seeing some inflammation of the gum tissue that may be indicative of some bone loss. I think that we should check it out."

Well bone loss sounds pretty scary to me so I agreed. He walked out and came back in with a little metal spike that had millimeter markings on it. He told me to lean back and open my mouth and that there might be a small bit of discomfort. For the next 20 minutes, the devil danced around my teeth reeking havoc with his fiery trident.

I'll spare you the gore, but when the probing was finished, he concluded that there is significant bone loss and i should see a specialist who could fix my teeth and curb further damage.

Yesterday, I visited the specialist. I thought I was going in for a consultation about braces. Wrong again. After another bone probing session, the dentist peeled off his bloody latex gloves and said that I should go see Carol to schedule my procedures. Thinking that Carol was the receptionist, I walked to the room where i was supposed to meet her to schedule my next appointment.

She pulled out several charts and began explaining my condition. Essentially, she said that I have begun to experience bone loss around several of my teeth. This loss is due to the fact that there is crowding in my mouth and i cannot properly reach all of the necessary parts of my teeth with a toothbrush and floss. Because the loss is occurring far beneath my gums, there is nothing I can to to clean it and prevent the situation from worsening.

At that point I began to realize that braces were not on the agenda. But I still had no idea what horrors awaited me.

The next chart she pulled out was a cross sectional representation of a tooth, jaw, and gums. She showed me what bone loss around the tooth looks like and then.... she showed me the surgery that they have to do to treat this. Yes that is right, surgery.

If I don't do the surgeries, my teeth will eventually fall out, I will double my risk of heart attack and triple my risk of stroke.

I have to go back in for a series of 6 surgeries to correct the problem before we even begin to discuss braces. These surgeries start tomorrow and will entail cutting back my gums, grinding down my jawbones, and grafting new tissue back into my mouth. Several of the procedures will involve bandages inside of my mouth for weeks at a time that will have to be cut out.

After explaining this Carol said, "So.... stock up on Jello."

This will take several months, several surgeries, and it will be very expensive. The moral of the story, Listen to your dentist and wear your braces.

Posted by collin on November 21, 2006 10:36 AM

Comments

Oh my! That is one of the saddest posts I've ever read! What a horrible thing to have to go through. We'll be praying for you Collin.

Posted by: Jonathan on November 21, 2006 11:47 AM

I agree with Jonathan.. that sux.. i'm sure you didn't appreciate her Jell-O remark.. thats kind of crude given the situation

Posted by: jaysonjaz on November 21, 2006 01:03 PM

ouch man that sucks... i'll be praying for ya...

Posted by: childish on November 21, 2006 02:38 PM

you didn't even say how much it's going to cost too.

Posted by: jason on November 21, 2006 07:03 PM

It is going to cost a lot. Fortunately we have pretty good insurance through Lindsay's work, but I am going to max it out for 2 years and I will have to pay the balance, which is still a lot.

Posted by: Collin-Band Member on November 22, 2006 12:00 AM

Thank God for Nutters' crab bisque.

Posted by: ian on November 22, 2006 12:18 AM

All I can do is reiterate: terrible! I feel so badly for you, Collin! But, after this is done--and it won't last forever--you will be so healthy with none of those horrible potential risks the specialist talked about...But, in the meantime--I am so sorry!

Posted by: jessica on November 22, 2006 12:23 AM

Somehow I don't think I'll be visiting the dentist anytime soon. I think I already know what they'll say!

Posted by: aaron on November 27, 2006 05:18 PM

Prayin' for you!!!

Posted by: sha'uri on November 28, 2006 11:52 PM

Collin, Jeffrey and I will be thinking of you. Hope all goes well and that you will be smiling soon.

Posted by: Terry on November 29, 2006 09:47 PM

man collin mouth surgery is not fun. I had to get this oral surgery because my gum on my bottom front tooth for some reason was pulling down exposing part of the tooth that shouldn't be seen. They said if didn't fix it that it would eventually fall out.... so of corse i did and they took gum from the roof of my mouth and put it on my bottom tooth.... so i had stitches up top and in front and they put this silly puddy like stuff on each part.... very annoying.. for some reason i can watch all blood guts etc but when it comes to teeth i quiver! i will be praying for you buddy! i hope it all goes well!

Posted by: beth sargent on November 29, 2006 10:52 PM

man collin mouth surgery is not fun. I had to get this oral surgery because my gum on my bottom front tooth for some reason was pulling down exposing part of the tooth that shouldn't be seen. They said if didn't fix it that it would eventually fall out.... so of corse i did and they took gum from the roof of my mouth and put it on my bottom tooth.... so i had stitches up top and in front and they put this silly puddy like stuff on each part.... very annoying.. for some reason i can watch all blood guts etc but when it comes to teeth i quiver! i will be praying for you buddy! i hope it all goes well!

Posted by: beth sargent on November 29, 2006 10:52 PM

omg... sorry man, that stinks. But wow.. now I want to floss really well.

Posted by: holly on November 30, 2006 04:35 PM

Post a comment




Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)