Thursday, October 23, 2008

A return to the dentist, part II

What a difference a little weather change makes! Senior Fitness went just fine this morning. In fact, it was one of the better days in recent times. The company person, who must be there for safety reasons, was early today as she had a meeting at nine. She said she was hoping we would be there early as we usually are so she could get out. Only one little glitch which I chalk up to “one of those things” this morning as my knee hurt during those leg lifts. It was the knee, not the hip, so I’m guessing it was a temporary glitch.

All the other stuff I do on that machine went well, as did the weight machine and free weights. Even that semi-ball I complain about cooperated this morning. I even turned my head and talked with people while doing it. You can’t imagine what an accomplishment that is unless you’ve worked that ball. The ball is designed to improve my balance, and I guess it’s working a little. That’s progress.

And now the day takes a momentary downhill direction.

I’m learning a lesson this week on partial denture plates. Today will be the third time I’ve had to return to the dentist for an adjustment. A couple of weeks ago I had a tooth repaired and, at the same time, the dentist filled a cavity on the lower row. I left her office feeling great. Then the Novocain wore off. Holy moly, to use an expression of an old superhero, or at least a young superhero sidekick, I sure enough knew work had been done.

I attributed the pain to it’s just having been worked on and took the plate out to let the gum rest. The next day I had a dull ache on that side of my mouth. It was like a toothache, except there aren’t any teeth there. On the third day, it no longer was an ache. A sharp, piercing pain let me know something was wrong. Biting breakfast was a real adventure. I called the dentist.

She worked me right in. She made an adjustment on my upper partial which was held in place by that tooth she had rebuilt. That got the bite back where it belonged. She then performed some filing on that lower one. After some manipulating, I was feeling no more pain. Happiness flowed through my body. Feeling confident the problem was fixed, I came home.

It wasn’t. The next day was Saturday and when I tried to put that lower partial in place, that sharp, piercing pain returned. It was worse than ever. I could not put the plate in place. So I went through the weekend without it. If you have never experienced false teeth, you can’t imagine just how interesting it is to eat without chewing teeth. I do have some real ones in there so I could bite and if I held the food in the front, I could chew a little. But after more than 70 years, my tongue just automatically moves the food to the chewing section of the mouth where I was temporarily without the chewers.

I’ve had a partial plate ever since 1960 when my brother talked me into getting one to replace a malformed tooth and an empty spot created trying to steal home plate during a pickup game when I was just a kid in the late 1940s. This is absolutely the first time I’ve had this kind of trouble. When I broke that original upper partial during my Triple-A, my dentist replaced it along with a lower that replaced some seriously deteriorating lowers. You can go back a few posts to learn a lot more you probably really don’t care to know about my teeth situation.

So last Monday I headed back to the dentist. She found a spot on the plate and took care of it. We thought. She explained to me that the tooth she had filled earlier was an anchor tooth and she had to get the filling stuff to exactly match the way it was before the work. The wire band that holds the partial in place must fit properly as it was made. So we had some more grinding and once again my mouth felt very good. Again, I was happy.

Then the old aching tooth that isn’t there returned and during the day yesterday, the sharp pain returned. And that leads me to today’s visit. It will be the last. I guess that’s because I have great faith in this dentist. In the 20 or more years I’ve been going to her, this is our first problem. And that’s a great record.


No comments: