Tuesday, January 08, 2008

welcome to my ocd

I've been fairly lucky, periodontally speaking. I had very few cavities as a child, never had braces, never had impacted wisdom teeth, and never even had Novocaine until after I was of legal drinking age. Everything sort of worked as expected in my mouth. As a result, I am a huge baby when it comes to dental work. I do not do well when I'm in The Chair. And so, like many dentist-fearing Americans, I don't go to the dentist unless it simply cannot be avoided.

I did not make a resolution to spend more of 2008 sitting in a dentist's chair, but an event that occurred on New Year's Eve sealed my fate - I broke a tooth (really, just a chip) on a piece of pizza (I still have no idea how a person can break a tooth on a piece of pizza).

So on January 2, 2008 I had a trip to my neighborhood dentist. She told me some bad news involving cavities in several teeth and decay under a back molar that was rebuilt through the miracle of bonding a few years back*. As a result, I'll be spending more time at the dentist in 2008. I'm thrilled.

Yesterday I went for visit one of two. During this visit, they numbed the right side of my face then poked, prodded, drilled and scraped. They removed the expertly crafted bonding that was holding my back molar together and took a mold for creation of my very own partial crown, which will be installed in ten days.

Until I receive my partial crown, I will be walking around with a temporary cover on the drilled down remnants of my tooth. This temporary cover is meant to be tooth-shaped, but the material that was used has flattened down so it sits in my mouth a bit like a piece of old chewing gum pushed into the cavity where a tooth should be. I find this impossible to ignore. I'm fixated with pushing my tongue into the crevice where my tooth should be. I have no idea how I will make it through the next ten days with my sanity (and the temporary cover) intact.

On the plus side, my obsessive fixation on that (lack of) tooth will hopefully make it unlikely that I forget that I'm not allowed to eat anything chewy (or chew gum) or generally bite or chew food on the right side of my mouth while I'm waiting. Thank you, OCD.

Oh, and I completely realize what a wimpy von wimperstein I'm being about the whole thing. Alas I am unable to do anything about this particular character flaw at the moment. Maybe in eleven days I'll work on that.

*I broke that tooth on a kernal from a bag of vending machine popcorn (the pre-popped stuff that comes sprinkled with "white cheddar cheese" (cheese-stuff product?)). I can understand how that could happen at least. I have not had vending machine popcorn since. I will not be forsaking all pizza going forward, however.

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