New teeth

22 May

I went to my dentist’s office yesterday morning expecting to have my routine six-month cleaning. I had called to schedule an appointment a couple of weeks ago and explained that I needed two appointments: one to have the teeth fixed, and the other to get them cleaned. The receptionist scheduled one appointment, which she told me was for the cleaning. She said that the dentist would look at the chipped teeth and we could decide what to do about them thereafter.

When I went in yesterday, though, the dentist looked at my teeth for less than a minute before he started discussing the repair options for the front teeth. The fastest option was bonding, which he could do on the spot. However, for the tooth that was more seriously broken, this would probably eventually fail. The other option was a crown which would cover the whole tooth, which would also have the advantage of looking more natural. However, he wouldn’t be able to begin work on that while the arch bars were on my teeth.

I elected to get the bonding done, even though I knew it might just be a temporary solution for at least one of the teeth. The dentist numbed my mouth, and over the course of the next half hour had me periodically bite down and open my mouth. He then had me rinse my mouth and look in a mirror. The teeth looked terrible. The seam between the natural tooth and the artificial piece was very visible, and there were also white splotches on the tooth.

The dentist told me that I should avoid using the bonded teeth to bite into harder foods for a while. This, of course, wasn’t a problem because I had been avoiding harder foods altogether. He also told me that the repaired teeth would never be as strong as my natural teeth.

From the dentist’s office, I took a bus to campus, where my first stop was a bathroom to see if my teeth had somehow changed in the last twenty minutes. Somehow, they had. I didn’t even recognize my teeth when I looked in the mirror. At first glance, they looked natural to me, but upon closer examination I could see that they weren’t. I could see that the bonded piece was a slightly different color and a little bit shorter than the other one. Still, they looked much better than they had in the dentist’s chair. My guess is that when I looked in the dentist’s chair, there was some substance from the procedure on the surface of the tooth, but this had rinsed off since then. The idea of having swallowed this substance is not a particularly pleasant one, but I seem to still be alive.

Finally, a photo:Repaired teeth

The picture isn’t great, but for comparison, here are the chipped teeth.

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2 Responses to “New teeth”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My natural teeth « jawbroken - June 7, 2009

    […] slightly bigger than the left front tooth before the former was chipped in the accident. In the repaired version, the edge of my right front tooth (number 8 for the dental notation enthusiasts out there) slants […]

  2. Bills and such « Shock and Jaw - June 10, 2009

    […] dental benefits from MetLife, which provides my dental benefits for the SHIP plan. This was for the repairs of the chipped teeth. The statement tells me that the fee for my services is ordinarily $372, but […]

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