Or, here’s a re-cap.
Labor Day 2001. Bungee Cord hit tooth. Tooth knocked out. Hillbilly.
So, the last I left this wonderful heart-warming story I was on my way to the dentist…on a holiday…with my tooth in a glass jar full of milk…
The entire way there I kept picturing myself walking toothless down the aisle for my wedding (which was 19 days away). I even remember thinking we should change the wedding date. No, I’m not that vain, I promise; but I’d be lying if I didn’t have that thought run through my head at least once.
When we got to the dentists’ office, Dr. K greeted us at the door. He was in blue-jeans and a plaid button down shirt (yes, I totally remember that detail)—claims he was working in the yard when he got the phone call….then I noticed the grass stains on his jeans and knew he really was doing yard work.
I sat/laid down in “the chair”. Dr. K took a look at the gaping hole in my mouth and asked if I had saved the tooth. Presenting the jar to him, he took the tooth out and confirmed my smart thinking likely saved the tooth and thus, he could put it back in!
And that he did.
Now, I have to give a huge shout out to my then fiancé (now husband). He was Mr. dental assistant during the entire visit. You know those suction things they put in your mouth to suck out all the spit? Jesse was holding that. You know that little mirror thing the dentists use to look around? Jesse was holding that. Dr. K had him doing all the stuff a normal dental assistant would be doing. What a guy, huh?
I sat in that chair for a good hour and a half. The procedure was pretty painless (the root had come out with the tooth and apparently the nerve did too), but still weird. Awkward. Full of drool.
Because the tooth didn’t really have anything to “hang on” to, he cemented the back of the tooth to the other teeth around it. That’s how it was able to stay in.
For 11 years.
And I had a beautiful smile for my wedding.
I had to go back (to a different dentist because Dr. K retired) three times since to get it re-cemented, but the tooth hung on. My slightly (but not really noticeable) discolored "dead" tooth hung in there.
Okay, that sounded gross. Sorry.
The first two times I went back to get the repair done, x-rays were taken to make sure all was good. Well, as good as it could be. On visit number two (in 2009), Dr. M told me I wouldn’t have much longer with that tooth. Normal “wear and tear” on a dead tooth would cause it to likely break.
And because it’s sorta cool (and I hope this totally doesn't gross you out), here’s that x-ray from 2009:
|You can see the tooth is barely hanging on. That white spot is a hole that was drilled into the tooth to "hollow" it out. For what reason, I know not. If I did, I'd be a dentist and I'd making WAY more money than I do now.|
I was blowing up an inflatable cooler and bit down on the little plastic thing used to blow it up. I heard a crack in my mouth. And I felt my tooth “fall forward”.
I quickly pushed it back and prayed that it would stay. (and yes, I cried a little)
Luckily, the tooth stayed in place enough that I didn’t have to make another emergency visit to the dentist. I could still eat (kind of) and talk (kind of) and the tooth held on. (And as I type this, it’s still holding on for dear life.)
The Tuesday after Labor Day I went back to Dr. M. He took another x-ray and gave me the news. He could no longer temporarily mend it. I needed a permanent fix.
I knew this time was coming. I had lasted 11 years with just a little bit of cement holding my tooth in place. I was lucky.
So, in 4 days I will have an implant put in place of the dead tooth that has held on for 11 years. I am actually quite excited about this dental work to be done. I’ve gone 11 years without being able to bite into an apple or eat a cob of corn. (I’ve gone the last 2 weeks of not being able to bite into anything…that’s kinda challenging. Take my word for it).
Wish me luck. And if you'd like to contribute to the "Jesse is getting a really expensive tooth next week" fund, let me know.