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Alethea & Athena
Back from the dentist 
18th-Apr-2016 09:16 pm
If you read the subject line, you might think we only just got back from the dentist, but we actually got home many hours ago. Then we had to do some work, and then we had to die for a little while, and then we had to do some more work, because simulpubs wait for no one.

But basically what happened is, as we knew, we both had multiple cavities, and our dentist (who was pretty cool, I think, but after coming home and being in pain and in shock over everything, I started getting grumpy and I was like, "Maybe she's not that cool!" but I don't know, I think it's the pain talking) was like, "No seriously, you need to get some orthodontia, because your teeth are crushing each other." She didn't say it exactly like that, but that's pretty much what she meant. Also, getting orthodontic work done would probably mean removing the tooth I have that's been giving me so much trouble, which is going to have to have a root canal otherwise. I definitely get to have a root canal on a different tooth, which of course is fun and exciting in the sense that "exciting" is used in Bambi (the book, not the movie).

So while we were there, I got all my non-root canal cavities filled, and I got a temporary cap for the one root canal tooth, and I got a deep cleaning because that's what you need to get when you don't go to the dentist in too long. Also the dentist is pretty adamant that we need to get our wisdom teeth removed. All this business about braces and removing teeth is hard to take, though, because our teeth have been the way they are for years, and we're kind of attached to them. But we agreed to see the orthodontist anyway (he happens to be in the office tomorrow), and we'll decide what to do about that afterward.

Athena didn't get any work done, because her mouth wasn't as bad as mine, so she hasn't been thinking, "You know what, let's just go to the dentist and get it all taken care of in one fell swoop!" for several days like I have, and this kind of news takes processing.

In the meantime, I'm not supposed to eat on the side of my mouth with the temporary cap until it gets a proper cap (that appointment is for early May), which means I am supposed to eat on the side of my mouth with the tooth that's been giving me trouble, which I'm terrified to do because what if I make it worse, or make it so the pain is really really bad? Well, my whole mouth hurts right now from all the work that was done, so that's kind of a moot point. And in the meantime, as part of the deep cleaning, the dentist injected antibiotics between all my back teeth, so hopefully that will keep the germs from causing non-injection/dental work-related pain. But that doesn't make me any less paranoid.

And through it all, I was actually less worried about the dental work than I was about the idea that my having to get dental work done was going to ruin other people's plans. But now that I've had more time to think about it, I'm definitely worried about both.

Today I'm thankful for the very friendly staff at the dentist's office, getting our work done, getting to watch Gilmore Girls, having a little time to relax, and Page being super cute again.
19th-Apr-2016 10:54 am (UTC)
Ohhhh no!! That sounds like a distressing day :( But good for you following through and at least making an appointment to hear the orthodontist out. If the problem is a matter of space, and you had the option of choosing options, I would choose getting rid of wisdom teeth over orthodontics (as one who experienced both). Having my wisdom teeth out (all four in one go) was over in a weekend—I had local anesthetic because I didn't like the idea of being knocked out completely and having no memory of the time; I ate bread and apple sauce and the like, and watched cute nature documentaries on TV, while on vicodin until that started making me feel nauseated (a few days into recovery, and by then the pain had subsided enough I could get by without the drugs). I'd do it again (if I spontaneously regrew wisdom teeth and they had to come out for some reason, haha). (do you each have all four teeth? i could be misremembering, but i think my twin brothers have said they're each missing one on opposite sides of their mouth, maybe because of when and what direction the egg split as they were developing?? i thought that was fascinating...)

On the other hand, I had braces in high school and they went on for months (or over a year maybe?) and were so annoying, and after they were finally taken off and my mouth was perfect, I had a retainer which I only bothered to wear for some months and then stopped and now my top teeth have shifted again so the front two are a little crooked and it's like "What a waste!" But I hated having the retainer in my mouth all the time, so... (on the bottom teeth they put a permanent retainer, just a wire glued on to the back of the center 4 (of course it's smoothed out so it's comfortable and i don't even notice it), which is not annoying at all and I wish they'd done that for the top teeth too, but you do have to be more careful about keeping the area clean.)

Hopefully that's not too doom-and-gloom about braces. I didn't enjoy them at all, but if you find that is the necessary thing to do, be assured that I did survive them, and going through the process gave me a new appreciation for an unencumbered mouth :)

Anyway, I hope your mouth recovers soon and that the root canal turns out not to be as terrible as your imagination, and for wisdom in deciding what to pursue for future teeth-care!
19th-Apr-2016 04:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it was pretty rough. We stopped caring about pretty much everything. It is a matter of space, but apparently our teeth are so very crowded that our options are braces or death. Just kidding.

No, the main problem is that we both have this thing where a bicuspid on the top left decided there was no room to grow in its normal spot, so it decided to take a backseat, as it were. Athena has that on both sides, but the point is, on the left side, the crowding made it really easy for teeth to get infected. And that means that we both have a tooth that's so bad, it either needs to be pulled out, or we need to get root canals. (In my case, this is the tooth that's been bothering me enough to inspire this trip to the dentist in the first place.) Since the infected teeth are ones that would have been pulled to make room for braces anyway, the dentist said we should just get braces because it would save the expense of treating those teeth, and lead to healthier mouths in the long run, because we learned that our teeth are so crowded that apparently no amount of good dental hygiene will prevent cavities.

So technically they're not necessary, but probably the better option. We saw the orthodontist today, and the main things bothering us now are the cost and the time commitment (two years). And we can't get Invisalign because our teeth are so crowded that they have to do four extractions (in addition to pulling our wisdom teeth), and that means Invisalign won't help. And the problem with that is that we don't want to make it obvious to the whole world what's going on with our dental situation. (Which is why I come tell the whole world via LiveJournal...)

And thanks for the input about wisdom teeth extractions! I didn't know you could get localized anesthesia for those, and that gives me a lot of hope because one of my big concerns about that was the effects of the anesthetics.

And in answer to your question, yeah, we do both have all four wisdom teeth, but we also have the exact same problems in the exact same teeth as a result!
19th-Apr-2016 05:26 pm (UTC)
Aww... well, as far as making it obvious to the whole world what's going on with your dental situation, I don't think you have anything to be ashamed of in the first place, but I know a guy around my age who I consider a fine, upstanding citizen, and he has braces, and no thought ever occurred to me that there was anything wrong with him for it. I expect anyone who saw you with braces would just assume you had decided you wanted your teeth straightened out, a little later in life than the usual middle/high-school years, and that would be the extent of it.
19th-Apr-2016 06:38 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks for this. It really is very encouraging. We go back to the dentist on Monday for more tooth work, so we have until then to make our decision.
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