I brush my teeth at least twice a day, every day! I’ve done that almost all my life except when I was a teenager, in the service, and a few years after I was married. During those times I didn’t brush twice a day, I brushed at least once, most of the time!
And I’ve still got my own teeth, well, most of them anyway! But lately, after my lovely Wife went through some pretty tough dental times, I finally figured I’d better get serious about keeping these choppers I now have.
So, it was off to the dentist with my beautiful Wife right there along side me.
I don’t like dentists! Don’t know why. Just because they ripped out all four of my wisdom teeth when I was around 14 doesn’t give me cause to not like them, but I really don’t like to go to the dentist. It’s probably has something to do with them telling me that I really need my teeth cleaned every time I see them. Really! Why should I have to have a dentist clean my teeth when I brush twice a day!
Still, I went to my dentist on the 14th of May at 2:00 PM. His assistant puts me in this terribly uncomfortable dental chair. My legs are sticking to the plastic on the lower part of the chair. When I move them, it’s trying to pull my skin off! And then, I swear, this chair has arm rests were they shouldn’t be and the back is like a concrete spear sticking in my back. I just can’t get comfortable in it no matter what.
So, the dental assistant asks me if I’m all comfy and I say, “Sure, I’m fine.”
I said this cause I don’t want him to do anything else to this chair to make it any more uncomfortable! Next thing I know, they’re putting a bib thing around my neck and whamp! down goes the back of the chair. Once I catch my breath, I tell the dental assistant that I sure would have liked to have known when the chair is going to move.
Next he brings this gigantic spot light straight over my eyes and turns it on! Once I can see again, I tell him I sure would have liked to have known when I was going to be blinded! I don’t think the dental assistant is listening to me anymore!
Ok, so he looks in my mouth and says something like, “Wow! You do have a problem with tartar!”
Of course I say, “I really don’t use the stuff, so how can I have a problem with it?”
He then patiently explains that tartar is some kind of gunk that’s building up around my teeth and gums, and it ain’t good for either. He says it needs to come out but he doesn’t think the dentist can do it here. He mumbles something about sand blasting and excavating and dynamiting but I might not have heard him correctly.
Anyway, later The Dentist comes in and looks at my mouth. He has it wide open with some kind of clamp thingies and says, “Wow! You do have a problem with tartar! We need to get something done about it, but I certainly can’t do it! I recommend you see a periodontist! How’s that sound?”[Why does the word “periodontist” remind me of the stone age? Something about pterodactyls or something always pops up in my mind…strange!”]
Well, with the clamp thingies and his mirror and other stuff in my mouth, all I can say is, “Unnh, oooway! cccttttmmusssh!”
And he says, “Great! Let’s get that setup and I’ll see you back when he’s done the in-depth cleaning.”
Little did he know that what I was trying to say was, “Huh, uh! No way! Cost too much!”
Anyway, the dental assistant says he needs to get some readings for the periodontist visit. So with my mouth still wide open, he draws out this foot long steel toothpick kind of thing and starts jabbing it in my mouth!
See, your teeth are supposed to be surrounded by your gums, that’s the fleshly stuff around your teeth. If your gums are healthy then you have a lot of gums and your jawbone is pretty well protected because your healthy gums provides blood to your mouth. Blood, which is red and gross when it gushes everywhere, contains all those nutrients and stuff you need throughout your entire body including your mouth. Anyway, this toothpick thing is supposed to measure how much gum protection you have by determining the depth of your teeth compared to your gums and jawbone. Don’t ask me to explain that again. I’m not sure I got any of it right but the measurements are supposed to be in the range of 1, 2, or 3 millimeters. Well, just understand that anything over a 4 isn’t good.
So, the dental assistant is calling out my numbers (another assistant is putting them in the computer) starting some where around the back of the lower right side of teeth. He says, “4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 3, 4”, and getting around to the lower left side, he says, “4, 11, 12, 19, 20!” There he stops and says, “I’ve never seen anybody with a 20!”
I’m feeling pretty special about that except the dental assistant starts explaining what a “20” means. He says that one tooth in the very back on my left side is barely hanging on. The gums are so far away from this tooth that it’s probably just sitting there on my jawbone waiting for me to drop dead! Needless to say that ain’t good. If that tooth gets infected or something, there’s nothing to keep the infection in check or keeping it from infecting my jawbone. Now this sounds like serious stuff!
Well, it looks like I’m on my way to a periodontist, whatever that is. Looks like I’m going to need some heavy duty blasting both with sand and dynamite to get rid of Mr. Tartar.
Don’t know exactly what’s going to happen to the poor back tooth. Doesn’t sound good for him and you know, that is the one I just had a root canal done on and a pretty looking gold crown put on last year! Figures!
My fear, aside from being terrified of dentists and now periodontists, is that once all this blasting and excavating is done around my teeth, they’re going to start falling out! I can’t figure out what else has been keeping them in place for so long!