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I’m Excited About My Root Canal

P

Patti

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Jul 28, 2006
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Michigan, USA
I looked at the card they gave me wrong. My appointment isn't until MONDAY the 18th!
I was wondering why nobody called to confirm today? :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
I should be more worried about my family putting me in a home!!! LOL
Thank you for everything you said. You are a great new friend. :)
Also, you are right. Sometimes I go here a little too much. I guess I keep thinking I'll read the "magical answer" that will dissipate all of my fears and I'll have some sort of "aha" moment.
 
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chickenjen

chickenjen

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Hi Steve (Michigan here) Thank you for your story. I can relate to it a lot. I am. Almost 49 and have only seen the dentist 3 times in my life. Parents never took me. The first time was 6 years ago. Two fillings. Then an extraction in April this year to avoid RC on tooth #31. Last week I got a new dentist who did an exam and I have X-rays tomorrow. I am VERY STRESSED to find out whats wrong and have to deal with it. Up until now it has been fairly easy for me to avoid my fears. My teeth don't look bad. After I told my dentist I felt like I was climbing a mountain without a rope he said it looks more like a hill. I hope my X-rays agree with that. I am extremely fearful of having a root canal. I don't know why. I've read good things but the old bad rap about that is stuck in my head and I can't get it out! Can you explain the procedure? I won't know until tomorrow if I even need one but I just have the sinking feeling I couldn't avoid things like that with so many hrs of avoidance, good genes or otherwise!

Can I ask if you are getting your treatments slowly or a lot at a time? Are you using any Niterous or any type of sedation?
Hello my Midwestern brother and sister. I'm in Illinois!! Patti, we are the same age...I'll be 49 in August.:D
 
Steve In Cleveland

Steve In Cleveland

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First extraction is done!

I had my first tooth extraction today, #15. I'd read other stories here that extractions aren't a big deal (thanks, Patti!) but I was still nervous. The tooth was a big molar and was broken almost to the gum line, so I didn't know what the dentist would even hold on to to extract it.

The procedure was fast and completely painless! My dentist numbed me up with lots of shots, and then the whole extraction took maybe ten minutes. She took some kind of dental pick and sort of leaned on the tooth a little several times. There was "pressure" like they say, kind of like someone pushing fairly hard on your tooth-- but almost more like pushing down on your tooth, or pushing it to one side, but no pulling at all. She pushed for a few seconds and then stopped. After about seven pushes, she declared, "And that's it!" I didn't feel anything at all! I was expecting to at least have the creepy feeling of the tooth coming out, but I honestly didn't even feel that. I actually thought I'd misunderstood-- I was still waiting for the tooth to be pulled.

She put a little foam plug up in the socket to protect it from infection, and gave me some gauze to bite down on. No spitting, smoking, or sucking through a straw for the next couple days, and mushy food only. It sounds like I have to be extremely gentle to avoid disturbing the blood clot that needs to form to protect the socket.

I took an ibuprofin when I got home and the novocaine is wearing off now, and really no pain at all. Let's hope for a smooth, easy recovery for my poor little tooth socket! :cool:
 
P

Patti

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Hi Steve! Yay! :jump:I'm so glad it went well for you! I was told that the actual tooth gets in the way when they pull it anyway. They don't just grab hold of a tooth and yank like your parents pulled a baby tooth out of your mouth. Remember to rinse with warm salt water at least 4 times a day. It really helps in the healing process. I did it for a couple of weeks, actually. The hole where my tooth was (which I call a "ditch" :ROFLMAO:) is still closing up and mine was pulled April 12th. It still holds things (food) so I'm constantly rinsing it but the ditch is getting smaller all the time now! Did you use N2O or did you go solo?

Happy Healing!
 
Steve In Cleveland

Steve In Cleveland

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Thanks Patti! Your story was very very helpful for me-- even though I was really worried about the extraction and stayed tensed up the entire time, I kept telling myself "Patti said there was no pain at all..." And there wasn't!

Three days later and I'm doing fine. I never experienced any pain during or after the procedure, and I've been super gentle with my socket since then. I didn't rince or spit or put anything near it the first 24 hours, and I kept my diet to applesauce, yogurt, and pudding for the first 48 or so. Now eating some solid food again, although I favor the right side of my mouth to keep from messing with #15 over there. I got brave and poked my tongue around the socket to make sure it was clear of food, and it just feels like a little depression and not oogy at all. I'm pretty sure it's past the point of dry socket.

I still can't believe how simple and painless extraction turned out to be! The one other tooth that needs to come out, #4, is one that just over time broke and wore down to the point where it's just a stub of a tooth up inside the gumline-- it looks like there's no tooth there at all. This actually was one of my biggest fears about going back to the dentist. I thought the dentist would be shocked that I'd let the tooth wear down that far, and also that there'd be some major surgery needed to extract it, since there's nothing left to "pull".

One more lesson I keep I seem to keep learning: I should just ask the professionals instead of listening to my crazy, uninformed imagination!
 
carol999

carol999

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478
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Yorkshire
The more I read of people's experiences it is more and more clear to me that the actual treatment (if you find a kind dentist) is really not the problem its our imaginations and memories folks!. :giggle: Well done with the extraction Steve. We really must tell our uninformed thoughts to butt out at times lol!
 
Steve In Cleveland

Steve In Cleveland

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Rice: a haiku

Rice, a Haiku.
By Steve

Rice gets stuck inside
Every little hole and gap,
And stays. @#[email protected] you, rice.
 
I

iDent

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Jun 1, 2012
Messages
150
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United States
Re: How it Will All Go Down

I used to have a storyline that I'd worked out, about how it would all go down when I finally had to go to the dentist:

Something would happen that would make it impossible to put it off any longer. I used to imagine the various things that could happen: The worst ones involved biting down, sneezing, or coughing in a very public place, and shattering a tooth. I'd have to be rushed off to some emergency dentist immediately, probably screaming or bleeding or both.

The best ones involved being involved in some kind of car crash that resulted in lots of broken teeth and major reconstructive surgery.

I'd like to point out at this point just how irrational phobias are. I don't have a death wish, but my fear of owning up to years of dental neglect was so great, that I actually had hoped for an accident severe enough to destroy the evidence. I imagined telling people, "I had to have these false teeth made, on account of that bad accident." It seemed like a better story than the truth, which was just that I hadn't brushed them.

Somewhere in the middle, between the embarrassing public-tooth-shattering and the sympathy-inducing car crash, was some more banal reason: a persistant tooth ache, or maybe decay bad enough to be noticed in my breath or taste buds. I'd had enough things breaking and aching in my mouth already, though, to know that I had the will to wait most of them out, however painful.

My money was on some kind of trauma situation.

Anyway, having been finally forced to go to the dentist, the next part of the story was the exam, and particularly the reaction of the dentist. Seeing all the previous work that had been done-- the crowns that made up the bulk of my top arch, none of which had been properly maintained-- and the extent of the decay on the remaining teeth, the dentist would declare the whole thing a loss. "We can maybe save a few of them, but at this point there's more damaged teeth than healthy ones, so you'd be better off just pulling them all than trying to save the rest."

And then came the part of the story I feared the most. I'd go home to my wife, and have to tell her that I'd lost all my teeth to neglect, and that we'd have to take some time off work to have the major procedure done. And then I'd have to tell all my friends at work that I would be out for a while. Maybe I could lie or be vague: "I'm having some medical work done," but then I'd have to find some way to stay hidden away while my poor mouth heeled up and I could get dentures or implants. I'd heard it took six months before you were eligible for implants, so I figured I could take a leave of absence or something while I hid at home, eating applesauce. I had a couple of close friends picked out who I'd share the real story with, after swearing them to secrecy.

Although sometimes I actually imagined that dying young would be easier, mostly I figured I'd probably be forced to live through this scenario, and I'd survive it. But it wasn't a chapter of my life I looked forward to. I figured the whole process would take about a year, and I'd more or less just have to drop off the face of the world until I could re-emerge with something that looked like a normal smile.


The real story has been much less dramatic, as you might imagine. The Moment came in the form of a fairly mundane toothache-- throbbing at first, then progressing to sharp nerve pain-- that was bad enough that I couldn't eat. And yet, not so traumatic that I needed an ambulance. The dentist didn't shriek or cringe or declare my mouth a toxic zone; she just worked on the aching tooth, and later calmly listed the work needed. It's a long list and I'll lose a couple of teeth, but I feel lucky that it's not worse.

But best of all, I can do the work at little at a time; an afternoon here, a morning there. I don't have to hide away for a year, although I did have to admit to my wife that I need a lot of work done. And, instead of hiding my secret, I now feel a sense of pride about having taken control of my situation.

The one thing I was most wrong about though: not one person has asked for an explanation. When I tell people, "I'm having a lot of dental work done," they change the subject. It turns out, no one really likes talking about the dentist (except newly ex-phobics like me), and lots of people have work that they're putting off. Mostly people end the conversation as quickly as possible.



I've been examining this story I made up lately. To be honest, I started looking at it a little even before I broke down and went to the dentist. And the thing about it is, none of it has to do with pain. Almost all of it has to do with shame and embarrassment and having my dirty little secret revealed to the world. I didn't look forward to the pain either, but I'd had enough dental work done in the past to know that most procedures don't hurt much, if at all.

The frightening truth is this:
The thing that most kept me away from the dentist was
shame. The shame of having neglected my teeth, the shame of losing my teeth. The fear of discovery was so strong that I would have rather died, or gotten into a terrible accident, than face the shame of my teeth.

I consider myself very lucky in many ways. I was forced to go to the dentist before I did actually lose all my teeth, and I don't have a lot of the phobias-- needles, latex, numbness-- that a lot of people have. I was actually afraid of the dentist, too, but when I examine my own story, it's that fear of being discovered, of revealing my secret, that really terrified me.

Isn't that amazing, the power that shame can hold over us?

About a year before I went to the dentist, I started seeing a psychologist to work through some other issues related to work and family. I never dared to tell my deep dark secret to my therapist-- part of my story involved my therapist, once she found out about my teeth, nagging me to see a dentist immediately and persistently-- but I think that some of the work we did on other issues around shame and trust and self confidence gave me the strength to start owning my own story... even the parts that involve letting my teeth rot and decay. My own inner strength, and being accepted as "normal" by my dentist, have given me some of the tools I need to start feeling okay about my teeth, and to consider myself valuable enough to take care of myself, teeth and all.

I see in this all a larger pattern, of accepting myself and allowing myself to have flaws and defects. I look around and I see people struggling with infidelity, with gambling and drugs, with eating disorders and the consequences of any number of bad choices. I wonder how many of them would rather die than reveal their secrets, and I see the craziness of that thought pattern. But I see its appeal, too. As much as I wanted not to keep losing my teeth, even more than that I feared facing my problem, even a little bit. The whole thing felt like a house of cards I was forced to keep building: I knew the inevitable ending, but I feared any wrong move would bring the whole thing down.

I don't know how much of my story, how much of my phobia, applies to other readers here. I don't want to downplay my fear of many of the same things here: the drill, the pick, the pain, the loss of control. But when I look at these things from a distance, I see that the larger fear was of admitting, "I've messed up bad, and I need help fixing it." I imagine it's a similar feeling of helplessness and loss of control that comes with many big problems in life.

I really hope that everyone here, who is feeling the same sense of dread that I carried with me for so long, finds their way through to the other side. However bad your teeth are, however extensive the treatment, I tell you this: nothing feels as good as putting all that shame and anxiety behind you and finally feeling free.

* * *

Steve, thank you for your posts (and your comment to mine). In some ways, I think you and I are kindred spirits!

Shame is a huge issue, and one with which I'm all too familiar: for example, when I last saw my psychopharmacologist, Dr. Happier, he recommended that I have a neuropsych evaluation, in part because I may have an undiagnosed learning disability in addition to ADD (just what I need, more neurological dysfuncti:shame:n!). I was not averse to the idea until I learned that my medical insurance does not cover ADD/LD neuropsych testing for adults, so I would have to pay for it myself, approximately $2,500. I had a healthcare reimbursement account with about $1,500 in it, so I was willing to do this until I needed the HRA money for dental expenses. When I next see Dr. Happier, I'll have to explain why I can't have the neuropsych testing right now. Even though I like Dr. Happier, I've never told him or anyone else in the psych clinic about my dental phobia. . .I was too afraid that they'd insist I see a dentist!

As much as I feel relieved about having found my current dentist, Dr. Yes, and restorative work proceeding, "so far, so good," I am worried that once it is finished, I may do just what you and I did before: not continue with preventive care. Right now, I think I will keep seeing Dr. Yes because he is the first dentist I have ever known who has mastered my Dental Equation (excellent patient skills + effective pain control = good dentistry), but I will be the first to admit that I have a terrible track record.

You're absolutely right when you write that "no one really likes talking about the dentist." My husband tolerates dental-phobia discussions to some degree, probably because he knows it's a big issue for me and because he's glad I'm making some progress, but even though he and I share many of the same anxieties, dental phobia isn't one of them: very simply, I don't want to GIVE it to him, nor do I want to bore him! Generally, I wait for him to bring the subject up. If I remind him that I have another dental appointment next week and he encourages me to discuss it, I'm usually willing. If he doesn't pursue the subject, I leave it alone. With colleagues it's even worse, since I (usually) try to keep things professional at work.

This is why those of us on the forum need one another! :thumbsup:
 
Steve In Cleveland

Steve In Cleveland

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Electric Toothbrush

I'm not very good at brushing my teeth.

Well, that's not true. Once I have the brush in my mouth, I do at least an average job of moving it around. I can even brush and hum the alphabet song at the same time. What I'm not very good at is remembering to brush my teeth. Because the habit was never really drilled into me as a child, or reinforced as a young adult, it just doesn't occur to me to do it.

I did brush (and even floss!) pretty regularly for a few months after my first round of procedures fifteen years ago, but after a few months that faded away. I felt like I should have "learned my lesson" or at least would want to "protect my investment," but forming habits doesn't work that way. Perhaps if I already had a bad habit-- say, chewing on rocks-- that caused my problem, I could break it. Every time I reached for a handful of pebbles I could catch myself-- "Remember what happened last time you ate a rock," I'd admonish myself. But how do you catch yourself not doing something?

"Normal" people seem to have some kind of sense that their teeth are getting dirty. These people will say things like, "I can't wait to brush my teeth!" If they haven't brushed in, say, 24 hours, they feel really gross about it. I've had years go by without brushing, and I've felt new holes appear or had chunks of tooth fall off, and even then I didn't get any sensation that my teeth were dirty. (Crumbling, yes. Dirty? Not really.) When I did get my teeth cleaned regularly, I never had that "fresh from the dentist" feeling. I was just glad it was over.

So while I was writing another $1000 check for the start of another round of major mouth reconstruction, I decided I'd look into something to try to make brushing more... fun? Or at least somehow easier. I'm a bit of a gadget guy, so I decided maybe a good electric toothbrush might do the trick.

I read some reviews and decided to try the Oral B Professional Series electric toothbrush. (Sometimes marketed as the Triumph or Smartseries 5000). I have no affiliation with Oral B; I'm just a customer.

There seems to be two major contenders for top-of-the-line toothbrushes: this one, and SonicAire. SonicAire claims that theirs vibrates at super-sonic speeds, shocking the dirt right off your teeth or something. Unbiased reviews from Consumer Reports seem to show no real difference between the SonicAire and the Oral B. In fact, in terms of removing plaque, both do about the same job as a manual brush in the right hands.

For me the thing that sealed the deal is the one thing that many users rate as a "waste of money": the Oral B comes with a little digital clock that you can set on your vanity or fix to your mirror. The toothbrush communicates wirelessly with the clock, and while you're brushing the clock counts down 30 seconds for each quadrant of your mouth-- 2 minutes total. You get a little star for each quadrant you complete.

This sounds kind of stupid, I know. The brush itself actually pauses every 30 seconds to let you know when to move to the next quadrant. So you don't need anything else. But the childish part of me likes watching the clock count down, and I like "earning" my stars. So brushing actually is kind of fun!

The brush itself has a rotating head that claims to have "floss action", meaning the bristles actually kind of work in between your teeth to remove plaque. You're still supposed to floss (and I still don't) but it seems to do a bette job than just my toothbrush. The first couple of weeks that you use the brush, particularly if you don't have a good brushing habit already, your gums might bleed a bit. The vibrating brush feels quite a bit more intense than your hand brush, and it takes some getting used to to have this big powerful tool in your mouth.

But, the one thing I noticed is that it does make my teeth "feel" clean each time I'm done. They still don't ever feel dirty, but after two minutes with the power brush, they feel noticeably smoother and shinier.

I find that having a gadget makes me eager to brush my teeth each morning and evening. I still sometimes forget but having a regular brushing spot and a routine that's a little fun (watching the timer, getting the stars) makes it slightly rewarding.

The best thing of all: after brushing with my Oral B for about a month, my dentist was really shocked at how much better my gums looked. A month later she was surprised all over again. She says they're a whole lot healthier now, which also makes the dental procedures easier and less painful. My gums are strong and if they get a little sore, they recover much more quickly.

The brush is not cheap-- mine cost a little more than $100. Brush heads are about $5 each, and last three months, so that's $20 a year in toothbrushes. But even so, the cost of the brush and one year of heads is less than the cost of one extraction.

The last thing I like about the Oral B, or any electric toothbrush: it builds up your "tolerance" for having loud scary power tools in your mouth. Like I said, the first couple weeks you might be a bit sore from using it. Not a lot or for long, but it's a pretty vigorous brushing. However, now I can brush all around my teeth-- even the broken ones, with this pretty powerful tool, and that makes me less afraid of the professional cleanings.

I highly recommend the Oral B to anyone who's looking to improve their brushing habits. Check with your dentist first (if you have a dentist) just in case you have a condition that might not react well to the vigorous brushing. Stick with it and get through the first few times when it feels like you shouldn't have this powerful thing in your mouth. It will help you build stronger gums and a better sense of confidence when you go to the dentist.

And maybe-- just maybe-- it will make brushing a little fun, so you can better remember to do it twice a day.
 
P

Patti

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Michigan, USA
I've been shopping gadgets myself. For an electric toothbrush AND a waterpick flosser.
 
I

iDent

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Joined
Jun 1, 2012
Messages
150
Location
United States
Re: Electric Toothbrush

I'm not very good at brushing my teeth.

Well, that's not true. Once I have the brush in my mouth, I do at least an average job of moving it around. I can even brush and hum the alphabet song at the same time. What I'm not very good at is remembering to brush my teeth. Because the habit was never really drilled into me as a child, or reinforced as a young adult, it just doesn't occur to me to do it.

I did brush (and even floss!) pretty regularly for a few months after my first round of procedures fifteen years ago, but after a few months that faded away. I felt like I should have "learned my lesson" or at least would want to "protect my investment," but forming habits doesn't work that way. Perhaps if I already had a bad habit-- say, chewing on rocks-- that caused my problem, I could break it. Every time I reached for a handful of pebbles I could catch myself-- "Remember what happened last time you ate a rock," I'd admonish myself. But how do you catch yourself not doing something?

"Normal" people seem to have some kind of sense that their teeth are getting dirty. These people will say things like, "I can't wait to brush my teeth!" If they haven't brushed in, say, 24 hours, they feel really gross about it. I've had years go by without brushing, and I've felt new holes appear or had chunks of tooth fall off, and even then I didn't get any sensation that my teeth were dirty. (Crumbling, yes. Dirty? Not really.) When I did get my teeth cleaned regularly, I never had that "fresh from the dentist" feeling. I was just glad it was over.

So while I was writing another $1000 check for the start of another round of major mouth reconstruction, I decided I'd look into something to try to make brushing more... fun? Or at least somehow easier. I'm a bit of a gadget guy, so I decided maybe a good electric toothbrush might do the trick.

I read some reviews and decided to try the Oral B Professional Series electric toothbrush. (Sometimes marketed as the Triumph or Smartseries 5000). I have no affiliation with Oral B; I'm just a customer.

There seems to be two major contenders for top-of-the-line toothbrushes: this one, and SonicAire. SonicAire claims that theirs vibrates at super-sonic speeds, shocking the dirt right off your teeth or something. Unbiased reviews from Consumer Reports seem to show no real difference between the SonicAire and the Oral B. In fact, in terms of removing plaque, both do about the same job as a manual brush in the right hands.

For me the thing that sealed the deal is the one thing that many users rate as a "waste of money": the Oral B comes with a little digital clock that you can set on your vanity or fix to your mirror. The toothbrush communicates wirelessly with the clock, and while you're brushing the clock counts down 30 seconds for each quadrant of your mouth-- 2 minutes total. You get a little star for each quadrant you complete.

This sounds kind of stupid, I know. The brush itself actually pauses every 30 seconds to let you know when to move to the next quadrant. So you don't need anything else. But the childish part of me likes watching the clock count down, and I like "earning" my stars. So brushing actually is kind of fun!

The brush itself has a rotating head that claims to have "floss action", meaning the bristles actually kind of work in between your teeth to remove plaque. You're still supposed to floss (and I still don't) but it seems to do a bette job than just my toothbrush. The first couple of weeks that you use the brush, particularly if you don't have a good brushing habit already, your gums might bleed a bit. The vibrating brush feels quite a bit more intense than your hand brush, and it takes some getting used to to have this big powerful tool in your mouth.

But, the one thing I noticed is that it does make my teeth "feel" clean each time I'm done. They still don't ever feel dirty, but after two minutes with the power brush, they feel noticeably smoother and shinier.

I find that having a gadget makes me eager to brush my teeth each morning and evening. I still sometimes forget but having a regular brushing spot and a routine that's a little fun (watching the timer, getting the stars) makes it slightly rewarding.

The best thing of all: after brushing with my Oral B for about a month, my dentist was really shocked at how much better my gums looked. A month later she was surprised all over again. She says they're a whole lot healthier now, which also makes the dental procedures easier and less painful. My gums are strong and if they get a little sore, they recover much more quickly.

The brush is not cheap-- mine cost a little more than $100. Brush heads are about $5 each, and last three months, so that's $20 a year in toothbrushes. But even so, the cost of the brush and one year of heads is less than the cost of one extraction.

The last thing I like about the Oral B, or any electric toothbrush: it builds up your "tolerance" for having loud scary power tools in your mouth. Like I said, the first couple weeks you might be a bit sore from using it. Not a lot or for long, but it's a pretty vigorous brushing. However, now I can brush all around my teeth-- even the broken ones, with this pretty powerful tool, and that makes me less afraid of the professional cleanings.

I highly recommend the Oral B to anyone who's looking to improve their brushing habits. Check with your dentist first (if you have a dentist) just in case you have a condition that might not react well to the vigorous brushing. Stick with it and get through the first few times when it feels like you shouldn't have this powerful thing in your mouth. It will help you build stronger gums and a better sense of confidence when you go to the dentist.

And maybe-- just maybe-- it will make brushing a little fun, so you can better remember to do it twice a day.

Due to my phobia, I have the opposite problem: I brushed so aggressively that I caused gingival recession in one area. The most frightening thing about my initial dental evaluation last month was learning that I'm eventually going to need to visit a periodontist for gum surgery, a concept that will take significant money and perhaps even more adjustment time, as I will have to adapt to a new dental team and the idea of undergoing a procedure that seems barbaric. I wish it could be performed under general anesthesia, but I don't think this is standard; also, GA would increase the risks and cost.

Regardless of what my periodontal future holds, I was advised to buy a sonic toothbrush to prevent additional damage. While I knew they weren't a small investment, I was surprised to learn that the brand-name brushes are generally priced in the $100-$200 range. After losing two eBay auctions with maximum bids of $75 (I've occasionally had better luck on eBay with much more rare and interesting items!;)), I was unexpectedly surprised at my independent pharmacy. Waiting for prescriptions to be filled, I went to buy a few other things, including dental floss. There on a nearby shelf was a store-brand sonic toothbrush, including four heads and a UV cleaning system, for approximately $55! I bought it and have been using it for about three weeks, yet am not quite used to it. Also, I still keep my trusty Fuchs manual toothbrush for cleaning the tops of my teeth and brushing my tongue.** With Fuchs toothbrushes, one keeps the same handle and changes the head. . .I should have known I was overbrushing because I was changing the worn-out head once a month, not once every three months!

Brush often and well, but learn a lesson from me: don't brush TOO well.

**You may want to ask your dental office for advice, but if you don't already, I highly recommend tongue-brushing. Years ago (I don't remember where), I read that tongues host bacteria and help encourage tooth decay if they aren't kept clean. At the very least, tongue-brushing helps prevent halitosis! Obviously, think twice about brushing your tongue if you tend to be a "gagger." :p
 
Steve In Cleveland

Steve In Cleveland

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Cleveland, OH (USA)
First quadrant is done!!

Three months and several visits later, the top left quadrant of my mouth is complete! One root canal, two crowns, and an extraction. (The extraction was on #15, my last molar, so I don't really notice it gone.)

For the first time in years, I don't have all kinds of jabbed stumps and pointy bits and gaps that trap food up there. I can run my tongue along all my teeth and they're all smooth and clean and... toothy. It's a little bit weird because the teeth are built back up so there's tooth where there didn't used to be. But it feels GREAT!

Too bad all the damaged teeth were in the back of my mouth, because no one can really see my beautiful new teeth (although on the flip side, no one could see the jagged old teeth either). But actually in the mirror, they look really good-- no more big chunks of metal.

Moving on now to the bottom right quadrant, where #30 is worn smooth down to the gumline, and #31 almost completely gone, too. The opposing teeth, #2 and #3, have actually come out a little to meet the worn-down teeth (apparently this happens sometimes), so that even though there's very little crown left on 30 and 31, the teeth still almost meet.

I had my dentist look at these again both visually and on x-ray, and she still thinks she can build up #30 and put "short" crowns on both to compensate for the lengthened 2 and 3. I'll be so happy when that part of my mouth feels as good as the upper left.

For people who are just starting or haven't yet started their dental journeys, I want you to imagine what it would be like to have your teeth magically restored to smooth and clean and white. Then realize that it's actually possible to get there, and it doesn't have to hurt. However bad your teeth are, there are lots of options out there for fixing them, often without losing any teeth at all. My teeth (the visible crowns anyway) are almost completely not my teeth anymore, but the crowns and restoration I've had done are actually stronger and prettier than the originals.

Just wanted to post an update on my progress and share a little bit of my happiness. Sometimes I just sit and run my tongue along my smooth teeth and smile. I'm on my way....
 
B

blackhound

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
248
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
Re: First quadrant is done!!

Three months and several visits later, the top left quadrant of my mouth is complete! One root canal, two crowns, and an extraction. (The extraction was on #15, my last molar, so I don't really notice it gone.)

For the first time in years, I don't have all kinds of jabbed stumps and pointy bits and gaps that trap food up there. I can run my tongue along all my teeth and they're all smooth and clean and... toothy. It's a little bit weird because the teeth are built back up so there's tooth where there didn't used to be. But it feels GREAT!

Too bad all the damaged teeth were in the back of my mouth, because no one can really see my beautiful new teeth (although on the flip side, no one could see the jagged old teeth either). But actually in the mirror, they look really good-- no more big chunks of metal.

Moving on now to the bottom right quadrant, where #30 is worn smooth down to the gumline, and #31 almost completely gone, too. The opposing teeth, #2 and #3, have actually come out a little to meet the worn-down teeth (apparently this happens sometimes), so that even though there's very little crown left on 30 and 31, the teeth still almost meet.

I had my dentist look at these again both visually and on x-ray, and she still thinks she can build up #30 and put "short" crowns on both to compensate for the lengthened 2 and 3. I'll be so happy when that part of my mouth feels as good as the upper left.

For people who are just starting or haven't yet started their dental journeys, I want you to imagine what it would be like to have your teeth magically restored to smooth and clean and white. Then realize that it's actually possible to get there, and it doesn't have to hurt. However bad your teeth are, there are lots of options out there for fixing them, often without losing any teeth at all. My teeth (the visible crowns anyway) are almost completely not my teeth anymore, but the crowns and restoration I've had done are actually stronger and prettier than the originals.

Just wanted to post an update on my progress and share a little bit of my happiness. Sometimes I just sit and run my tongue along my smooth teeth and smile. I'm on my way....

Congrats on your new teeth! Posts like this are so helpful in keeping the motivation up. I'm working on my first quadrant. In fact tomorrow I go for a crown repair (that bugger has been in there since 1985) and a four sided restoration of the second molar which is chock full of old damaged amalgam. I still don't know what is in store for the other 3 quadrants which is the scary part, but ... onward.

BH
 
N

nervousninny

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
21
You know, I don't even blink when the doc says "root canal" anymore. I applaud your journal and your progress. Slow and steady has been my motto since I started, and I am no where near done. Like you, it's going to take me years, and thats ok. Like you wife said, It does feel good to get started. As someone who has shared your holey mouth experience, I can say keep going to this doc, and keep us updated. Congratulations on taking such big steps and I look forward to reading about your progress!
 
J

jaime

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
Messages
72
Just got done reading your journal (couldn't pass on that title, LOL). What a happy ending after a long battle! :jump:
 
Steve In Cleveland

Steve In Cleveland

Well-known member
Forum Buddy
Joined
Apr 10, 2012
Messages
553
Location
Cleveland, OH (USA)
No more dentists in 2012!!!

It's been 7 months now, and I'm done with dental work for the year!!!

I'm really proud of how far I've come, from being completely terrified of seeing the dentist, to now being able to go in for a root canal and consider it just a bit of a hassle in my day. I can't say I'm completely anxiety-free or that I sleep through my appointments-- I still spend most of the time in the chair with my muscles clenched, waiting for something to hurt. But yesterday's root canal was completely painless, start to finish. I didn't even really feel any "pressure" or discomfort.

Total tally for the year: five root canals, three crowns, and one extraction. I'm taking a break now, and also taking advantage of a HSA (in the US, this is a medical plan offered by many employers, which lets you set aside tax-free money for medical expenses) next year to pay for the rest: one more root canal, one more extraction, and four crowns.

Here's some wonderful things about having fixed up my teeth:
* I don't worry constantly about which bite of food might result in that horrible breaking sound
* I can eat crunchy things again! And popcorn, without worrying about getting a kernel stuck somewhere
* I can run my tongue along my teeth without any sharp jagged bits
* I can brush my teeth, everywhere, with an electric toothbrush, and not fear any painful spots or worry about breaking something
* Commercials for toothpaste and dentists don't freak me out! :jump::jump:
* No more big chunks of metal in my mouth!
* If I have any pain or notice anything wrong with my teeth, I can call my dentist and have it checked out, without panicking.
* No more bleeding gums
* I can smile now without worrying about my teeth looking terrible. (They don't look much different since all my work has been on back teeth, but I still feel better about smiling).

As I left the dentist's office yesterday, I told her, "See you next year!!!" I'm not sure I'll know what to do with myself without almost weekly visits, but I'm sure I'll think of something....


:dance2: :dance2: :dance2: :dance2: :dance2: :dance2: :dance2: :dance2: :dance2:
 
shamrockerin

shamrockerin

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
751
Location
New Hampshire, USA
Hi Steve-

Congratulations for making it so far! It must feel great to be done with all the treatment for a while. I've just read your journal today bc/ the title got to me (my next appt is for a root canal). i am hoping that in a couple months when I log on and create some panic-stricken, anxiety filled post about RCT that you'll chime in and provide your usual reassurance.

Enjoy your break from The Chair!!!!!:dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2:

PS- If you ever read my journal, you'll see that Carole and I LOVE the dancing bananas!!!!!!
 
carole

carole

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Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
7,599
Location
UK
Yep we sure do :dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2:

Steve Congrats on finishing your treatment, for now. I remember when you first came on and was so worried, it must be a lovely feeling to have confidence in your teeth and the confidence and peace of mind it gives you in other aspects of your life.

I am really really happy for you :dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::respect::respect::respect:
 
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