Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The denture adventure continues

I'm so, so proud of myself.

Yesterday's tiny gain could have sent me right straight to McDonald's for something fried and fat or to Tiny Kroger for a delicious bakery creation for breakfast yesterday. I didn't eat breakfast before I went to the dentist, which is unusual, and maybe it was in the back of my mind that I'd grab something fast and yummy between the dentist and the oil change appointments. But I didn't. I'm not sure if skipping breakfast is better than eating something yummy, but I chose to skip.

The dentist appointment went great. HAD IT NOT, you can bet I would have been diving for doughnuts. But this try-in was perfect and looks good, better than I ever expected.

For anyone out there who may not know, I've been on an upper denture adventure since last June. I went in yesterday for the second third try-in. We're starting from scratch. Again. (I had two try-ins with the first set of dentures and they STILL didn't work.)

Here's what happens at my dentist's when your natural teeth fall out and you have to get replacements (some practitioners do immediate dentures, mine doesn't):

  • The dentist extracts any remaining natural teeth.
  • You go home and hide for six to eight weeks. BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO UPPER TEETH.
  • After complete healing of your gums, you go back to the office to have an impression made.
  • You go back again a few days later to have a bite impression made. 
  • The dentist sends the impressions off to a lab where they make a fake set of dentures out of wax.
  • You go back again to try out the wax model. If it looks good and feels good and fits well, then …
  • The dentist sends it back to the lab for the real deal to be made.

When you live in the Middle of Nowhere, each step in the process takes about a week, after the healing period. The dental lab is two hours away by car, but two DAYS away by UPS. So, two days to deliver, a day or two to make, two days to return.

When I found out yesterday the lab was only two hours away, I volunteered to take the wax model to the lab myself, to save some time. We're going away this weekend and by making the four-hour round-trip drive yesterday, I will have have the new appliance Thursday. Instead of next Monday.

You don't know how I dreaded meeting up with our friends and eating in restaurants with the current set of upper dentures. They look HORRIBLE and they fit badly and they give me a headache and I can't eat with them. I envisioned a weekend from hell, truly.

My dentist was happy and I was happy and I left his office with my future happiness tucked in a little box. I still had to get the oil changed, so I left the car and called my husband and TOOK A WALK. It was only about 22 degrees, but I had a little excess energy I needed to get rid of. My husband came to town, left his car and went with me to the big city of Dunbar, WV.

We dropped the box off, were triply assured that it would be back at my dentist's office Thursday and went to lunch. At a Chinese buffet. Probably not the best choice, but when we do that we don't eat dinner. And it was Monday, my "free" day, the one day of the week when I give myself permission to exceed the calorie limit and not exercise. (By my estimate, I didn't even exceed the calorie limit. Yay, me!)

We made it back to Summers County by mid-afternoon, I dropped him off at his car and then … are you ready? … I took ANOTHER walk. It was warm and pretty and I wasn't about to waste a nice day. Combined with the morning walk I ended up logging 4.33 miles in an hour and 22 minutes. A pretty good pace, all in all.

I'm hoping to wrap this adventure up Friday morning and never speak of it again. And if it makes you squirmy that I'm speaking of it now, I apologize. I would have loved to have found someone's personal experience with the process to read as I was going through it, and that's the reason I'm spending so much time on it. My dental problems are the result of genetic bone loss, not poor hygiene, but people tend to assume that if you have dentures you never brushed your teeth. NOT TRUE! Sometimes it's just one of those expensive, painful, frustrating, almost never-ending life situations that happens.

And you've just finished reading a rather long PSA. Thanks for your patience. I hope I've helped. Heh.

2 comments:

denise said...

So glad the new model fit well. Few things are as trying as dental issues...says the girl with a bad bite and many dental challenges. I guess for some people it's no big deal, but that's not you or me.

The last time I got a bite guard, the dentist prescribed a muscle relaxer for me to take the night before so my jaw would be less tight. I thought it was a little bit much, but it turned out it seemed to work!

Just found out yesterday that from now on - until forever - I need to take antibiotics prior to dental procedures. This because of the knee replacement...who knew. They said I'll need the antibiotics prior to any "dirty" procedures which includes all dental work (yes, even cleanings are apparently dirty!) and OBGYN exams and, "you know, all dirty procedures" said the PA at my ortho's office. Guess I need to read up on what qualifies as a dirty procedure ... Sigh ... It's always something!

Hope everything comes off on schedule Thursday and that the fit is perfect!

Vickie said...

Very glad things are going better with the dentures. I have found it very interesting. Hopefully it never applies to me/mine, but still grains of knowledge that I tuck away for safe keeping. I think I mentioned before that my mom is in full dentures. She has had them my whole life (either got them when I was a baby or before I was born, she was 20 when I was born, I do not know the cause). I am not actually sure if they have had to be replaced, she never talks about them, my kids probably do not even know she has them, I never think about it (actually, since it has been her norm my whole life). I think in one of your posts when you were talking about the fact that your issues are genetic, you mentioned that this (dentures, dental issues) is common for alcoholics. Am I remembering correctly? And what is the cause behind that please?

I had one winter where I tied walking with picking up afternoon carpool. Mine was on the treadmill at the gym which was just down the road from their school. There was a woman who parked in her pick up spot early and then ran her course, ending up back at school just as the kids were walking out each day. Motivation for consistent time if there ever was one. I had kids at that school for 16 years. I can't remember what time frame this was. But I have often thought of her.