Sunday, November 16, 2008

Crown of Love

I almost forgot that six months ago I made an appointment to finally get my crown fixed - meaning: replaced.

Since the day I got it, over a decade ago, it's never fit the way it probably should have. My dentist(s) confirmed this for me. Mind you - not the one who originally placed it. That guy was a prick. Sure, he 'catered to cowards', but he was still a prick.

The placement was as such that you could drive an SUV through a gap. Everything I've ever eaten in the last 10 years has had to be flossed right out of there. It is why I keep floss at home, in my car, at my office and in my computer bag/brief case. If I were ever stuck on the tarmac, I could probably find some nourishment between my lower left molar and whatever tooth used to be next to it.

So Dr. Dorothy finally convinced me to have it fixed - all for the low low low out of pocket payment of $225. I can probably save that in floss in the first 18 months.

But when the day came (yesterday), I was a little worried - and almost canceled. They were gonna pop that sucker off and I was afraid of what they would find underneath. So much so, that I don't think I slept much of the night before. Would what little tooth was left be decayed? Would it really be a root canal waiting to happen? Would they find Jimmy Hoffa or worse - remnants of food I've eaten?

My understanding of the "procedure" was, they would just pop it off, clean it up, make a new impression and then put on a temporary crown.

I guess that's what they did - but not without some complications. I mean, hey - it's me!

It started off with three (THREE!) shots of Novocaine. I didn't think there was supposed to be any. The entire left side of my head and face were numb. I'm down with that!

The quick pop-off? 38 minutes!!!!!

So much for a quick process. The guy who originally put it on was like nothing that Dr. D and any of her staff had ever seen. No, it didn't really come off. They had to drill it off - in pieces. Break it into little bits. Oddly enough, this could have put the old Blobby and his dentist phobia right over the edge. But with no pain and the iPod on, I was just closing my eyes and trying to relax. It's all in the breathing, as I found out.

Keeping my tongue out of the way of the drills was my biggest issue. Who needs a drill bit going through that? Not me! At one time, there were four hands in my mouth. I hadn't had something like that since my last visit to the backroom of the Chicago Eagle!

But finally it was all off and I got a 10 minute break while they checked on their other patients. It gave me a chance to take some self pics and Twitter them while I killed time.

Yeah - if there were any doubt I'm going to end up looking (more) like my father - look no further than here. Though up above image, I look like I have contracted Bells Palsy. (ok, it was just the effect of the Novocaine and a missing crown.)

The team came back in to clean up any decay around the partial tooth. That was the most disgusting part. Did it hurt? No. But the smell !!!!!!!!!! UGH! Apparently the anaerobes hitting oxygen and the drill/scaler combined stirred up odors I cannot describe. I'll assume it's like opening a casket after 4 years and getting a good whiff!

Overall, I was in a good mood and joking with the dentist and assistants. I mean, what a shitty job they have. I'm sure most patients are not in a good mood or have a nice thing to say. We had many a laugh in the time I was there.

I got one more break between them taking impressions of my tooth, so they can make me a new porcelain faux-tooth. Here is me again getting the impression done.

Naturally, I was busted taking the pic. They had to leave me alone for 3-4 minutes for the mold to set, so I snapped away. But they came in while I was taking some. They just laughed and laughed at me. Apparently, I was the first one they have known to do this.

It only took two hours, but I was finally out of there - at least for a few weeks, until I get my "permanent" crown. Mind you - it took another three hours to get feeling back in my face.

Song by: the Arcade Fire

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