Sunday, December 18, 2005

Crazy Crown Crackin' Capers

Some of you may know that I had six crowns inserted into my mouth earlier this year ( with more than a few dramas.

Six months later, I thought my gob and everything in it had all settled down peacefully until one recent morning I noticed that two of them at the bottom of my mouth felt very rough. I slowly opened up in front of the mirror which revealed that the white covering had cracked off both teeth. Oh dear, this didn't seem like it was supposed to happen; not when my dentist, Dr T, told me that the crowns' coating was stronger than enamel and should last longer than I would.

A week later I was back in the dentist's chair, looking up the rather too familiar sight of Dr T's nose as he shook his head and tsked-tsked me.
"Have you been wearing your mouthguard?"
"Yes, every night like you told me. Although I have to endure the smirk of Love Chunks each time - it's a sure sign to him that he's not about to strike it lucky in the romance department."
Dr T chuckled, "Yes well, that's what my wife says too-----*ahem* but let's get back to you. Are you sure you've worn it every single night?"
"Yes of course - I've got six crowns, constantly aching teeth and annoyingly regular migraines and I'm rather determined not to get any more."

He flicked off the chair light, took off his serious welding-like glasses and rolled his chair next to me.
"Well, MillyMoo, in twenty three years of dentistry you're only my second patient to have cracked a crown. The first guy had only managed to do it as being a rather mooshed-up part of a car accident when I had to check through dental records."
"Oh," I mumbled, feeling rather like a child being caught wiping a boogie under the desk. "What am I doing wrong then?"
"Clenching. You are clenching your teeth together so hard that it's cracking them. It has also made your top jaw bone very pronounced near the joint and the rest of your teeth loose in their sockets."
"Oh. But I haven't got any fillings, have I?" I said with a weak laugh. In the reflection of his reading glasses, my face looked like a worried potato as I reclined in the chair.
Dr T didn't smile. "This is serious - unless you like the idea of having root canal work done on all of your teeth?"
"But look," I protested, "I'm asleep when this clenching occurs, for goodness sake. How the hell can I control what I do when I'm unconscious?"

He dropped his school teacher-like demeanour at that and thought for a moment.
"Well, I'm going to have to make your mouthguard a lot thicker."
"Oh OK, here it is. I brought it in like you asked me." It looked like a fossilised gob of phlegm in the plastic coin bag it was wrapped in, and he took it with about as much enthusiasm. Peering into the bag with dismay, he nodded, "Yep, I'll just run upstairs and have a chat with Bill our technician about the relevant thickness. Oh and I'll get him to make up a soft mouthguard for your bottom teeth as a kind of buffer. You stay there, I'll be back in a minute."

Marvellous. Two mouthguards. Love Chunks will be wiping the tears of mockery away every night. My bedtime routine was already romance-sapping enough - a huge elephant honk in a tissue before squirting up two shots of Rhinocort spray up each nostril; swallowing some sleeping medication (which is supposed to relax my muscles and prevent any clenching or teeth grinding) and now the 'click clack' insertion of two mouthguards. Oooh yeah, Humina humina humina - keep those babies on you wild child! This was not what we saw in the pre-consummation scenes of any big budget movie and I sure as hell didn't remember seeing anyone such as Angelina Jolie or Julia Roberts waking up with two mouthguards on attempting to make a conversation about having "Sshome eggsh for breakfassht pleasshe."

Before I could wallow in it any further, Dr T stuck his not inconsiderably big grey head around the door: "You know it could be worse. I've got one gentleman patient whose mouthguard is so wide he has to sleep with his mouth permanently open."

Lordy! How many bugs and spiders would that poor guy have eaten in his lifetime? What sort of dog's bottom morning breath would he - and his wife, more importantly - wake up to every day? And how painfully sore would his throat be? Surely you'd rather wear falsies and pop them in a glass beside your bed than end up as a stormwater drain in your own bed.....

An hour later, I was on the bus, tootling back home along North Terrace. I could still feel some tiny bits of the rubbery gel the assistant used to take a mold of my lower and upper sets of teeth. They'd be ready for collection the following week. Oh well, I consoled myself, at least I'll be able to *close my mouth*. In fact Love Chunks would probably like to see that in writing.

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