}

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tooth sayer

Today I had my first periodontic check-up since my last treatments in April. The short version of the story is that things went pretty well, but there’s more to do. And, that’s all good.

The periodontist says that the areas where I had the flap surgery have done well, and what was expected, but I have one more area where I need it. Basically, my gum has receded in that area and needs to be lifted up. After that, I’ll have a light cleaning in couple areas, then a hygienist appointment at his office. After all that, I head off to the dentist for the next phase.

I have gaps between my rear molars on both sides of my lower jaw. The periodontist believes that food is getting “stuck” there and causing my problems. The solution is to close up the gaps.

The dentist can use composite veneers to close the gap, though one of them is a wisdom tooth and I could just have it extracted instead. I’ll probably go with the veneers.

One of the things I didn’t get a chance to do since April was get to the dentist for an ordinary cleaning and check-up. So, I still need that, anyway, but the main thing is, still, taking care of the disease first.

As for the prettier smile thing that started this whole journey, well, who knows? I still don’t know what’s possible, so I can’t know the best option, either—or, even, if there actually are any options at all. Maybe in a month?

So, the periodontist was happy with my progress, I have FAR less work that needs to be done than at any time in this whole process, and there’s even some closure to all this. Good news.

It’s possible—though I can never know for sure—that none of this would have happened at all if I’d had regular dental care (with a dentist). If it had been included in our national healthcare, I might have been more inclined to do that, though, as I said earlier in this series of posts, my fear of dentists was my big barrier.

The larger point here, though, is that the “ifs” and “if onlys” don’t matter: I’ve moved beyond my fear and dealt with what was a threat to my health and, potentially, my life. I feel very proud of that. Makes me wonder what other fears I might be able to work through.

In the meantime, my next appointment is a week from Friday, and this saga will continue.

The image above is a reproduction from the 20th US edition of Gray's Anatomy, and is in the public domain. It is available from Wikimedia Commons.

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