Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tooth Tales of purple goo

I haven’t done a Tooth Tales update in ages, but that doesn’t mean nothing’s been happening. Instead, it’s just that nothing’s been resolved.

The second week in March, I went to the orthodontist for an initial consultation. His initial assessment was that he could get the tooth that’s dropped up a bit, bring the other one down a bit, and slightly closer together. After that, the dentist could apply veneers. The gap would be smaller, but not eliminated.

Yesterday, I went back for the preparation work, which included photos, a few new x-rays, and moulds. Only the x-rays were normal.

The photos began with me standing against a wall, basically for “before” photos. But then he used various plastic spatula like things to pull my cheeks or lips out of the way so he could photograph my teeth from various angles. It almost felt like I was being filleted sometimes.

After that, he applied this purple goo to my lower teeth, which set and formed a mould. Then, he did the same with my upper teeth. It was a weird sensation, because it went in like putty, and came out like rubbery stuff. The frame that held the goo (which, by the way was the largest he had; he said American mouths are larger—he meant physically—than NZ mouths) had a button-like thing he pushed that must’ve raised part of it off my teeth to get some air underneath, making it easier to remove. Each time, though, I was briefly worried it might pull out an old filling.

The oddest thing to me was that the purple goo smelled like grapes, but tasted of absolutely nothing—not rubber, silicone, plastic: Just nothing. It was very odd.

After the purple goo, he had me bite down on some red stuff that was firmer, a bit like fresh bubble gum. It smelled of nothing and tasted of nothing, either.

The orthodontist will take all of that and devise a plan that he’ll tell me about at my next appointment, in a little over a month (between now and then are school holidays, and they’re always very busy times for orthodontists, since it’s mostly kids who get this work done). It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, has changed from his initial assessment.

The week before, I see the periodontist for a check-up, and I’ll be able to ask if he has any concerns before I even hear what the orthodontist recommends. That’ll give me things to ask about once I meet the orthodontist.

And, that’s where things are at. Nothing’s happened, exactly, but then again, things have: This is what needed to happen to see what the orthodontist can do.

This saga will be continued—but with less purple goo.

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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