Wednesday, July 2, 2014

It's the moment of TOOTH

Okay, before I begin my story, let me offer a word of advice to everyone out there. If you're experiencing a toothache or any kind of problem with your teeth or gums, go to the dentist as quickly as you can - DO NOT DELAY! I say this from experience. In the past few years, I've ignored far too many nagging issues with my teeth and gums due to being too busy and hesitant about visiting the dentist, and now... I'm paying for it.

After my preeclampsia and hospital ordeal and now that Arif is home and things have settled down a bit, I decided that I had to have my teeth looked at. My husband found a dentist in PJ New Town and I booked an appointment.

During my first consultation, there was certainly no sugar coating it - I have quite a few major problems with my teeth and they must be corrected one by one. Simply put, I need scaling, root canals, dental crowns and extractions... phew!

This means I'll be visiting the dentist's once a week for quite some time. Plus, there will be a considerable "cavity" in my purse afterwards. But hey, like I said earlier, I have to "pay" for neglecting my pearly whites. I've had three appointments so far, and here's what I've had done.

More after the jump...

1st appointment - Scaling (16 June 2014)

Image via Dr Perrone.
During my first appointment and consultation, I had cleaning/scaling done. Unfortunately, I had a lot of tartar behind my lower front teeth, so the cleaning there had to be extensive. After the treatment, my lower gums were red, bleeding and sensitive (but not in pain). I must admit that since I had the scaling done, I've been too afraid to bite with my lower front teeth. There are all these strange sensations and disturbingly, the teeth feel "loose." 

I read that this can happen after a scaling session. Your teeth become more sensitive because they're now exposed to your tongue, saliva and food. Previously, they were covered by the tartar so they felt less. Secondly, if the dentist cleaned deep into your gum pockets, your teeth will be loose or feel like they're loose. However, after some time, the tissues will regenerate and grab onto your teeth again.

Thankfully, after two weeks, my lower front teeth are feeling much better and more stable :)

2nd appointment - Extraction (24 June 2014)

Image via New Health Guide.

My first pre-molar on the upper-right side has broken off, leaving only the root behind. My only choice, therefore, was to have it extracted. Thanks to anesthesia, the extraction itself wasn't painful, but as expected, there was some discomfort during the more intense pulling and twisting sessions. There wasn't a lot of pain after the extraction either, but there was a little discomfort now and then. I was concerned that the site might get infected, but a week later, things seem to be going fine and there's much less discomfort at the extraction site :)

3rd appointment - Root canal 1 - Part 1 (1 July 2014)

My upper-left first pre-molar had also broken, and like my upper-right first pre-molar, it was previously fixed by a dentist at a government clinic. However, the filling kept coming out, leaving the tooth weaker. I'm uncertain why the dentist at that government clinic never explained to me that the teeth were essentially "dead" and that I needed a root canal to save them. In any case, it's time I had this problem tackled, as it's long overdue.

I've never had a root canal before and it seems to me that most people are of the opinion that it's very painful. Judging from the video above, the procedure does look quite invasive and scary. However, having gone through the first half of it, I can safely say that it isn't bad at all - So have no fear if you're getting one!

Root canals are expensive (mine is costing me about RM1K per tooth) and you need a crown afterwards (an additional RM400). Plus, they're not 100% guaranteed, there is a chance that the procedure will fail and you might have to do another root canal or have the tooth extracted. However, I really want to try and save this tooth, so I'm willing to take the chance. I've also encountered articles that claim root canals are toxic and harmful to health, but I really have to say that I don't believe them.

During my first root canal treatment, the doctor cleaned out my tooth's canal(s) and closed up the opening with a rubbery substance. Next week, she says she will put in metal posts and permanent sealant. After that I can have a crown fixed. I hope all goes well :)

Until my next dental appointment, see ya!

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