Monday, November 10, 2014

Abbie's Bridge is Falling Down, Houston We Have A Problem

So I had narrated a tale of dental gore (Rated - R) in an earlier adventure story "Getting My Fang Back and Dental Gore Escape". I had also rejoiced my close shave escape from a deadly sequel - a possible apicoectomy in case of a root canal infection. I also mentioned that the dentist said she needed to bring my bridge down in order to re-do it and give me a new one. This is the tale ...

I was terrified when I stepped into Dr. S.'s office for removing my crown bridge removed. There was a possibility that the ageing root canal could have made one of the teeth loose. Loose teeth cannot support dental bridges; therefore, they need to be extracted. Note: I have never had a single cavity in my life, and this was tooth extraction we are talking about. When they pulled out my impacted wisdom teeth (because they decided not to grow right), I was asleep. So, technically, I was alien to the concept of being shot in the gums with a numbing injection and then having a tooth drilled out. I had braced myself for a tooth extraction.
Dr. S. making a mold of my beautiful teeth
So, Dr. S put on her surgical gloves and took an impression of my teeth first. The impression-taking involves a lot of purple goo that is laid out in a dental mold and that mold is inserted into the mouth and the entire teeth-line of the jaw is sunk into the goo. The goo solidifies and, voila!, all the teeth are imprinted in a mold made from purple goo! 
Dr. S. bringing the bridge down
Next, some serious drilling and cutting began on the dental bridge. It had stayed cemented firmly in my mouth since 2007 but, like everything else in the world, its days of loyalty to me had expired. It was now shaking from over my canine and was ready to fall. This is why Dr. S. wanted to take it down and give me a new one. 
The Crown Bridge Remover a.k.a. Mad Hammer that was thankfully not used on me this time
I had been horrified of the bridge-breaking because back in Pakistan they used this torture tool to break it down. I think of it like something an automobile mechanic would use to lodge into the axles of cars to jack them up while they changed wheels. Only this device would work like a maniac hammer that would lodge close to my gum line in the dental bridge and would hammer like crazy until it broke off. I remember bleeding, and I remember the pain. Dr. S. did not do that. Of course, my dental assistant Lina said that the Mad Hammer would come out if the bridge was insanely stuck but mostly they believed in bringing it down slowly and patiently using cuts and drills. No pain!

But ... there is always a but ... there was a problem. Dr. S. saw that my root canals had been done using some very funny and unknown-to-Mankind technique and she also recommended that I had them retreated just to protect any infections. Uh-oh! Root canal re-treatment means taking shots in the gum to make you numb! Shots in the gum mean needles! Needles mean death! That was my thought process. But when you need to save teeth, you need to save teeth. It had to be done. The good news was that both teeth were solid in their place and did not need to be extracted.

Lina, using the Super Cool Digital Scanner
Meanwhile, Dr. S.'s assistant Lina took some super cool digital scans of each tooth on my lower jaw. The machine was pretty cool. It was talking to Lina and telling her what to do with me. The uncomfy bit was the transponder she was using to probe my teeth. Yikes! It was hard on my sensitive gums, but it was not that bad. Once the scanning was done, the machine put together all the images and automatically created a picture of my entire denture! Another similar set would be done later on my upper jaw so the bite is complete and then the labs would make my bridge in reference to this. 
Dr. S. made a temporary bridge for me and put it in so I would not be a walking horror show. The bridge looks like three teeth by the way, joined together, and fits over two root canal-ed teeth and a toothless spot. The next step in the process was to get the root canals re-treated. 

That is another story ...

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