Thursday, August 04, 2011

The teeth fit

kw: photographs, dentistry

I had a routine dental cleaning today, and the dentist asked me to take home the models from my most recent crown fitting. I'm supposed to keep them at least a year, in case something goes wrong and a re-fitting is needed.

I am (or my mouth is) #C134. It is interesting that the upper and lower sets fit together so well. It is something I'd been able to feel, but now I can see it. By the way, these are upside down. The upper jaw model was mounted on a base, so I put it downward and set the lower jaw model atop it.

The crown post is the second molar, the clear gap at upper right. The ordeal of getting the crown fitted took three months, because the trigger for all this was when a large corner broke off the tooth in April. The fitting for a crown added to the irritation the tooth felt, and it got "hot", where it hurt all the time. Somehow the temporary crown slipped a little early on, and a seed got under it, so I went back in a lot of pain. At that time, the dentist already had the permanent crown ready, but we both were reluctant to put it on permanently, because if the tooth stayed bad, getting a root canal would be very much harder after that. So in early May he put on the permanent crown with temporary cement.

Things were immediately better, but not all the way. The tooth was temperature and pressure sensitive, and had a tendency to just hurt for an hour or two at a time, so I was using a lot of Ibuprofen. At a visit to the dentist we decided to keep waiting, to see if the tooth would become painless. It did, and in July he pulled off the crown, cleaned the post, and re-set it with permanent cement. Then I made an appointment for today's cleaning.

That may sound like a lot of trouble, and it is, but the process of getting my very first crown pain-free was even more drawn out, 25 years ago. This is the fourth crown, and numbers 2 and 3 were a whole lot less trouble, though #3 did require a root canal, but that was because of decay.

Enough of such things. May your teeth be strong, your bite solid, and your eating painless all the days of your life!

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