Remember when you were in middle school with mouth-full of braces, a retainer or, worse, a headgear? Do you remember being called “metal mouth” and being totally unable to sleep at night with all those contraptions on? Do you remember dreaming of the day when you could finally call it quits and just walk around with only your teeth in your mouth, letting them chomp and chew on whatever your stomach could desire?
Well, I do. And I have to say, it’s been a glorious 17 years of a contraption free mouth. After taking my braces off early because my orthodontist died (long story, we’ll save that for another time) and wearing a retainer for a few months before I gave up in frustration, I’ve come to terms with my crooked smile. Everything was just dandy until one fateful evening at a sushi restaurant (of all places!) in Mont’Kiara this past June.
We were out to dinner with our lovely friends from the IT department: Darby and David (who are in the middle of moving to Taipei, Taiwan this summer) and our colleague Norayr (who will be in Malaysia for another year). I was enjoying a tasty spicy salmon skin roll when I bit down on the right side of my mouth. And thus began the shooting, searing pain.
Being the somewhat lackadaisical and unconcerned dental patient I am, I decided to “wait and see” how the tooth felt for a few days. After a week of being unable to eat on that side of my mouth I finally decided to call the dentist. Unfortunately for me, the wonderful Dr. Eugene was full for the next two weeks (my last two weeks left in Malaysia).
Eventually (after some persistent pestering) I was able to squeeze myself in on the Saturday before we left, only to find out that I had fractured my tooth. Of course because it took me so long to make an appointment (some of that was the receptionist’s fault, but I’m not laying any blame here) he wouldn’t have enough time to make a crown for me. My job was to not eat on the right side of my mouth, and be very careful about not grinding my teeth, until I could get a crown on tooth number 3.
Seeing as I had two months in the US, I figured I would just go in to my parents dentist here and see what she said. Sadly, she agrees I need a crown (does anyone know a good dentist in Bangkok?), but that I can go for a few more weeks if I get a night-guard while I sleep (due to the relentless grinding I started the night after I saw Dr. Eugene).
So now I’m back in the world of dental apparati and it stinks. I’m drooling like a dog all night and my teeth are clamped down so hard on that night-guard just so it stays in my mouth that I’m probably doing more harm than good. And all this just to prevent further injury to the traitorous tooth that couldn’t handle one bite of a spicy salmon skin roll in the first place. What a baby!
So what’s the deal with this whole crown thing? Will I be able to chomp to my hearts’ content after I get one?
Image 1: http://millennium.fortunecity.com/rover/692/data/headgear/brc05.jpg
Image 2: http://www.school-for-champions.com/science/images/x-ray2.jpg
Image 3: http://www.mynewsmile.com/images/dental_crown.jpg