I have a patient who recently came in for a new partial denture among other things. We are waiting to do a whole bunch of crowns on her front teeth. This has become a bit of a concern to me.
Not that the work will be beyond my scope. It will be challenging enough to be fun. Six front teeth. A good morning’s work.
What worries me a bit is her dislike for her physical self and this shows up in her attitudes towards her teeth. Or may be the poor attitude towards herself comes from the poor appearance of her front teeth. My profession would have me believe that fixing her teeth will make a significant contribution to her well being. And I hope it will.
But to me, there is something sad about that. She does not even want to look at herself in the mirror. She does not want to look at her teeth. She does not see herself as lovely, as a beautiful person.
I believe that a person who realizes their value as living beings, loved by others and loved by their creator, does not need to have perfect teeth in order to be beautiful. There is a quality that shines out from a deeper place within them that gives them a glow and makes them attractive no matter what their appearance is.
I can’t give this woman that sort of glow. I can’t make perfect teeth for her since she still has a bit of a crooked bite. I can improve what is there but I can’t do the sort of miracle that I think she wants. I think she wants to feel beautiful. I can only do technical stuff. The sense of being really beautiful can only come from a healing at the heart and mind level.
I hope she finds the deeper healing that creates beauty from within. Then she will really smile.
This is too common an occurrence. Two guys, doubt they care much about the state of their dental health although they have underlying medical conditions that should make them more prudent, come in with lost fillings. the most common reason for a lost filling is decay around an old filling so that the structure of the tooth around the filling breaks and it falls out. Kind of like saying the windows fell out of the house when the house has rotten timber. New windows won’t fix the problem any more than a new filling plopped into the hole in the tooth. It requires a major overhaul of the tooth most of the time and sometimes the tooth is just too far gone to save.
The other option is me doing what is commonly termed "herodontics" where I try heroically to save a tooth that has hardly a hope in hell to survive.
So, here I go. Wonder what I will attempt this time.
Waiting for impression to set, waiting for x-rays to develop.
Playing Scrabulous while waiting.
Now I gotta go.
Today the little blighters all cried or screamed. They fought and bit and spit.
Some work got done and some not.
One of those days when I end up exhausted and wondering about the sanity of trying to sedate kids.
I hate it when a day begins in frustration. Crown way overtrimmed. No way it will fit. Retake impression. The patient must wait again.
Maybe it will get better from here on in. I’m an optimist I guess.
Kids sedated with oral versed still cry. They cry for the freezing, for the bite block, for putting on the rubber dam, for the fillings and for the extractions. They lie there all wrapped up tight and cry for that. But we get the work done and mostly they are still.
It was a loud morning this morning but we got everyone done. It is hard to believe that such a loud morning actually went well.
Except for this small pain inside my head – upper left brain. Coffee and ibuprofen should fix that.
I guess this was a first for me – being called this. Not sure that I know quite how to handle that, except that I know who I am and I am not that!
I guess the stress of being a parent and having a child who did not take to the sedation well, was the reason. Not very excusable. And the main reason parents are not allowed in the operating room while a procedure is going on. At the point I was called this, I was struggling to keep the child still so that we could at least get a temporary filling in the partially treated tooth. I did not need to take my attention away from the child to deal with the dad.
Made for a crummy morning all around though.