The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

2:39pm on Thursday, 27th January, 2005:

The Tooth is Out There


Well that wasn't a lot of fun.

I went to the dentist (12:45 appointment, 1:15 consultation) about my ill-fitting palette. She put some carbon paper in my mouth, asked me to bite, confirmed that it was indeed ill-fitting, then went off into her partner's surgery. She returned with a drill attachment that looked like a small, circular rasp, which she proceeded to use on the palette to cut away all the bits marked in blue. This done, she made me do the bite-the-carbon-paper thing again, then she cut away the same areas she'd just cut away before, because my teeth still touched them.

To help with the fit, she also had a go at some of the arc sections so they didn't stand the palette off my teeth so much. This would have been a good idea if these were the parts of the palette that were touching my teeth; sadly, it's such a bad fit that the prongs between the arcs are the true culprits. So now there are these large gaps where before there was palette. They're sharp, too; I'm going to have to file them down.

Would that this were the end of the story...

The dentist put in the resculpted palette and asked if it fitted. I managed to say the "Not" from "Not much" before it fell out. She put it back, had a press around, then took it out and put some stuff on it. She replaced the palette and pressed it tightly. It was then that she decided to tell me that the stuff she'd put on was glue, and that this would hold my palette in place.

Glue? She was gluing my palette in place? So when I wanted to eat and my molars didn't touch, I was supposed to do what? And the sharp edges she'd just given it, I was supposed to avoid these how? Augh!

It was good glue, too. Poligrip, it's called; you can get it in the shops. It certainly stuck the palette to the roof of my mouth. Unfortunately, it stuck rather too well...

When I shut my mouth and my teeth came together, it caused the palette to flex. However, because of the glue, the palette didn't fall out like it would have done before. Great! Except that the palette still flexed. On the way home, it finally flexed and came off the glue. There was this horrible, rough, flaky surface on the roof of my mouth where the glue was left behind. As soon as I got indoors, I went upstairs to brush it off.

It was then that I discovered the awful truth.

The glue that held the palette to my skin hadn't failed: my skin had been torn off. I have a large sore on the roof of my mouth, and 45 minutes later it still makes a paper tissue go red with blood if I touch it with one. Gawd knows how long it'll take to mend; I just hope it doesn't involve a scab...

Next dental appointment is on 9th February for another impression. This time, the dentist is going to ask the palette manufacturer to send a wax version of the palette first, so she can make adjustments to it before commiting to a £100 one. As for the long-term future of the tooth, she's decided a Maryland bridge wouldn't work and a normal bridge would damage a healthy tooth too much, so I'm going to have to have an implant. Wonderful — it'll be months before there's enough bone regrown to implant anything into. She also said that the latest price for an implant at the local specialist dentist is £1,700 but that one of her other patients found a dentist in Dublin that would do it for half price. Dublin? As in, Ireland? I'm going to fly to Ireland for the day to get a tooth implanted? Yeah, right. I think maybe I'd prefer to go somewhere a little easier to get back to if I have problems.

I'm wondering if I can't maybe make a better temporary tooth myself. I don't need all the palette, just enough to keep the tooth in place. Hmm...

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).