I’m not great with dentists. I have a pathological fear of them.
It’s all that oral prodding and poking, the high-pitched whirring of the drill, the smell, the pain. So I avoid them… like the plague.
But as I’ve broken my teeth and smashed my mouth up, I have no choice but to ignore my fears and go and see one.
And like many fears, when you face them it’s nowhere near as bad as you expected.
My dentist turns out to be charming, considerate and understanding. Very experienced and informed to boot. Not the devil incarnate.
But my teeth are in a bad way. My two front teeth have been pushed back into my mouth during my hospital accident so that I find it hard to eat and speak.
He injects me with a local anaesthetic as my gums and lips are still terribly swollen. He tries to manually pull my teeth forward as the injury is still relatively fresh and succeeds to a degree, but the cap and the peg it is attached to are fucked. They’ve been irrevocably broken by the impact of my face slamming against the toilet floor. They fall out so that I now have a massive gap where my front tooth once was. Just wonderful.
The other cap seems OK but it may also have a fracture. And it’s about 2mm or so back from where it should be in my mouth. Not much but a chasm in dental space.
First, the good news. My lips and gums should heal up soon. The rest of my teeth are actually OK and haven’t been damaged at all by the fall. They could use a visit to the dental hygienist though, which I book straight away.
Now the bad news. The dental treatment consist of two parts:
- Try and move the remaining capped tooth back into place using a temporary denture with an adjustable spring attached to it to gently move the tooth back into position over the next few weeks. There’s no guarantee that this will be successful. But we’ll ‘cross that bridge when we come to it’.
- Replace the missing tooth either with a permanent denture (I don’t think so), a bridge (but this would be weak) or a dental implant (which means another operation and many months of treatment).
- At the same time, replace the crown on the remaining tooth with a new one.
All of the solutions have their pros and cons and vary wildly in price. But I opt for the implant even though it’s the most expensive and means more pain, swelling and time. And loads more visits to the sodding dentist, which I can’t stand. First though, I have to heal up some more before we can take moulds and fit the denture. Whoop-de-fucking-doo.
Things Will Never Get Better
Talk about annus horribilis. 2015 is turning out to be the worst year of my shitty life by far since my dad died when I was a kid. And there’s been some heavy shit before and since then as well.
I book my next dental appointment and leave. I can’t begin to tell you how I feel. Low just doesn’t cover it.
I feel that my life is OVER. Things always get worse so what’s the point of continuing. It would be SO MUCH easier just to stop now; to end this living nightmare. Cancer; sarcoidosis; a son with special needs; a mother with Parkinson’s Disease who’s also been convicted of violent child abuse against my sister in the late 60s; and now months of painful dental treatment which may or may not work… Honestly, what is the point of living when this is what I face?
I couldn’t help but cry at my plight. Not out of self-pity exactly. More at the enormity of the challenge facing me and my battered resolve to take it on.
As you may have guessed, I felt suicidal. Taking my life had never seemed more relevant to me; more the obvious course of action. Strangely, what most people see as very unnatural seemed a very natural idea to me. Not remote or ethereal; nor frightening or immoral.
The hows and whens were already beginning to coalesce in my mind.