Friday, December 12, 2008

"Lauren's Tooth Exploded"

To: News Team
From: Lori
Subject: lauren out today
12/11/08 7:58 AM

lauren's tooth exploded overnight, so she's in for an emergency fix today. Hopefully she'll feel better, but I'd count on her being out tomorrow as well.


That's the email my boss sent out to my coworkers after I called her at the crack of dawn yesterday morning to ask for a personal day. I think it's hilarious.

My tooth didn't actually "explode" but I have been in excruciating pain for a few days because of a tooth problem and it hit its zenith yesterday.

Many people don't know this about me but I have a fake tooth. It's not so much a fake tooth as it is an inch long bolt in my jaw with a cap on it that simulates a back molar - aka an "implant." Yes, you can tell it's fake if I open my mouth and point it out to you. I got it put in when I was 16 as an anchor for my messed up mouth. I was born without that back molar on the left hand side, but in it's place was one lone wisdom tooth that came in completely horizontal so to fix my bite or something, this bolt was implanted into my jaw.

Since then, it has been nothing but constant aggravation: I have to use a WaterPik to clean it everyday, it has been replaced twice because the first time it was uneven and the second time it was infected... it's sort of a joke in my family that I really do have a million dollar smile.

I started having pain around that area the weekend after Thanksgiving. It began to spread from the tooth, to my jaw line, to my temples, to my whole head and neck as the week progressed. I was terrified because last time this happened, I was 19 and the implant was infected. My oral surgeon told me if it became severely infected again, I could lose part, if not an entire side, of my jaw. Fabulous.

The following Monday, I called my oral surgeon who put the implant in and explained the above story to the receptionist.

"Well, we can squeeze you in on the 22nd and in the meantime, we'll put you on a call list in case someone cancels, okay?" she told me.

"Uhh... I guess. Okay." I said and took the appointment.

By Wednesday night, I was in so much pain that I didn't sleep at all and just kept breaking down. I did manage to read 100 pages in my book though. Finally at 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning I called the emergency number for my regular dentist up here - his cell phone.

He answered right away and I explained to him what was going on.

"Excuse me, your oral surgeon told you to wait two weeks when you're already in pain? That is utterly ridiculous! You come into my office right now and I'll see you right now. This doesn't sounds good."

An hour later I had managed to pick some clothes up off my floor to dress myself - my mother would have thrown up if she had seem my appearance, I was a mess - and was sitting in the dentist chair.

Between my dentist's snide comments at what a horrible person my oral surgeon must be (he's actually a wonderful guy and probably isn't even aware that his receptionist turned me away) my dentist gave me the news: I needed a root canal on the tooth in front of the implant and the implant itself should come out.

A root canal?!? At 22?!? Apparently, it's quite common in ages 18-24, my dentist tells me. "Basically, a root canal fixes a crack inside your tooth, which you can get from something as simple as biting down on a piece of hard candy or ice."

I can also say that I was so happy to hear my implant was coming out I almost cried. It seems an inch long bolt is way to long for someone with my mouth size, "Almost all of the implants I see nowadays are half that size or smaller," my dentist tells me, "it's too close to your nerves and thats why you're having pain everywhere."

Mystery solved and plenty of vicodin and amoxicillin taken, I'm on my way to being on the mend - still having a numbing pain but floating at least. I was in bed by 8 p.m. last night and this morning I am back to work, just very groggy and somewhat out of it - much to my coworkers' amusement. Root canal scheduled for the 17th and what should be my final implant surgery ever is TBD soon. I've never been more excited about an upcoming dentist appointment.


Jess said...

Well that sounds like boatloads of fun! Haha orrr not...hope you get everything fixed!

Brandon said...

Lauren, I hope you're tooth doesn't explode. There was an episode of stargate where some religious suicide bomber had an explosive tooth. Richard Dean Anderson stopped him of course.