Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Of Books and Popcorn and Trips to Sunshine and . . . Broken Teeth? Ah, Not Again!


Yesterday afternoon, after a productive morning writing and working out in our condo gym (slowly getting back to my program after that prolonged cold/illness), I microwaved a bowl of popcorn and got comfy on the couch with this delightful book I picked up at the train station in Chambéry last month. A very enjoyable way to "study," adding to my French vocabulary while being thoroughly entertained.. . .

I posted the photo on Instagram (I know, I know, causing even more legions out there to shake their heads about Social Media where superficial people snap photos of what they're eating and tell the world. My Bad), and settled in to munch and read, read and munch.

In fact, I got right to the bottom of the bowl, just a few unpopped kernels left. Swirling my tongue around my mouth, as you do post-popcorn, to shift some of that kernel coating, move those fibrous bits out from between my teeth. . . and my tongue met something sharp. Something it didn't recognize. Could it just be a big piece of kernel, wedged weirdly? But then why concave? Realization came reluctantly, followed quickly by horror, and I noted, at the bottom of the bowl, a small piece of something non-popcorn-y. Yep. Popcorn is, apparently, dangerous to your teeth.

Now, you might remember about me and dentists. I was very happy with my last dentist -- of whom I was a patient for well over 25 years and to whom I took my four as they grew. But moving pushed me into a different dentist's chair last year, and that was a sad story which you can read here.

I reconciled myself, after that tearful visit, to the new dentist, the new office, and I told myself eventually I might feel nearly as comfortable as I had with my previous dental-care team. But when I phoned just before 5 yesterday, no one answered the phone, and after many, many -- many! -- rings, the voicemail message advised that they were closed, but would be open again on Thursday. A shock to the system for this privileged woman who'd always been fit in, somehow, for a dental emergency.

Luckily, my husband also has a dentist in the city (for the last seven years of his career, before retiring seven years ago, Pater worked in the city all week, came back to the island on weekends -- he fit annual check-ups and cleanings into lunchtime or early-morning appointments) -- I hadn't chosen that office last year because that dentist was almost retired, only practising one day a week, but recently, a young dentist has joined that practice and Pater's been impressed.  Also luckily, I managed to get Pater on his cell late yesterday afternoon, he phoned that dental office -- still open, Whew! -- and they had just had an afternoon cancellation for today.

So . . . . I'll be crossing my fingers until then, and trying to feel grateful that good dental care is available and that, while it will jostle the budget, we can manage it. Trying to think, "Well, isn't this a great opportunity to check out that new dentist." Mostly, mostly praying it's not going to require a root canal (honestly? I've lost track of which teeth still have nerves left, and for all I know this could be an already dead tooth whose crown needs repair (yep, that's my secret, probably very unrealistic hope). Really, really hoping this story doesn't end with extraction, because I've been there . . .

Plus one small complication: We've a flight scheduled for Friday morning -- it's a short trip, just an extended weekend, but it's our very first Warmth in MidWinter trip ever.  Five of my siblings are staying, with their spouses, in the same hotel -- one of those great midcentury places with all units facing onto the pool. We're planning a hike or two, maybe some biking, I've booked an architectural tour, dug out my swimsuits and packed my Birkenstocks. So timing is all.

Wish me luck?

30 comments:

  1. I wish you lots & lots of luck . Many of my parent’s generation had dentures & I can see the appeal of no more teeth problems & no more dentists . Still don’t fancy it though . Chin up
    Wendy in a York

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    1. My dad, a British Merchant Marine from '42, when he was 15, until '52, when he married my mother and settled on the West Coast of Canada, went to a doctor -- in London, I believe, but possibly back home in Middlesbrough, at some point in those 10 years, with a toothache. Not sure how many he'd suffered before that, but he made the decision to have them all out and be done with it. And later loved to amuse us by clacking his false teeth out of his mouth. . . . I can't imagine the trauma of those extractions, especially given the techniques of the day. . .

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  2. OH my - hopefully an easy solution with a nice new dentist.
    I have been with my dentist office for years (first with the older dentist and now with the younger dentist who took over) but still not my favourite place....
    Your get-away weekend sounds good!
    Suz from Vancouver

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    1. Yes, an easy enough solution (costly, but easy enough) and I've found a dental office I liked immediately. . . never be my favourite place either, though ;-)

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  3. Oh goodness! Hope it gets sorted smoothly. Your trip to the hotel sounds so lovely too x

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    1. Not so bad, although I'd rather have new shoes or yarn than the crown. . . ;-)

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  4. Best of luck! I finally had an old broken crown removed (bad dentist put on the crown and then realized I needed a root canal), and I was amazed how easy it was after dreading the process for several years. In my opinion up-to-date dentistry is much improved. I still gag on the goop for impressions, but not much can be done about that.

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    1. I've had enough done that I know it won't be horrid, but I still dread -- legacy of a childhood dentist very miserly with his anaesthetic.
      That goop, though! I panic I might actually suffocate . . .

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  5. I recently had a similar experience...the dentist is such an inportant part of our health care team so I hope that you have found one that will be able to take good care of you.
    Sounds like you might be off to Palm Springs! Such great timing with these gloomy skies...have fun!

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    1. You're a good guesser! Not a place we'd have aimed at on our own, but I think we're going to love the heat and the family time and probably be surprised to find there's more in P.S. than we'd imagined. . .

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    2. Mid-century modern heaven. And lots of great hiking nearby.

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  6. Oh, dear! As one who avoids dentists, I feel your pain. I hope you get the tooth problem resolved and enjoy wherever your midwinter break takes you.

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  7. I wish you lots of luck with the dentist and a nice trip afterwards!
    I had only three (- plus a half-,for a very short time) dentists during all those years,all of them excellent! This one is much younger than me and I wish him long and healthy life :-)
    Dottoressa

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    1. Oh, you're so lucky, and having the younger one now is perfect -- we want their career to take us to the end, by this point -- I don't want to break in a new one in my 80s! ;-)

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  8. I hope this dentist is good and kind and that you have a great winter trip.

    I'd take Xanax to fly anyway so wouldn't even notice my mouth, ha! I hope nothing like that is needed. xox.

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    1. Ha! I chided my last dentist (the one I was happily with for 25+ years) that he'd never even offered me laughing gas, never mind Xanax or Ativan or the like. He just chuckled, asked if I wanted it then, and I ended up living up to my "nervous, but a trooper" good patient routine. Which gets tiresome, to tell you the truth ;-) Sometimes, I think I'd like to be overruled. . .

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  9. This week, the afternoon radio commute show on Radio-Canada Montréal is part of a series all week about the odd fact that our mouths aren't considered part of our bodies in our otherwise generally good universal health system. I believe that the original UK NHS does fund at least some dental procedures.

    Wishing you luck! My teeth are soft and fragile because I had a severe cow milk allergy and there weren't the substitutes and supplements there are now, and I'm a freelancer with no dental coverage - wouldn't dare eat popcorn. I'm trying to find a solution.

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    1. I think it's a reprehensible shortcoming that must end up costing us more in healthcare. For one glorious period during an NDP government, here in BC there was free dental care for children under 13 (i.e. not just those whose families are on Social Services, but also for the working poor), but that was short-lived and it was decades ago.
      Good luck with finding affordable care -- that's very tough.

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  10. Oh, I hope this dentist visit goes well, and the damage is as minor as can be. I had a dentist I loved for decades at my old home, and I otherwise have fears and issues with dentists, and my new dentist in Knoxville had not really earned my trust, aside from poo-pooing the schedule I'd been on before, and if I had to cancel an appointment for cleaning (due to illness, bronchitis once, pneumonia another time) not fitting me in for 5 more months, so I have been searching, or not searching as the case may be. I see a new dentist this week. I hope it works out. And thank you for this. I can apparently pick up dismembered animal parts from my front steps but struggle with something as simple as finding a dentist.

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    1. Oh, I hear you. . . the procrastinating I've done!

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  11. Once I had to have a temporary crown made and put in before the permanent one was ready. This was just before a planned weekend out of town to visit my daughter. The evening before leaving, I was eating sushi(!) when the crown fell off! I was grateful that the dental office was open on a Saturday morning for a half day only. The dentist (not my regular one) was able to see me and reapplied the crown, and I left for NYC. Lo and behold, while eating my first meal there, the temporary crown fell off again. I spent the rest of the trip watching everyone else eat delicious food at some wonderful restaurants while I ate mush or whatever soft food I could find on the menu. Hope you have a better experience!

    slf

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    1. Yikes! That must have been a horrid weekend. I vaguely remember a temporary crown falling off once, but luckily not when I was away from home. I'll be adding another crown to my collection, but no root canal needed...

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  12. Wishing you luck! I had a similar popcorn experience, and was grateful I hadn't swallowed the cap. My dentist was able to get it back on very easily. Hoping the same for you.

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    1. Oooh, that would not have been good, swallowing that . . . and yes, mine will only require money. . .

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  13. Oh...bugger. You have my commiserations and all good wishes for a quick visit, temporary crown and then off for your visit. I did the same with a pack of coconut just before a school residential trip and recognise the same panic. I am predicting no root canal. NO ROOT CANAL.

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    1. Don't even need the temporary crown yet -- tooth just got polished a bit so it's not lacerating my tongue. And your prediction -- and my prayers -- found fruition -= No Root Canal!

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  14. I am so pleased to read of the positive outcome - although my relief is but a pale shade of your own, no doubt! Have a lovely trip.

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  15. Oh my goodness, what a coincidence! I have the same situation! The one true trauma of moving is finding another dentist. There is a great shortage of NHS dentists in the north, and I am trying to register with one - only a 40 mile round trip away. There is a private one very near, but now on a lower income and having been private all these years in Edinburgh I was looking forward to getting some return on my tax contributions at last. Cue trauma 3 weeks ago when I crunched on a whole almond in an otherwise delicious Nigel Slater dish made by my husband, and felt extreme pain from the blunt force. Increasing periodic pain eventually morphed into full blown constant toothache last week - and I still hadn't got the essential call back from the NHS dentist to arrange first appointment, and was unable to raise them. So I did the only thing possible - took 2 days leave from my new job and travelled back to Edinburgh for an appointment at my wonderful dentist there. One root canal treatment half done (round 2 at end of month) and my first month's pay is basically wiped out. Root canal itself wasn't painful - my dentist is that good. Now back to trying to find a dentist up here. Our government somehow managed to reduce dental training places drastically in the 90s, thus creating a shortage, leading to dentists having a seller's market in terms of whether to charge for their services. I fail to see why the NHS allows a free dental market. People wouldn't put up with having to pay to see a GP. Children are free however at all dentists - and mine were still free while they were at university.

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  16. I feel for you. I hate dentists and dental hygienists. But they are necessary and I'm thankful we have a dentist who is competent, fast, and understanding. I hope the same for you.

    Enjoy your get away!

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