January 10th, 2007


Bridge Breakage...

I have a Maryland Bridge in the front of my mouth... top just left of the two front teeth... I lost a front tooth in college through a small accident.

It's just a small bridge that fits against the backs of the two neighboring teeth. It doesn't destroy those teeth, it fills in a hole that's been there for more than two decades, and it covers up a gap in my gums and is over a pretty good hole in the bone of my jaw there from having a tooth missing for that long.

This is actually the second Maryland bridge I've had, and it was installed in 1999 because the implant technology back then wasn't good enough to fill in the bone gap I have in that part of my jaw, yet. I'm going to probably reconsider that now, as I hear that the bone growing abilities have just gotten much better in the last couple of years.

But one of the hazards of the Maryland bridges is that they fall off. There really isn't *that* much surface area for the bridge to use to stay on. So the connections can slip and crack and one wing or the other will just come off the surface it's glued to.

I hate it when it happens. Because it usually happens unexpectedly. And I anticipate it with some dread simply because it's a change and I hate feeling it loosen and my whole mouth kind of goes "Agh! Things are changing too fast..." I think it actually happened Saturday night, when I bit into one of the spareribs, but I kind of ignored it as I didn't want it to "just be in my head" (though my present dentist, who has a good sense of humor often says, "Well... it *is* all in your head..."). Last night, though, it was obvious that the gum on the left anchor tooth was very, very unhappy, and after eating a Clementine it was obvious something was squishing about in there, and the acid from the orange was NOT making it happy. At all...

So this morning, I called my dentist and he had a completely full plate for today (snow coming in Tomorrow and Friday) but told me to come in anyway. He worked me in between the other patients and got it all good again for just $22.50 on top of my insurance. Wow. I am very sore in the mouth, lips, and jaw from holding open so long and from the acid he used to etch the teeth as it went all over my mouth when he rinsed the surfaces off. No Novocaine was necessary for this surface work, another advantage of this thing. The other anchor tooth is kind of unhappy, too, as we had to whack it pretty hard to get the *other* side to come undone so that we could glue the whole thing back on thoroughly.

But now that it's finally come off after nearly eight years (usually, they stick for 3-5 years at the longest), I'm probably going to peer at implants and see what they can now do for me. Because, usually, if the bridge falls out once it's more likely to fall out sooner the second time and with this fast a glue-back, I'm pretty sure he didn't straighten it out or do much detailed adjusting to make sure it would be solid. But it's good enough for now and for me to not worry. Whew...
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Cranky Momma

Last night, after I'd discovered the break I was worried and feeling very grumpy and Jet was merrily nattering on about something, and I grumped, "Momma is cranky."

"You are NOT cranky, Momma."

"I am. I feel really grumpy and cranky right now, Jet."

"Ah," said Jet in that voice of enlightenment. "You feel grumpy, you're not acting grumpy."

"It's true. I'm not yelling at you or anything." I say, feeling not much better, but at least good that I'm not doing what I well know I shouldn't.

"Yeah. I don't like it when you yell at me." Said the boy contemplatively.

"Yeah. I don't like it, either." And we nodded together.

"So you're not being cranky, you just feel cranky."

"Yeah. I guess you're right." And for no real reason I felt a lot better.