Friday, January 06, 2006

The Czech Crown

I went in today for the first work on my first dental crown. Having never had one before, I was nervous (and of course, who likes to go to the dentist in the first place?), but the dentist and her assistant have a very good chairside manner and explained everything in detail. They remembered that I didn’t want anesthetic, and said that I was welcome to change my mind at any time.
First they made an impression of my jaws with green alginate. This was not bad at all, even taste-wise.
Next, they replaced a lost filling (which I had mistaken for a piece of tooth, since it was white). This must have been the easiest filling or filling replacement I have ever had. It was barely even uncomfortable, apart from that I hate having my mouth stuffed full of dental equipment. Unlike at home, they conferred at some length about the precise shade of off-white it should be.
After a rinse (something I appreciate and haven’t gotten in the US for many a year, as American dentists believe it is enough to vacuum out the spit), we went on to the matter of filing down my broken molar for the crown. This too went very smoothly, and while I detest listening to the drill, I think the technology has improved vastly, because it always seems to go faster and faster, with less and less vibration. There was only the occasional mild flash of pain; I barely had to remind myself to relax.
"You must have a very high pain threshold," said the dentist after I assured her it had barely hurt at all.
"No, not at all," I said. "If I stub my toe, I feel like I am going to die on the spot." (It has been my experience that some pain is easy to tolerate and some is very difficult. I am very bad about anything that lasts.)
Finally it was time to push back my gum from the tooth to make the impression for the permanent crown. This was not especially painful, but here we ran into some trouble. Apparently my gum was irritated and wanted to bleed, which would make the impression imprecise. We waited a while for things to settle down, and actually I was hardly spitting out any blood at all, but it bled again on the second try. This meant I was going to have to come back on Monday, but in the meantime my temporary crown could go in.
My gums do have a tendency to bleed when poked at and abraded, so it did not seem strange to me that they would bleed after more than an hour of dental work. We will just have to hope that they restrain themselves on Monday.
In the meantime, I am allowed to eat almost normally, but I think I will try to stick to soft foods without little seeds. This could be rather monotonous since most of the soft foods I eat here do have seeds of one kind or another (yogurt with strawberries, yogurt with raspberries, atd). Perhaps a series of omelets will have to suffice, assuming I do not use cheeses with caraway seeds or peppercorns.
Just imagine me in that chair...

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Blogger Kristen said...

You're a very brave woman! Thankfully, there is the Russian-American Dental Center here if I run into trouble. I hope things go well on Monday...

January 06, 2006 7:14 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

I suppose they will. Presumably the worst is now over. (But I am rather worn out.)

January 06, 2006 8:52 PM  

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