Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Shaking on the Inside

I feel sick to my stomach and it would take very little to make me begin to cry. When I look at my hands, they are steady but inside I'm trembling. I should be hopeful but there have been too many glitches in the past four and a half months to keep me from feeling that way. Instead I'm scared, perhaps not to death, but closer to that than I would like to feel.

My two bottom front teeth were pulled in early April and it is only now, in early August, that they may be replaced. This has been a time of inertia. I finally even stopped writing because all that came to the page was my missing teeth. There are places I haven't gone, people I haven't seen, and things I haven't done because I have felt disfigured.

It doesn't matter that friends have said they haven't noticed the gap in my mouth. The most difficult thing I have done perhaps ever was to leave the house and speak to people without clapping my hand over my mouth. And yes, people have noticed, in the same way that I in the past have noticed other people's missing teeth, with a mixture of pity and revulsion.

At first I castigated myself for being vain but that isn't really fair. This has been like walking through the world with any sort of visible disfigurement; it's not like leaving the house without wearing eye makeup. The best that could be said was that this was temporary; the worst is that it was not temporary enough.

Other people have said they have friends and family who have gone through the same thing, with a gap in their mouths for months. It seems to be normal dentistry. But if that's true, this is a profession that needs serious revamping.

There is a temporary disposable denture for these situations. I've read about it in Dentistry Today. Apparently my dentist has not, since she insists that any denture used in the beginning will then become the permanent one. I've stopped discussing it with her, but if I ever see a dentist again, that will be at the very top of my agenda before submitting to care.

I have gone to this office before, eager to have a permanent crown or this same damned denture put in my mouth, only to learn that something else went wrong and there will be another delay. This is why I'm shaking now. If I go tomorrow and learn once again that this isn't ready, I am truly afraid that I will hurt someone.

Wish me luck, please. If all goes well, I'll be smiling, if I can only remember how.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

"This has been like walking through the world with any sort of visible disfigurement; it's not like leaving the house without wearing eye makeup."

Exactly so! And that feeling is isolating and intimidating. It feels like shame only there is no reason to be ashamed. Nothing we have done on purpose led to this "different-ness. I came away with a sense, just a sense, of what someone who is permanently challenged must learn to cope with.

I have yet to work up the courage to go to the dentist and I know I must. I wish you victory tomorrow! And I hope to read how it went. A smiling picture will do the job.