Friday, November 16, 2007

A GRINDING HALT

Yesterday I had a dental appointment, for the usual: cleaning, check-up, polishing and verbal flogging for not flossing my teeth 18 times a day. I know I may catch some flak here from a lovely friend of mine, who just happens to be a dental hygienist (ya ya, you heard me... 18 times a day!). ANYWAYS, everything was wonderful. Teeth looked good, I got a pink toothbrush (LOL).... and then the dentist came in to do a look-over.

And he delightfully told me that I'm grinding my teeth down too much (which I knew, I'm a habitual grinder). I told him last time I came in, I got fitted for a mouth guard (which I hate by the way). He told me that doesn't stop the grinding problem, which I agreed since my guard is almost ground through. Apparently I have lost 5 mm of teeth! Now, in retrospect, that may not sound like a lot. Apparently it is a lot. Not to mention I have a SEVERE overbite. In fact, if it was any worse, my top teeth would be jaunting out of my chin. Again, they mention that I should really get a splint for my mouth, to help correct my overbite and my jaw. Last time I was in, it was $1,500.00. This time, it's $2,500.00! Shit!!!

The reason it went up a cool grand was because they got a new computer program that does your dental and facial mapping. It assesses where things are now, where they should be, and how to get from Jaw A to Jaw B. This is where the splint would come it. It would force my jaw open. He then tells me it will make me look younger. HUH? Dude I just turned 32!!!! Sensing I was not impressed, he then goes on to tell me if I don't fix this, I'm going to grind to the point of cracking my teeth, loosening them, and eventually needing dentures. He said not a problem now, but think in 10-20 years. Do I really want to be gumming creamed corn out of a can?????
On top of it all, eventually I will have to have composite added to my rear teeth to build them back up again, and even.... SHUDDER... braces!

This brings me to my next point... why the hell didn't my parents get this figured out and fixed when I was a kid??? Would've been a lot easier and actually covered by their dental plan. Now that I'm some old bat with an overlapped jawline (LOL sorry but I'm bitching about that), my insurance considers it "elective". OK, so let me get this... they can pay for this now OR they can pay for me having all my teeth fall out and getting replacements? Makes sense to me!

Until then, I suppose I'll just keep up with my daily grind. Irony is Karis is a night grinder too (she sounds like she's grinding concrete). I'll be sure to bring this up at her check-up next month so she's not 32 one day and wondering why the hell she's dealing with such a mess.

8 comments:

TK's Having a GIRL! said...

Didn't you know? Anything preventative is elective now! :( Stupid insurance companies! :( I have a similar (though not as bad) problem that my parents were starting to correct then I got vain and said I didn't want braces in my wedding pictures. Oh how I wish I hadn't been so stupid! Good luck!!!

tulipmom said...

What a pain, Elle!

SB and I are both big-time grinders. My dentist has suggested a mouthguard a number of times and I've blown it off. Your post is making me rethink the whole thing.

Maddy said...

Don't even get me started on the subject of teeth! I think my teeth are now worth more than the rest of me put together.
Cheers

MedStudentWife said...

Not being a dentist or anything, I'd recommend you get a second opinion,if you can.

Janis said...

WOW your dental hygienist friend bugs you about flossing your teeth? I'd tell her to floss off!

hehe...

It can be somewhat "normal" for kids to grind their teeth. If she continues after her adult teeth come in then she should have the splints made up to protect them...

I don't think the cost is too far fetched. I know it sounds RIDICULOUS but here you get sent to a specialist and that's about the cost you're looking at...look at the splint as the "ANTI-DENTURE"

:D

Twisted Cinderella said...

Sorry that sucks! I have TMJ, I feel your pain.

Jenny said...

Wow! 5 mm worn down - that's crazy! I hate those mouth guards too.

I'm a clencher and my son is a grinder. I have to mention it at his next appointment too. And I haven't been told that all my clenching has worn my teeth down, it's just caused TMJ. Insurance isn't great about covering that either.

Scattered Mom said...

That is just nasty. :( I had braces for three years as a kid, 8 adult teeth removed, the works. It wasn't pleasant; although my teeth are fine now. My parents were told that If they didn't do it when I was a kid I'd be in the stituation you're in now.

*sigh*All I can say is...OUCH. You have my sympathies!

PS...I've tagged you for a meme!