Friday, July 2, 2010

"Fijese que la Fractura es grande..."

Sigh... I can never win. Here I am in Central America, enjoying the sights, sounds and of course the food. Prior to my trip, I had done everything-required shots, travel meds, dental visit and cleaning... you name it.

One day, I happened to bite into an Oreo-type cookie that they sell here. I immediately felt something hard, and spit it out to take a look. Geez, it looked like bone, but what would a piece of bone be doing in a cookie, right? As I swirled my tongue around in my mouth I felt a very sharp tooth-much sharper than it should be. A visit to the nearest mirror confirmed my worst suspicions-my tooth had broken.

The piece I held in my hand was pretty darn big, and from what the mirror showed me, the entire back section of a molar had given way and broken off. While the piece was not rotted, it did look like a small hole was in the tooth, contributing to the weakness. Surely the $400+ cleaning and Xrays I had done at the end of May would have shown this, but the dentist never mentioned it. He did mention a cavity in ANOTHER tooth, but not this one. As you can see above, the piece is as big as the end of a pen-and it's a pain in the butt to try to eat with that side of my mouth now.

Hubby's dad had suggested a dentist that worked on Tues and Thurs evenings in a small building outside the chicken plant. I had visions of a wrinkled old man who smelled of chicken manure pulling out my tooth using rusty pliers. Lucky for me, both times we visited, he wasn't there.

Yesterday we went to a dentist who my brother in law uses. The office was clean, he had an assistant who was very nice, and he himself was very nice to look at too ;) He spoke some English, and could write it as well. I scoured the wall for diplomas, etc... something showing he'd had an education in dental procedures before I let him touch my teeth lol. After seeing the framed diplomas and scanning the office for cleanliness, I sat down in the chair. First up, the Xray. Similar to home, the assistant placed the xray in my mouth, pointed the machine to where she wanted it, and Voila! Within a few moments, the dentist was holding it up to the light and examining my broken tooth while shaking his head. This wasn't going to be good...

"Fijese, Dona Michele, que la fractura es grande" he murmured, before he told me to open up again and peered into the recesses of my mouth. I mentioned that I would like to save the tooth if possible-and he said it could be done with a root canal and a crown on top for 2500Q, (around $300 our money-def. a bargain) but since I was leaving on Tuesday, there would not be enough time to get it done. An extraction was mentioned, which would be cheaper, but if I could save the tooth, I should do so. I looked around for any sign of gas or something to put me out should they want to yank the tooth. (since this thing is most likely coming out in pieces, I knew it would NOT be painless and I am a wimp as far as dental pain goes) Finally, I just told him that a temporary filling should do it. He agreed, and said it should last a month or two until I can get it done at home.

So I endured 3 shots of novicaine and a drill (which did produce some pain) along with what looked like plaster being shoved into the mouth to form a tooth. Yesterday in the market, I watched with envy as hubby and his brother ate tacos and other goodies while I was confined to soft stuff and was too sore to eat anyways. Aside from being extremely jealous as they were chowing down, I wanted to make sure that I ate soft stuff for the next few days AND chewed on the opposite side of my mouth too.

This morning, I decided it was time to eat. I heated up a few of the chile rellenos I had gotten yesterday in the market (they are soft and perfect to eat with tooth pain lol) and proceeded to eat my meal. All was going just fine, and I was extremely engrossed in the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup game with my father in law when all of a sudden I noticed something hard in my mouth. It couldn't be... he'd said it would last a month! Sure enough, the whole filling he put in as a temporary restoration came out of my tooth and I sit here now with a huge, gaping hole wondering what on Earth to do next.

Everyone says to go back to the dentist and have him fix it... and while he was extremely nice to look at, I am not quite sure if another temporary restoration would be the answer. As long as no infection is present, I am going to go with chewing on the other side and waiting for a visit with my specialist back in the States. I could always go to Antigua or to the city (we are in the city but on the outskirts) and get something done there, but with my daughter's party on Sunday I definitely don't want a swelled up cheek due to an extraction... ïf things get pretty bad, my father in law is already talking to one of his friends who has a friend who looks at teeth in his spare time... um, they say good things come to those that wait, and in this case, I definitely believe waiting is a GOOD thing.


Expat Mom said...

Yikes! That's scary. I hate, hate, HATE going to the dentist, it always involves a lot of pain and now I actually have panic attacks about my teeth (which are not in good shape these days). I hope you can fix it quickly back in the US!

Is it common to have knockout gas in the US? That's totally what I'm looking for next time. :D

Misfit Momma aka Missy said...

Ouch, I hate the dentist too and my teeth are proof of how much I avoid going :( Hope you can get it fixed!