The tooth battle is lost

At 31 years old, I’m still paying for the mistakes I made as a child/teenager when it comes to my teeth. I refused to use toothpaste because I hated the taste of mint, eventually giving in to a strawberry-flavoured one. Then I only brushed once a day for my entire adolescence. It wasn’t until I looked into getting braces at around 20 years old that I realised the damage I’d done. I had to get a full periodontal clean at the cost of €1,200 (which my parents and grandmother covered). Then I got my braces.

For a few years after that I still wasn’t the best at taking care of my teeth, not even great at wearing my retainer. But then I noticed one of my bottom front teeth was loose so I went to the dentist. I think I only ever saw that dentist once and he splinted my tooth to the teeth on either side of it. Again, it took me another little while to finally knuckle down and see the dentist regularly (every four months) for a scale and polish, and I now wear my retainer every second night in bed.

It was going good for a while until my dentist expressed concern for my splinted tooth and told me back in October that I may have to return to my periodontist. I did not want that but I figured it’d be worth it to have a healthy mouth. When I return to the clinic in February, I had a new dentist. She was much better and easier to talk to and she immediately referred me back to my periodontist.

I attended my periodontist on Thursday last, expecting to find out that I may lose my splinted tooth. But it was worse… I will lose not only my splinted tooth but the teeth on either side of it (three in total). My periodontist informed me that splinting the teeth only allowed them to destroy each other. She wasn’t impressed with my dentist not giving me any options when it was apparent the teeth were essentially in bits. She also didn’t speak well of my orthodontist, but that’s another matter.

My options include either waiting it out for a few years for the teeth to fall out, all the while not being able to bite very well. Or I can have them extracted and replaced with a denture (temporarily) before investing in two dental implants and a bridge.

The battle is lost. I know it didn’t seem like I fought very hard and when I did it was too little too late. I’ve always had a fear of losing my teeth. And as bad as it sounds, people with missing front teeth freak me out. Maybe it was those God awful mouthwash ads that showed people with perfectly white teeth with one missing.

Right now, I’m still processing it but I know I can’t leave them to fall out on their own. Who knows what further damage they may end up doing. Sigh.