Monday, July 18, 2011


Okay, I’ll spare you the pictures because they are downright unappealing. Two years ago around this time, I wrote about my oral surgery experience . At the time, a couple of my teeth had to be extracted and it took up to now to have those replaced by artificial ones. Since I own all imaginable aerobic exercise machines already, it was time to finally have some savings to afford partial dentures. If I can afford to spend something for my heart and lungs, surely I could spring more than a few bucks for my mouth too, and so I informed my dentist that I was ready. I was getting tired of chewing food from one side of my mouth. Measurements were made a couple of months ago and it took two attempts because there wasn’t enough mold material the first time around and the dentist was having a hard time releasing the mold from my mouth thus messing up the impressions. My jaws actually felt tired after that ordeal. Two weeks later, I was called back in to fine tune the measurements and another two weeks afterwards, another tuning was required. Finally, last week, the partial plate that was to replace three lost teeth on the left side of my mouth was ready. The dentist showed me how to put it in and take it out. I asked her if I had to take it out every time I go to bed at night and she said yes and to just put it in a cup of water. I was thinking maybe I would adapt to it better if I kept it in the whole time. Good thing I looked up the reason for taking it out on the internet because I didn’t get any aftercare instructions other than taking the dentures out. The main reason is so that the gums could breath and recover and the other was that there has been a history of people swallowing their dentures in their sleep (!). Let me get back to how it felt having a foreign object in my mouth. Unquestionably, it felt strange having something stuck on the roof of your mouth but like other things new in life, it’s just a matter of getting used to it. After all it hasn’t even been a week since I got it.
So what was the damage to my wallet? Well, the insurance company only paid about $240 and out of pocket, I would have had to pay $459. As I was taking out my credit card, the nice receptionist suggested that I ask the dentist for a discount. They rounded it down to $400. If it cost that much for three teeth, I wonder how much it would be for a full set of teeth! I’m guessing if I had implants done in the Philippines, it would have cost much less, but of course I would have to pay for plane fare to get there and back.
So how does it feel so far? I have to chew my food slowly because otherwise I tend to chew on my cheeks too. I have to find the right balance and chewing pressure on both sides of my mouth which takes practice. That doesn’t mean I’m going to eat more often, silly! As of this writing, I still need a mirror to put in and remove the partial denture. Hopefully in the near future I will attain better spatial awareness or proprioception of my mouth. For everyone out there who still have all their teeth, please take good care of them because it’s not much fun losing any of them and getting artificial replacements.

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