Open Wide

July 22, 1999

It's 10:30 and my daughter just fell asleep. Arg. I thought that if I let her stay up a bit later she'd be more tired. Wrong. Finally I just put the gate up and let her cry. It only lasted about 5 minutes and when I just checked on her she was fast asleep. I hate this letting her cry thing but she's not a baby anymore.

Today was a double-whammy dentist kind of day.

I have TMJ and sleep with a splint thingie. It fits over my bottom teeth and as a result I can't close my mouth all the way while I'm sleeping. As a result of not being able to close my mouth all the way, 1. I drool (a minus), and 2. I don't clench my teeth (very very very good).

I had recurring ear aches and jaw aches for about a year. I went to my doctor who was useless and finally referred me to an ENT. All he wanted to do was give me all these antibiotics which just made me sick to my stomach. Nothing was helping and my ears and jaws still ached.

At a dental visit I mentioned it, sort of casually to the hygienist and dentist. Two weeks later I got my splint and the jaw and ear aches were a thing of the past. I love that thing.

All this to say that about two weeks ago my splint thing just vanished. Like magic it vanished. I searched every single inch of this house, and the backyard too, and it was nowhere to be found.

I called the dentist and went in last Thursday to get impressions taken. They were going to make me a new one. They made arrangements to rush it through the system since I hate to be without it and I was going to be in the neighborhood today to go to the other dentist. This was good.

Losing my splint sucked on a variety of levels: 1. I had to spend two weeks without the stupid splint thing and my jaws are killing me. I would stress out about not having it to sleep with and subsequently clench even harder, and 2. I got the old splint like three dental insurers ago and they covered it. It's not covered under my current policy, Delta Dental, and the damned thing was $450. Payable upon receipt, thankyewverymuch.

On the plus side, I know I'll get a good night of sleep.

Then I had to go to the other dentist. Or, more accurately, the periodontist. My regular dentist referred me there so they could do a deep cleaning. I hate getting my teeth cleaned anyway and now they were going to numb me and scrape all the way to the roots, or some other evil form of torture.

The periodontist, whose office is in one of those really plush medical complexes in Beverly Hills (every visit guarantees seeing at least one person leaving the office after out-patient plastic surgery) is staffed exclusively by statuesque blonde bombshells. They're all really nice and funny, but it's a little intimidating. (And I don't have particularly low self esteem.)

The periodontist, Jonathan, is an absolute BABE!!!!! He's tall, tanned, black hair, blue eyes, and the blue scrubs he wears all the time only make his blue eyes even more incredible. He's from South Africa and has a really cute accent.

He did his evaluation and instead of cleaning one quarter of my mouth (they do it one quarter at a time, each quarter getting a one hour appointment of it's own, arg), he decided that they needed to focus on this one particularly pesky tooth that is the root of my whole problem (no pun intended). So, the blonde bombshell hygienist spent 45 minutes scraping one of my upper right molars.

My mouth is aching and I have to go back and have some really horrible sounding surgery, that may or may not work and they won't know until they cut my gums open and look at the roots. Doesn't that sound divine.

Last time the dentist told me I needed to go to the periodontist I said OK and then never made the appointment. At my last dental appointment he again told me I had to go, and this time the dentist called Jonathan's office and had them call me to make the appointment. Then they called me two days ago to remind me, and then yesterday to confirm.

Apparently there are lots of Hollywood types that frequent this office. Jane, the hygienist, gave me quite an earful while she scraped away. Apparently Frank Sinatra used to go to Jonathan's office. And, get this. . .he had his own dental tools. His own personal set of scrapers that he kept at the dental office. Jane said that shortly after he died, Sinatra's wife came in and asked for the tools back.

Also, David Bowie has really bad teeth.

Now my mouth aches, my wallet aches, and I'm going to bed. To finally get a good night's sleep.

Until next time. . .