My Two Front Teeth

My best intentions don’t always work out! I really meant to blog everyday, but yesterday seems to have slipped away………..

Yesterday I had the fun of visiting my dentist where I got to spend some more money for a metal device to make sure the next implant they put in my mouth goes in straight. When I was 18 years old I was in a big ugly car crash. My right foot was ripped off to the side, my back was injured, my right arm was badly broken, my face hit the dashboard and 30 years later I discovered that the roots of my two front teeth were resorbing and starting to eat away at my jaw bone. I had the first implant placed in 1994, which is still in place thank goodness. Then the second front tooth started falling out in 2003, so I had another implant put in. These are my top two front teeth–the ones little kids sing about wanting for Christmas….

Last year, the second implant started to have problems so we did a bone graft to try to save it, which didn’t work. So this year, the second implant was removed on February 2nd and another bone graft was placed, then I had to wait four months to see if it would take. On July 14th I finally got the good news–it took! (I was so grateful that I burst into tears when the periodontist told me and he said no one had ever cried over a tooth before…. I told him I had been having some big challenges this year, and this was a bigger relief than he could imagine….) So now I have at least one more surgery to place the new implant with bone and tissue grafts–and the challenge is to be able to match the placement so when I spend a lot more money in a few months to get the permanent crowns placed for the implants that they will fit together and I will look like I have real front teeth.

I got to see myself for a moment without the teeth while the dentist was working on the metal thing, and I looked like a character in a scary movie–a metal spike jutting out of one part, the bare toothless gum right next to it. Amazing.

I think we take our bodies for granted. Not being able to walk well since I was 18 has made me accutely aware of what a blessing feet are. I’ve had lots of surgeries, culminating in ankle joint replacement in 2004, but I can walk! So each step I take feels like a tiny miracle.

And I marvel at people who don’t floss their teeth, don’t go to regular dental appointments–I feel like they would do it differently if they actually didn’t have some of those little guys hanging around in their mouths.

At night, when I go to sleep and count my blessings, I know one of my biggest ones I have is this incredible body that functions more reliably than any computer or machine man has ever made.

And after spending the last 15 years or so dealing with the loss and gain of my two front teeth, spending thousands of dollars on surgeries and implants and more surgeries and more implants (I think of it as my $50,000 smile), not to mention the thousands on surgeries to keep my right foot moving, bring my body back from severe auto-immune issues, and all the other myriad body issues we all face as humans, I truly believe it is worth it to take really good care of this body I am blessed to inhabit.

I’ve learned to see my body as a feedback tool to keep me focused and on purpose, so taking care of it, listening to it, and being able to keep living in it totally work for me!