Thursday, May 29, 2008

Weapons of dental destruction.

So, in between hacking, coughing, and general lousiness, I did have to take a scheduled trip to the dentist yesterday. We transplant recipients have to be careful about many things both medical and dental, especially since some of the medication we're on can cause issues when it comes to the latter. I take a small dosage of Prednisone, which is a steroid, and while I won't be hitting longer home runs, it can cause problems with bone loss if you are on it for long periods of time. (I've been on it for 11 years come this August.)

As such, and for other reasons, good dental care is a must. I went yesterday, feeling like death only partially warmed over because to reschedule would have meant a longer than a month wait. Good thing the techs who scale and clean my teeth wear masks and this case for their sake, not mine. All went well, I won't be required to leave my teeth in a glass at the bedside table anytime soon, and I was given some new dental tools in which to keep the choppers in a minty fresh state.

First, there was this nifty little device:

Now, aside from looking like a tiny tree on a stick, this little device gets in between the teeth to get at the places where, if you tried doing that with your toothbrush, would require several thousand dollars worth of orthodontia, not to mention a gross of pain medication. It really does work quite well...

Now next, we have this:

Maybe it's just me, but this looks suspiciously like a toothpick. It is made of wood, is flat instead of round, and you won't find them on the table at your local diner. In fact, aside from your dentist, you can only get them at the local pharmacy. (Chemist, for my Brit friends.) Of course, this means that these fancy toothpicks cost more money and you get less of them. (They are called Stim-U-Dents, as their purpose is to stimulate the gums.)

If of course, you want to have the appearance of being environmentally friendly and save the life of a tree, you can now use these brand-spanking new devices, fresh off the assembly line:

These do the job of the aforementioned stimulator's, but are probably more expensive, as they are new. We'll see. I have the choice of killing a tree, or putting more plastic into landfills, as these are not biodegradable or recyclable. So many choices! ;-)

So that is all from the dental front, but oh, just to update you on my scoping of a few weeks back; everything turned out fine. As a matter of fact there actually has been improvement. The new drug they put me on for the colitis last year is working nicely, and there is less inflammation than in the past. My GI doc was very pleased, and I was as well.


gemmak said...

Ugh! dentists! as the not very proud owner of a set of teeth which look fine but which they promise me are going to fall out long before they ever rot, dentists have become my biggest 'eekk' :o( ok...along with spiders!

On the health front...glad it's going well :o) I have a close friend who is a recipient and consequently know the up's and down's....and I.V bags dangling from my picture hooks while she watches TV! ;o)

Mr. Nighttime said...

"Ugh! dentists! as the not very proud owner of a set of teeth which look fine but which they promise me are going to fall out long before they ever rot,"

Gemma - British dentistry? I thought that was a contradiction in terms? ;-)

Ok, I'll shut up now........

AnneDroid said...

My brother is my dentist which is great for financial reasons. However, he does love to make the most of the fact my mouth is full of implements and make up ridiculous stories about me for the amusement and amazement of his nurse. I can only make gargling noises to protest my innocence.

gemmak said... is! Hence the problem with my teeth!!! In part at least by no access to dentistry for 6 years, privately or otherwise. Between our govt. and the dentists here they have made a complete pigs ear of it all...they ought to be ashamed of themselves!

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Ugh dentists! I've tried those lil interdental brush things before now, vicious implements of torture!
I'm glad to hear overall everything's going so well though, BG

Jay said...

I didn't know you were a transplant recipient! How's it going? The drugs are a pain, but the alternative is worse, huh? May you enjoy long years of good health, teeth included!

British dentistry is fine. I have a great dentist. Sadly access to good dentistry is poor. The govt don't pay them enough so all the decent dentists are going private and not everyone can afford it. Still, it says something that at 54 I still have all my own teeth and my gums are in good shape. Not so my Other Half who is in the same position as GemmaK - his teeth are predicted to fall out before they rot. He's older than me, though, and they're there, most of them, so he's not doing that badly.

having my cake said...

As instructed by my dentist, I use those plastic gum stimulators (when I remember). Seeing some of the horrible sets of gnashers out there, I think it's very important to look after my teeth. However, I will not be having my perfectly healthy existing off-white teeth filed down to points and replaced with blinding porcelain ones. That does seem a very strange lifestyle choice.

As requested

Mr. Nighttime said...

Jay - Yep, had a liver transplant, and this Aug. 1st will be 11 years. Some bumps in the road over time, but I am in good health overall.

Cake - Can't say I blame you too much, especially if your teeth are already in good shape. Thanks for the link!