Thursday, June 16, 2011

Blowing and sucking

As some of you know, I came into this world with a cleft lip and palate, called a harelip by some, which, in my case, means a split upper lip, upper jaw and palate, a slight handicap which was mended in the first two years of my life, through three operations. About ten years ago, a dental surgeon accidentally pulled open a minor channel between my mouth and nasal cavities, which makes it impossible for me to build up significant air pressure in my mouth, or, in daily language, to suck or blow. Now, don't worry, ladies, this opening is adequately covered by the upper shell of my dentures. And, yes, it seems to be easy to close this channel, which involves taking out a little piece of pelvic bone, and inserting it into my palate. To sum it up, I am happy with what I have, and I had more or less forgotten about this little issue, until yesterday.

My dentist suggested to realign my upper denture, which involves my biting into a big spoonful of green paste, to take an impression of my upper jaw and palate. Afterward, the man started to pick forcibly into my palate with a set of pliers, to remove a piece of the green stuff left behind. As his attempts were quite painful, as the place essentially is one big scar, he decided to leave it there, to not hurt me any further.

I had expected to find a little 'pearl' of the green material in my mouth or nose, but I could not find anything, so I did not bother about it. However, tonight, while having dinner, I all of a sudden felt something in my nasal cavity, and in a matter of a minute or so I felt it sliding into the back of my throat, where I managed to catch it and work it out with my tongue.

To my surprise, it was a considerable lump of the green paste, which had been pushed through the channel into my nasal cavity, where it hardened out. I now realize why it was impossible for my dentist to pick it out, as the lower tip, which extended through the channel into my mouth, was only the proverbial tip of the iceberg! So, now I am the proud owner of a perfect cast of my handicap. You must be jealous!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Tooth Faery

For as long as I can remember, I've had a warm relationship with dentists. Having developed a panicky fear for these professionals, I managed to stay out of their chairs for more than 10 years, which finally resulted in a year of renovation and finally, dentures I am perfectly happy with.

The remaining elements have always been a cause of worry, the molars that keep my dentures in place have had a root canal extraction, but one of them kept rotting away.

My dentist here in Toronto made a last-ditch effort to save it, screwed it firmly into my jaw, finally decided to remove it, and cap the remaining two molars. I had more or less expected the extraction would be a piece of cake, as I felt the stupid thing was sitting loose, but today I discovered that it was only the top part which came out easily. The root had to be cut out, dug out, drilled to pieces, etc.

The good news is that nowadays I am able to experience this pleasure in a more or less relaxed state of mind, hanging upside down in the chair, the skin of my cheeks carefully folded back over my ears, waiting while the good man puts back my lower jaw in its hinges. At least, it feels like that.

Everything is stitched up, the anaesthesia is still working and next Wednesday I will get the actual caps and, hopefully, a new denture. I kept the extracted molar to put it under my pillow, together with the dentist's bill. As we all now, tonight the Tooth Faery will come by...