Last Tuesday I finally had my appointment with the holistic dentist that fellow GAPSter Andrea Fabry took her daughter to and recommended. I made the appointment initially because I was having some weirdness on the right side of my mouth. I couldn't tell if it was the top or lower teeth, and it wasn't really hurting. It was just a twinge or threat of pain, do you know how that feels? There is no way of knowing if it's going to stop hurting or get worse and that freaks me out a little.
I”m a little paranoid because when I was ten I broke my front left tooth mimicking my stepbrother. I was making fun of how he drank water, only the “glass” that I lurched toward my face was a jar of face cream the lid of which must have been made of cement because it shattered my tooth. I'll never forget my mother going into hysterics when she saw my broken tooth. She was very pregnant and screamed and cried. Eventually she managed to calm down, but what an effect it had on me. The tooth wasn't even hurting until the next day at school when finally the nerve throbbed with a searing pain indicating its exposure. Something had to be done because I couldn't open my mouth or drink water, or eat food. There was a dentist right across the street from school and a visit was made for me there.
I've always wondered what the dentist did to make tooth stop hurting. Did he somehow deaden the nerve? I do recall that he ground the sharp edges of the tooth and he told my mother he would grind my other front tooth to somewhat match the length of the broken tooth.
I am going to ask my holistic dentist what that dentist might have done to stop my tooth from hurting.
But let me stop this digression into childhood, and I will also spare you all the horrible dentist experiences I have had.
This dentist visit was nothing like anything I've ever experienced in my entire life. Oh, there were the usual things like x-rays taken and the big lighted mirror on the arm in the middle of the room over the chair. Usually when I'm at the dentist I'm rather tense, and more than once I've come to been aware that it's taking all my strength to sit in the waiting room. But this was so different. I was welcomed into the office by the office receptionist. She was very friendly and made me feel very welcome. She informed me that the doctor's Miniature Schnauzer was in the office that day, and I assured her that I was fine with dogs since I own several myself. After I filled out the necessary paperwork I was taken to a consultation room, an open area where Dr. Meyer sat and asked questions about my dental history as he examined the paperwork I'd filled out. When I shared that my naturopath had left the practice he pulled one of his cards from the side of the desk and hand wrote the name and phone number of a naturopath that he recommended.
After Dr. Meyer and I talked for awhile I was taken to a room right next to the consultation room. Next x-rays were taken of my teeth. I guess that part of any dentist visit will always be uncomfortable as those rectangular things they stick in your mouth are so big that they poke into tender parts of the mouth. I started to get a little bit nervous at that point because it seemed like a lot of x-rays were being taken but then later I found out these are digital x-rays which are much safer than the typical x-rays.
Finally the technician was done taking pictures of my teeth. As she took each x-ray, they immediately showed up on the computer screen beside the chair. No more waiting for x-rays, they showed up after a split second. Next Dr. Meyer came into the room.
“Hi Ho Silver!” he exclaimed as he looked at the x-rays on the computer screen and saw all my amalgam fillings. He announced that I had eleven amalgams! I asked him how did I have eleven when I've only counted nine? He showed me that two of the fillings are small and on the back corner of two molars. He also told me on most people, if you look at the decay and fillings in their mouth you will find that both sides are identical. I had never heard that before, and indeed, those two small fillings are in the same place on the molars on each side.
He began examining my teeth, using words foreign to me. At one point he said something, I think the word frenulum and I said, “Oh, does that have anything to do with a tongue tie?” to which he replied, “I haven't checked that yet.” I just read about tongue tie at Loving Our Guts which also happens to be a “condition” of the genetic mutation MTHFR which I am suspecting I may have (read this post by Patty at Loving Our Guts to learn more in layman's terms about MTHFR). I've heard of tongue tie, but never imagined I had one since I thought a person with a tongue tie would have a serious speech defect.
A moment later he confirmed that I have a tongue tie. He said I had obviously learned to compensate since it hadn't affected me and he didn't think I would need to have it fixed.
When he pricked my gums to see if there was any bleeding, which I believe is to indicate gum disease? He said there was barely any bleeding. Interestingly enough, when other dentists have pricked my gums it usually feels as if they were stabbing me. The pokes he made were so light that I could barely detect them. Of course he was wearing gloves the entire time and he put his finger into my mouth under my tongue to feel for any abnormalities. He felt around the top of my mouth and alongside the gum line. He felt my lymph glands and my throat.
At one point he mentioned the staining on my teeth. I asked him if he meant the grey staining? The stains that make my teeth look like they are becoming transparent? He assured me that my teeth were not becoming transparent and this was simply staining. Hallelujah! A dentist that can see the grey staining on my teeth and assures me they can remove the stains easily with pumice cleaner. (My other dentist couldn't see the staining and neither could the lady who does the teeth cleaning! I thought that was pretty weird. I told her that what Baden had said about how her dentist was able to remove stains and she tried to clean my teeth but couldn't remove the grey. I am anxious to have Dr. Meyer's office clean my teeth, it will be nice to get my pretty white teeth back!)
Finally he took a pen camera and took pictures of all my teeth. Each picture showed up in full color on the computer screen. He found that I have no gum disease and not much plague. And then he found the cavity. The weird pain I was having on the right side was radiating from my only crowned tooth. He asked me how old the crown was, and I told him I thought it was less than a year old.
But I was wrong, the crown was done in June 2010. Time flies.
Dr. Meyer says the cement that is supposed to protect the base of the tooth is gone. He says the other dentist should warranty his work.
I am very pleased with Dr. Meyer and with my limited experience with him I would definitely recommend his office. He does not take insurance, but that is perfectly okay with me. He knows how to protect me when removing amalgams and I am willing to pay the money to have the job done correctly.
I will receive an email with an estimate of what it is going to cost to remove my eleven amalgams. I would love to have the work done right away, because it is common for amalgam fillings to affect thyroid function. Unfortunately I do not have the money to get the work done right away and will likely have to do one at a time over the next couple of years.
At least I have taken the first step and found a doctor, and have had an examination.
That is a good start.