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View Diary: Don't Let Them Pull Out Your Teeth (450 comments)

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  •  About 30 years ago... (11+ / 0-)

    ... I was diagnosed with gum disease. The dentist sent me to a periodontist who I did not like (he yelled at his office staff in front of me), so I got a second referral to another periodontist, who didn't recommend extraction, but went with surgical root planing. This is a really ugly procedure where they peel your gums all the way down to the jaw, clean the roots of the teeth then sew the gums back together.

    Periodontist 2 did a sloppy job of the surgery -- my gums didn't heal correctly because the margins weren't cut right (or something). My general dentist was going to send me back to Periodontist 2, but I said no way, because not only did he do sloppy surgery, he was a lecher (made comments about my large bust while I was trapped in the chair). So, I got a referral to Periodontist 3, who re-did my surgery, including adding an experimental bone graft to repair a place where my jaw was eroded, and this time it healed nicely and everything was hunky dory -- except, Periodontist 3 said that I would probably lose my upper molars in less than 10 years because what he had done would probably slow down the progression, but not stop it.

    Thirty years later, I still have those upper molars. Last year, I had to have a bridge re-done (I had the bridge before the surgery -- no teeth were extracted because of the surgery) because the bone in the spot were the bone graft was done had started to erode again. (The bone graft was not predicted to have a life as long as 30 years -- it performed better than expected.)

    Over those 30 years, I've alternated for cleanings between my general dentist and the office of Periodontist 3 (who has left the practice, but I still see one of his associates). I get cleanings three times a year rather than the normal two that people who have never had gum disease get.

    In the last two years, my overall dental health has improved as I started using a commercial mouthwash that claims to inhibit the gingivitis bacteria. It seems to work, my dentist says he's seeing less plaque and significantly, less plaque between my teeth.

    But, the bottom line is, it took me three tries to get a competent periodontist who treated my gum disease without extractions -- and it worked.

    Wealth doesn't trickle down -- it rises up.

    by elsaf on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:55:13 PM PST

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