Friday, May 09, 2008

Gum surgery for my daughter

When my daughter was 2, she fell on the playground and knocked out her front baby tooth. When the permanent tooth grew in, in first grade, she fell on the playground at school and knocked IT out. So she has had issues with her teeth for almost her whole life. The first prosthetic tooth she had was awful. The color of the tooth didn't quite match her other teeth, and it had a really fake looking gum at the top that sat on top of her actual gums, so you could see it when she smiled. She is a big smiler, and has a really wide smile, so you could see it all the time. Luckily, she didn't really seem bothered by it. Through the years she's had trouble with it coming out, usually when J and I were not there or we were out of town.... when she would bite into an apple at school, or when she was at summer camp in North Carolina, and we were in San Francisco, or when we were on vacation in the middle of the Caribbean. Then, as she got older and basketball became way more aggressive, head butts or elbows to the mouth, or basketballs in the face knocked it out periodically. So she has spent a LOT of time in a dentist's chair.

With all the problems we've had with the multiple temporary prosthetics (they didn't want to do a more permanent solution until she got older), we decided to see a cosmetic dentist. She's starting high school (at a new school) in the fall, so she is finally ready to do something about her teeth. Long story...she has other problems with her teeth as well...she is scheduled for 10 veneers for her upper teeth which will include a bridge for her prosthesis. But first, she had to get her gums fixed, so this morning, she had two "crown lengthening" procedures (to make two teeth on the right match two on the left), and a soft tissue implant next to the missing tooth so that the veneers will fit correctly.

She had to get there at 8 a.m., no food for six hours before, and I went back with her while they sedated her. The periodontist put in an IV, which freaked her out at first but was almost painless. He gave her the anesthetic and just a minute or two later she was in la-la land. The whole procedure took less than two hours, and then they called us back to get her and get the post-op instructions. She had ice on her mouth and tears in her eyes, which really worried me, because they had told me she wasn't in pain. But they said it's common after surgery because of the side effects of the Versed. But she wasn't hurting. We took her to get a milkshake (to be eaten with a spoon, not a straw), gave her a Darvocet so that when the numbness wears off she won't be in much pain, and now she's sitting up in our bed, icing, eating the rest of the milkshake, and watching a "Friends" marathon. She's in heaven right now because it's not hurting. I don't really know what to expect, they say in 72 hours her swelling will peak, so at this point there is not much of that yet.

She is being good about keeping the ice on it, which is a good thing. She has to keep her head elevated, too, to keep the swelling down.

To be continued...