'Toothless and Ruthless, Here I Come!': Why I'm So Excited to Get All My Teeth Removed
For those who have followed some of my journey, I wrote a piece, a few months ago, about how I had a dream. A wish. One I never imagined I’d have at my age. I desperately wanted to have all of my remaining teeth removed.
A combination of my health issues, genetics and harsh medications like prednisone led to my teeth rapidly deteriorating. Cracking. Getting infected inside the pulp of the tooth. Sometimes my tooth would look fine on the outside, but was being destroyed on the inside and would eventually crack.
I’ve been through 12 tooth extractions in the last year. Multiple fillings and root canals and all kinds of things. I’ve spent almost every month of the last year and a half at the hospital dental clinic. Many infections, abscesses and, most recently, an abscess that led to a blood infection (sepsis) have become regular painful parts of my life. That blood infection caused me a fever of 105.9 and I’ve never been more sick in my entire life, which is saying a lot. I had to call an ambulance.
This sepsis infection happened a few weeks ago and made me even more desperate to have my remaining teeth removed. Yet, every time I’ve brought it up to my dental team in the past, I’ve been guilted into trying to save them. That it’s best to save as many as you can. Even at my appointment I had, right after the bad infection, a nurse told me it’s best to save them, after hearing I want them pulled.
Nervously, I went into my appointment the other day, to hear about my newest X-ray results, ordered by a different dentist my clinic recently had me see. Teeth that were fine a few months ago are now so bad they would require root canals, and even that wouldn’t be a guarantee. Multiple teeth are now in horrible shape. And smaller cavities are in the other few teeth that remain.
The dentist spoke about root canals and then asked what I wanted to do. Bravely, I said I’m at the point where I would like them all removed. I waited, expecting the familiar guilt trip. I was happily surprised. This new dentist clapped his hands, did a little hop and said, “Good! We are on the same page, then! Let’s book a day to get them out!”
I was so relieved! Happy! I said to the nurse that I never thought I’d be so happy to be getting all of my teeth removed, but I am! She said, in return, that she never thought she would recommend that a patient of hers should have them removed, but she does. That I’ve suffered enough. We tried. I tried. For so long, we tried. She said, that’s something, at least. At least we all know we tried our best, but it’s time to stop the suffering.
I texted my partner, immediately, to give him the great news, and he told me he started getting teary-eyed. He was so happy and so relieved. He’s watched me be in so much pain and so sick from these dental problems.
I posted to friends on Facebook, and we all celebrated and rejoiced. It was so lovely. To have so much support for something like this. Something that most people would see as an unfortunate thing, but to us, it is joyous news. News that will provide a future with less agony and fewer infections. My life will no longer be ruled by monthly dental appointments, constant antibiotics, hospital visits for abscesses and constant pain.
When I get the teeth pulled and start on my journey with new dentures, I look forward to sharing that with you all, and showing pictures of me smiling with pain-free, straight, white false teeth!!
Toothless and ruthless, baby!!! Here I come!!
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Thinkstock photo via Lacheev.