Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Teeth had to come out

This morning, Sally's teeth were extracted--all 13 of them.  I noticed she was struggling more at chewing.  She stopped eating all the good crunchy foods she usually enjoyed...raw carrots, pretzels, cookies.  At 50 years old, she had just thirteen grey, jagged, fragile, infected teeth still in her mouth.  As Sally said, "They just gotta come out".

The dentist told me Sally's teeth were infected.  She has a collapsed bite, and her lower teeth were cutting into her upper gums.  The X-Ray showed a dozen or so scattered teeth in different consistencies and shapes.  She pointed out the abcesses and infection.  There was not a lot she could do for these teeth.  She recommended complete extraction.  I had expected as much.  I did not expect to hear that her mouth and bite will not support dentures.  And I cried. ...I cried a lot for a couple weeks.  ...mortified that she had to go through this.  ...horrified it can't be un-done. ...terrified that I was making the wrong decision.

When she came out of the oral surgery this morning, all groggy from sedation, her mouth was full of gauze, her eyes were red like she had been crying.  It broke my heart.  I got her home, and put her to bed. By mid-afternoon, she was up and chatting at alert.  No pain. The bleeding had stopped. She was able to eat some jello.  I think perhaps tomorrow she may feel pretty crappy.  She has movies and pudding and ice cream and jello and protein shakes.  The challenge for the next couple of days will be to keep her blood sugar regulated. (She's diabetic).

Her dentist, Dr. Rondeno, and the entire staff at DDD Foundation, Dentistry for the Developmentally Disabled, were gentle and compassionate. They are respectful of their patients and the parents/caretakers.  They are gifted.  Check out these amazing people here at