Dentist Appointment & The Band

by Christine on June 21st, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

I haven’t had a dentist appointment in two years since I had my gastric banding surgery. I’m not a big fan of the dentist, and I wasn’t happy with the work my last dentist did to me, so I just haven’t gone in a while.  Yesterday I made an appointment with a new dentist and went in for a checkup with X-rays.

One of the things I really wanted to make sure I told him was about The Band and potential side-effects with barfing episodes. You see, bulimics are pretty notorious for having bad teeth. The stomach acid erodes the protective covering of the teeth. Some bulimics have chipped or broken teeth; others have teeth that start to rot away.  Google “Bulimia” and “teeth” sometime and check out some pictures. I’d post them here, but the pictures are really…ugh…super gross.

Anyway, I was concerned that perhaps during any gastric-banding-“stuck”-episodes that the same thing would occur–the acid would start to erode the lining on my teeth.  I am glad that I spoke up and mentioned it to my dentist (although, admittedly, he gave me a really funny look when I mentioned barfing and seemed dubious that it had anything to do with the gastric band). He said the first casualty is usually the front teeth, so he inspected those really closely.

Good news! No erosion going on! Hooray! He made a note in my file and will check up on that at future visits. If you are a gastric bander, consider having the same conversation with your dentist the next time you go.

But my appointment definitely wasn’t all good. I have some kind of bone loss going on underneath an old baby tooth, which is going to have to involve getting the tooth ripped out, bone installed, and an implant put in….for a price tag of just under $4,000. Yikes!  I don’t have that kind of money so that surgery is going to have to wait and be budgeted for.  When I came home and told hubby the news, he told me that he needs to have the same thing done on his mouth, too, so we actually have $8,000 worth of dental work that needs to be done between the two of us. Holy moses.

You just never get to catch a break, you know?

I actually rather like my smile. I’ve got decent teeth. My parents were kind enough to put me in braces when I was a kid (boy, if you could see pics of me as a teenager, you’d realize that I really needed braces!) so the result isn’t too bad. I’d like to be able to protect that investment and keep my teeth healthy and strong so I won’t have to deal with lost teeth when I’m an old lady!

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