Thursday, January 8, 2009

Teeth - you get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

Today, we made it successfully back into the swing of life. The kiddos were ALL back in school and life had returned to normal. I am happy to say that both Lynley and I got some work done and the kids had some schooling. It had been a long time in coming. As much as we love to be together as a family, I think we all needed a break.

At 3:30 PM in the afternoon, Sydney had a dentist appointment. I always walk into these holding my breath. We just never know what to expect. Teeth and chemo do not necessarily go hand in hand. This is one of those possible "long term" effects that families in treatment really don't want to hear about but it is a reality. During my time in the neuroblastoma world I have seen dental problems run the gamut. I have seen everything from brittle teeth and deformed teeth to non existent teeth. Of course, I should point out that for some I have not seen many problems at all. My guess is that it is probably related to your age during treatment and the growth stage of the teeth. Regardless, we too have seen our fair share of dental anomalies.

Yesterday was no different.

First off, Sydney is missing one tooth. She lost it a few years ago and an adult tooth simply never came in. There just isn't one there. By looking at her you never would know. But, the fact remains, it has gone missing. It is probably a result of the chemo. It is not all bad. She probably needed the extra space anyway. I am not being funny. It is pretty true.

So, back to yesterday. She had a standard checkup, cleaning, etc. It is what I call the $150 special. The x-rays have shown a few problems. First she needs a filling. From what a gather from the dentist, this is not her fault. It is unlikely that she could get a brush to this spot on her tooth. It is more related to the shape of the tooth. Regardless, it is a pretty easy fix. The others were worse. She requires two crowns. Oddly enough they are the exact same teeth just on opposite sides of the mouth. The good news (if there is any in this) is that these two teeth are baby teeth. She will most likely lose them in the two or three years. In fact, at her tooth losing pace I might even expect it much sooner. Regardless, these two teeth have begun to have issues on the side where they meet other teeth. For this, the will each receive a new silver crown. Thankfully, they are far enough back in her mouth that they will not be seen.

All of a sudden our $150 6 month visit has turned into a couple more $300 visits over the next two months. Honestly, I am not complaining. I have expected and prepared for far worse. Although her teeth are not perfect they are certainly better than what I know they could be. I am thankful for that. We will suck it up and chalk it up as the price to play and be thankful for the opportunity we have been given.

I realize my purpose is a gift.

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