Dentist mission: part 2

… A few days after my first Spanish dentist experience, I was back in the brown waiting room, waiting to be seen by the little dentist.

When I entered the dentist’s room, he greeted me again with a muffle. His younger assistant was also present, and looked keen to begin part 2 of my dentist journey. I had thought that maybe my mouth guard would be ready, but I was told they needed to take some more measurements before making it, in order to make sure it would fit my mouth properly.

The measurements were extensive. First I had to sit with a small cotton roll between my front teeth, and I was told not to close my mouth. I didn’t quite understand why I was doing this – something to do with my jaw muscles. I was accustomed to doing things by now, just because I’d been asked to, blindly obeying specialists’ instructions, unsure of what they were doing or why. I sat for some time with what was basically a small tampon between my teeth! My jaw muscles started to spasm, and my teeth felt like they were shaking.

The dentist melted some small pieces of blue mold in a metal heating basin. The basin was the size of a tissue box, and was filled with what I assumed was water. This blue mold was different to the pink putty which had been used previously to take impressions of my teeth, and was instead a soft plastic-type material with a texture similar to toffee. Imprints of my front teeth and back teeth on both sides were taken one at a time, in three stages. During each stage my translator gave me clumsy instructions in a mixture of American English and Spanish, as to what to do with my mouth. The blue hard gums were placed in my mouth and I had to bite down on them, and then cold water was sprayed from thin tubes into my mouth, followed by cold streams of air; to set the gums in shape. Next came more measurements.

I was asked to open my mouth as wide as possible, and a rectangular metal plate the width of my mouth was forcefully inserted so that it filled the whole of my mouth cavity. Attached to the plate was more gum-type substance, this time a red colour. An imprint of my teeth was made by me biting down onto the gums, and then the metal plate was removed. The next contraption featured stethoscope-style ear plugs that I had to insert into my ears, whilst the dentist moved the attached metal arms of the device around to my forehead. He used a screwdriver to slightly tighten the arms in place. My entire head was encased inside these metal arms. Then came the finale. For the final measurement I had to open wide again and the metal plate was again inserted. The ear buds and head-hugging metal armed contraption was also moved into place. I sat in the chair unable to move my mouth that was full of metal, and with my head imprisoned by the metallic arms. Yet another moment in my story of looking completely ridiculous! The buds were forced tightly into my ears and I bit down on the plate as they pushed it upwards. The dental technician lifted the ear part and the dentist used his screw driver at the same time to tighten all the screws in the device. I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a more comfortable way of taking these measurements, such as using a laser… ‘Ya!’ I heard the dentist say – ‘finished’. I carefully removed the ear part of the facial device and handed it to the dentist, and he took the contraption to the side counter and wrote down all the measurements.

During my time sitting in the dentist chair, the dentist and the technician had been chatting continuously. It seemed like the younger of the two was trying to pursue a conversation about a trip he’d recently been on, whereas the older was intent on explaining the measurement procedures to him, step by step.

Oh, but they hadn’t finished. The doctor was concerned about my jaw. I hadn’t mentioned anything about my jaw to him, or the fact that I had suddenly lost my hearing nearly 8 months ago. They only knew that I was deaf in one ear and that I needed a new night guard. The dentist was explaining and gesturing to the younger, and was pointing to parts of my mouth as he mumbled insistently. I heard the Spanish word, ‘articulación’ – which I thought meant ‘movement’, but when I later translated it, I found it meant ‘joint’. The little dentist spent some time feeling my jaw joints again. He asked me to open and close my mouth, and to move my bottom jaw forwards. He then asked his companion to stand opposite me and I had to smile widely at him as he observed me. I felt a bit like an animal in a zoo, or some kind of unusual specimen to be prodded and observed. I think they were talking about the deviation of my teeth and jaw. I hadn’t previously told them any information about the maxillofacial specialist in the hospital…maybe next time I would tell them more of my story. But at the moment I was impressed with how thorough they were being with their observations. The little dentist seemed interested in finding out more, and in trying to help me. He was obviously extremely knowledgeable in his specialism.

They would send my measurements to the laboratory, so that my night guard could be made. I was to wait for them to call me, and would return in about 10 days to have it fitted. They also wanted to do another x-ray of my jaw, which they described as a cross-section, so they could see what was ‘going on in there’. The dentist shook my hand, taking his mask off to say goodbye, and he gave me a friendly and almost a humble smile.

I ended up returning to the dentist before I received their phone call. About a week after I had been measured for my mouth guard, one of my back teeth broke, of course it was on my left side. It had broken due to my teeth clenching – a clear sign I was in need of the mouth guard. This was also strong evidence to the amount of pressure I must have been putting on the left side of my face.

Let’s see if wearing a night guard helps reduce some of the pressure in my ears…

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Author: myhearinglossstory

Hi, My name is Carly. I am 34 years old and I am currently living in Spain. I am originally from a small seaside town in Yorkshire called Bridlington, and have also lived in China and Thailand. I am an Early Years primary school teacher, and have been teaching for nearly 12 years. I love walking in the countryside, getting lost in Madrid, going out for breakfast, taking photos, listening to music, storytelling podcasts, baking, running, drinking wine, and eating spicy food. This year I experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear. I have started this blog as a way to inform my friends and family about my progress, for anyone else who is going through a similar experience as me, or for anybody who is interested in learning about this type of hearing loss, and the way it can affect everyday life.

12 thoughts on “Dentist mission: part 2”

  1. Holy crap! That’s intense.

    Wayyyyyy more intense than when I got my night guard made. The did the full face xray, where the dentist then pronounced I had arthritis in my jaw. I had to do the molds and stuff… then the fitting was fun. 45 minutes of having to put the guard in and out of my mouth after the hygienist had manipulated the guard by sanding it and even shaving pieces of it off with a knife…. also, I’m ashamed to say that at one point I bit the hygienist.

    So, you haven’t got to the part of them shaving and sanding the guard. That’s fun. Don’t bite the poor young assistant or the dentist like I did lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it was way more intense than I had experienced years ago when I got my first night guard in England…I just assumed things were done different here in Spain?! Who knows?!
      I’m a bit behind on my blog, but yes, I’ve since had the fitting. And yes, lots of sanding down the guard with shavings of hard plastic flying off it! … luckily, I didn’t bite anyone though! Hehe!

      Like

  2. Ah ha! My plan and thought transferal device have worked perfectly. I now have total control over your mind. First, send me all your money and valuables. Then a legal document signing over all future assets that you may accrue. I will then be able to send my little dentist friend and his assistant their cut of this caper. You will speak of this arrangement to no one!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Golly, when I got a mouth guard I had just one impression. Your dentist is very through. I feel like mine was just a glorified mouth guard like ball players wear.
    I’m eager to find out what comes out of all of this.
    You are so brave to tackle this in a country where you don’t know the language. I guess it’s like me when I can’t hear most of what a person says, I try to fill in the pieces.
    As always, I’m pulling for you.
    ~ wendy ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Wendy. How are you? Yes, when I got a mouth guard years ago in England, it was just one impression too! I think difficulties with hearing are very much like not understanding everything in a language…as I have a little of both I can see the similarities 😛 I was always grasping at familiar words in Spanish conversation and then filling in the gaps , even before my hearing loss! Take care Wendy, and I’ll let you know of any improvements x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What an ordeal! A very thorough measurement! I could identify some of the procedure because I had a lot of dental work done due to lack of care for my teeth as a child. You surely put a lot of pressure on your teeth from grinding to a point to break a tooth. Hope the mouth guard at least protect you from further damage of your teeth. It would be interesting to find out if it would help to gain back your hearing when pressure from your jaw is reduced! Share whenever you can! Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

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