The “perfect storm”.
The “perfect storm”
I was a severe anorexic/bulimic for over 20 years. It’s a miracle I survived in the first place, and doctors don’t know how I made it. It took me years to rehabilitate my body, and am now successful in the fitness industry due to the research I did on nutrition and exercise to get better. Ready to shoot my fitness DVD and start going for calls in bodybuilding modeling, I decided to see if I could get a front tooth gap closed since I have been walking around with fragile, transparent teeth for so long. I had already undergone, 4 teeth implants (no crowns, just abutments), sinus lift as well as years of orthodontia 7 0r 8 years ago. My fragile little teeth survived all of that without even a fracture, so I figured a simple small bond would be no problem. I was presented with an alternative plan from my RDH friend from her former employer, where he was to put a “layer of protection” on all my upper teeth that would also serve as a guideline on how to bond my two front teeth. I informed the dentist of my past health history, however, I’m not thinking he took it too seriously. Eating disorders do a lot of bodily damage…not just dental. He built up one tooth about 3mm higher and 5mm thicker and sent me home, where I could not chew and my esophageal sphincter weakness was challenged. Long story short, I could not chew or swallow without involuntary regurgitation. I requested the build be removed the next day, and was told no, that my experience was “mental”. I was sent home for one week in jaw pain, jaw locking, jaw cracking, neck pain and unable to eat. 7 pounds down, and finally he removed it a week later. Abandoning that plan, he decided to replace my silver fillings with white ones. There was no decay or pain, but he suggested it because they were old. Now, a year later I’m looking a 2 more root canals. After that, he said he was going to close the gap…which is the only thing I wanted anyway, so I’m not sure why we went the long, expensive, painful way to get to that point. He told me he was going to do 6 teeth not the front 2 because it would “look funny”. I wasn’t aware that he planned on lengthening my teeth too, but, hey, he was the dentist, right? 5 hours in the chair and it looked good with minimal pain…but there was still a small gap. I was to return a week later for the last 10% and also I insisted on a retainer because since orthodontia I had worn a suck down retainer 5 years, 20 hours/day. That week my teeth didn’t feel tight anymore. I was told that my teeth didn’t move, and he proceeded to “smooth” my new bonding. Ultimately, he completely altered the natural grooves in the backs of my teeth and eliminated my bite. My implants from years ago were 2 upper rt molar/pre molar…and lower left molar and pre molar. My bite, chewing, speaking, etc….depended on my K9 teeth and he took that away. A full month, 2 ill fitting loose retainers, 15 appointments, a whole lot of attitude from the dentist later…..and I finally got a second, third, AND fourth opinion all agreeing that the treatment should have never even been presented to me considering my complex case and health history. I was never given an apology, or even acknowledgement that every single complaint, pain, and question was not only valid…but correct. It has been a full year of no solid food (for a former anorexic) who’s income depends on health, fitness, and energy…all of which I do not have anymore. Now, working with 3 different departments at a highly accredited dental complex, they are at a loss at how to get my jaw stabilized after being compromised for over a year while I was busy getting 5 root canals, crown lengthening and an extraction and implant due to the mobile shifting teeth I have from lack of proper retainer (that chipped my tooth because it wasn’t molded properly) and the denial of shifting from the former dentist. In addition, I found that the hip/jaw connection has complicated my Pelvic floor dysfunction and rectocele (bulimia after effects), the heart palpitations have started again, (anorexic/bulimic -hypertrophic heart ventricle) esophageal sphincter weakness (bulimia effect) makes it nearly impossible to eat when my bite always changes, swallowing is a problem (bulimia effect) from malocclusion and returning GERD (bulimia effect), and the headaches, mouth pain, digestive issues are at an all time high. This puts me in high state anxiety, dealing with the once thriving, now failing business I own, as well as depression being forced to deal with a returning illness that I worked so hard to kick…this time not of my own doing. I guess the lesson here is….trust your gut instincts, and fight for what you know about your body and health. Being nice and understanding is great, but when you get dismissed from someone who has your health in their hands….you need to be heard, or go to one of the many good professionals out there who are in this field to help you…not just make a buck or feed their own ego. I only had bad experiences with this one particular dentist. The other dentists I went to were all super nice and helpful, however, nobody in the dental/medical field has seen a case like mine, so it was a necessity to go to a place where I could be their “project” and where they would listen. I feel bad for them actually, because they have to put Humpty Dumpty back together again…when someone else in that field threw me off the wall, so to speak. For any dentists reading this….I beg of you to do research on eating disorders before taking them on as patients. We are people pleasers and don’t want to cause trouble….but the physical effects even in remission wreak havoc on our body and mouth. Everything is connected. I am blessed that I am in a place where I am treated with respect finally, but I’m not going to lie…..this debacle has not been pleasant. I look forward to the day where I can eat solid food again, my facial atrophy reverses, swallowing won’t be a chore and I can get back to building my body back and training clients. There are a lot of good dentists out there, you just have to find the right fit……I wish I would’ve found this site earlier! Not sure if this is the kind of story you’re used to, but thank you for the catharsis! It is much appreciated.
Editor’s note: We appreciate you for sharing this – hopefully, this information & your Dental Story will help many people. Thank You!