Wednesday, April 20, 2011

White Trash Travis

If you are squeamish, particularly when it comes to teeth, you might want to skip this post.

When Travis was little, he was playing baseball at the park with his friends. He was playing the position of catcher when the batter decided to throw the metal bat behind him as he ran to first base. Unfortunately for Travis, the bat went right into his face and shattered his three front teeth. He started the trek home to show his mom what happened. Of course, as a mom, she flipped when her son came home with a mouth full of blood. They were able to get three crowns put over what remained of his teeth.

A few years later, he was having a water fight with his dad on their concrete patio when he slipped and fell, landing on his face. He broke a couple of those same teeth again and had to have those repaired.

Fast forward to high school... Travis' teeth are now too small for his mouth, so he has to get them replaced with adult sized crowns. I knew him when he had that procedure done. I know that it was not a cheap experience for single-mom Brenda.

For many years, Travis and I have been using whitening toothpaste. It became apparent that this was not the best idea for Travis because his real teeth were getting whiter, but his crowns were staying the same color. We decided that we wanted to get his crowns replaced again in a crisper shade of white, so when he went to his last dentist appointment he requested a quote for the elective procedure. The dentist told him sometimes the dental insurance doesn't cover it if it's for aesthetic reasons, but they sent off the request to our insurance anyways.

That weekend, Travis and I were in the middle of our daily snooze-button-party when there was a loud thud from Travis' side of the bed. He shoots up in bed mumbling loudly, "What was that?! What happened?!" Since I had no idea, I told him so. We were both awake so we got up for the day. Travis went to brush his teeth and noticed that there was a chip in one of his outer incisors - one of the crowns.

He went to bed with all his teeth and woke up with a partially missing tooth. I have no idea if that bump in the morning was at all related to Travis' now-crooked smile, but I'm willing to bet it was related.

Travis quickly voiced his fear that the insurance company would surely decline coverage now that it seemed he was purposely trying to damage his facade. Lucky for us, it was accepted that following week. They don't cover near as much as I would have liked. I'm just going to think of it as using a coupon. I'll take any discount we can get.

Since we were already making plans for the new patio, we decided to postpone this work until the fall. Then this happened:

Travis was unscrewing an exhaust fan cover in the ceiling. He thought there was still one screw left in the plate as he removed another screw, but he was wrong. It swung down and hit him smack in the front incisor, shattering it into four or more pieces. It's hard to tell if the front is still attached to the back. The good news is all the pieces are still holding on. Travis is being careful about what he eats until he can get the replacements.

He has an appointment for three new crowns set for May 2. That's two weeks of soft food for Travis. I sincerely hope that tooth stays together because I'm not going to be able to talk to him with a straight face otherwise. I told him either way, he should avoid wearing camo for the next couple of weeks.

I'm contemplating purchasing a mouth guard and a hockey mask for Travis to wear after he gets his new teeth. That way, we won't be spending thousands of dollars on teeth too often and maybe his pretty face will stay intact. I've already mentioned the ladder incident that scarred his face. A few years prior, he was standing on a ladder using a drill when he fell off. The drill went up into the air as he was falling, so that it landed on his face after he fell onto his back on the ground. The Phillips head drill bit landed right in between his eyes, leaving a plus-shaped wound behind.

Yep. Definitely getting a hockey mask.

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