I know there are a number of medical doctors on these forums, but are there any dentists?
When I was 17 I came out on the short end of a meeting between a moped and a ĺ ton pickup. The worst of it was the impact slammed my jaw shut with enough force to break off my front right tooth, knock out the tooth beside it, and leave a hairline crack in my left front tooth. The resulting dental work was a bridge mounted on my right canine and a peg inserted into what was left of my front right tooth. This work was completed over a few months.
Being somewhat psychologically crushed and afflicted with the impatience of youth I went ahead and started playing on the temporary plastic teeth given to me so as not to frighten the young ladies in my life. Because these were loosely attached I shifted my embouchure to the left on the top. When the bridge was finally cemented into place I went back to my old spot, which unfortunately was not the same as my original. To this day I have been left with an anchor on my bottom lip and two positions on the top. It is something I struggle with as if I let down my guard I tend to drift to the left. I donít even know Iím doing it until finally sometime later I realize and then move back to the right. Call it lazy if you will, but it is very frustrating especially as it renders both set ups less than satisfactory.
Twenty-eight years later the bridge gave up the ghost and it was replaced by a two-tooth bridge fastened with crowns on my left front tooth and right canine. This time I was smart enough to put the horn down until all the work was completed. When I went back to playing it was a strange sensation. It was like I was playing with someone elseís mouth; someone who could play the trumpet, but not nearly as well as me. With practice I overcame this feeling, but I am still cursed with two set ups.
Ten years later I am now faced with a permanent (hopefully) fix. This March work begins on the installation of implants. The upside is I will not have to worry about another bridge wearing out. I am not sure what the down side is. I am planning on not playing until the work is finished which could be as late as September, at which point I imagine I will be starting over again.
I guess Iím worried about this and wonder if there is anyone out there who has had a similar experience, or perhaps had a student like me, and can offer words of advice, or tidbits of wisdom?