Monday, January 7, 2008

Rachel gets some bling bling

I have always had good teeth. Aside from a few fillings when I was a youngster and a couple tiny chips in my front teeth from my terrible habit of opening bobby pins with my teeth I have never really had any issues. I never needed braces or a retainer (even though I really wanted one when I was 9). I even managed to avoid having my wisdom teeth removed. For years I have listened as friends and family told me tales of root canals, braces tightening and dental visits that included multiple fillings. As I listened I pretended to understand their pain as I sat there with my mouthful of nearly perfect natural white teeth. Little did I know that only a few weeks into my 28th year of life my flawless molars would be forever scarred after a tragic run in with a granola bar.

Christmas Eve morning as I munched away at my breakfast of a granola bar a tiny chip on the inner corner of my bottom left far back molar no bigger than 1/6 of a tic tac popped right off. I felt nothing and would not have even noticed it happened except for the fact that the granola bar was quite soft and as I chewed the tiny piece of sharp tooth was quite noticeable on my palate. I looked at the piece of tooth sitting in the palm of my hand and thought how odd it was that there was a bone fragment in my granola bar. Ten seconds later my heart sunk as I ran my tongue along my molars to clear out the remaining bits of breakfast that had settled in my teeth. The chip in my tooth felt massive to my tongue as it explored the surface where the tiny piece of tooth in my hand had once been so securely attached. I immediately ran to grab a flashlight and proceeded to show everyone I could find, my brother and then Hamilton and then later that day my Dad and Josephine, Grandpa, Steve, Mom, coworkers the list goes on and on and everyone’s reply was similar, “oooh that looks like it might need a crown”. A crown! What the heck is a crown?? It sounds like something fun and fancy a pretty mouth accessory for the rich and famous like veneers or that blue light thing that makes your teeth white. Believe me! Getting a crown is nothing near that description.

For me the two and a half hour ordeal included 3 different series of novocain shots during the first hour, having to hold my jaw open as wide as I could tolerate until my eyes would well up with tears and my mouth start to shake at which point I would rest for 5 minutes and then repeat the process. Having at the very least 5 foreign objects in my mouth at any given time and the best part having 4 different drill bits used to slowly drill away the majority of what was left of my pretty little chipped tooth. After all of that merriment I got to have the fun experience of having my mouth crammed with rigid trays filled with warm squishy goo so they could take a mold of the demolition site to aid in the fabrication of the so called “crown”. For now I have been fitted with an ill fitting temp that looks like someone took a bunch of those shiny silver balls that people used to decorate cookies with in the 80’s and melted them together into the shape of something that sort of resembles a tooth and crammed it in the hole where my tooth used to be. I think the thing is pretty much useless, I can’t chew on it and can’t floss near it and have to be wary of cold things touching it. Its sole purpose as far as I can tell is to keep me from crying from seeing how much of my tooth was drilled away. Oh and I guess to protect what is left of my tooth until 2 weeks from now I get to go back and have this ugly imposter yanked from my gums and replaced with a very permanent, very gold tooth.

Originally I really had my heart set on porcelain, I kinda wanted to just forget the whole thing ever happened and a fake tooth that looked like a real tooth seemed like the best means to achieve this goal. But after listening to the reasoning of both my dentist and hygienist as to the benefits of gold over porcelain I decided to take the advice of the professionals and go for the gold. Really it goes back to what I had imagined a crown to be in the first place, a pretty, fancy mouth accessory. I mean I think some people out there pay good money to have gold put on their teeth when they don’t even need it just so they can look cool. Right?

At the moment my mouth is feeling quite sore from all the shots and drilling and such and I am already missing my molar and solid food. All this drama because of one little chip! So chew carefully my friends, even if you think your teeth are perfect or if you only eat soft granola bars you are not out of harms way. You never know someday soon you too could be the proud owner of a gold tooth.

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