Saturday, August 27, 2005

Reality Bites

For me, it has become the moment that every senior (or incipient senior) dreads - that time when one's own teeth must give way to the modern marvels of dentistry. My paternal family has always had a genetic predisposition to bad teeth (my father used to claim that the condition is known as acidic saliva - as to that, I can't say), I have had more than my share of misery over the years, including abscesses and impactions, and I have had quite enough.

Through the years and visits, my dentition has come to resemble the inside of an amalgam mine (did you know that amalgam is composed partly of mercury, a substance known to be poisonous in large quantities? I should properly be dead) and I am certain that I have put a few dentists' children through college.

The latest folly involved the dislodgement of an amalgam insert and the snapping off of a goodly portion of tooth remnant, leaving a knife's edge and a spear point which lacerate and penetrate my tongue each time I attempt to chew or swallow. I am at present sipping soup and coffee through a straw (laugh if you must) and a 3-stick wad of gum lodges in the gaping cavity and covers the offending hypodermic of enamel, until I can prevail upon some kindly dentist to remove from my mouth every last one of these instruments of torture.

It will not be easy. Most have insisted that all I require is a partial bridge to make all as good as new. No. I want them all gone, so that I might never after be bedeviled by bouts of agony. If I am very lucky, I will locate the kindly and compassionate soul who will agree to release me from pain, and I will have, at long last, relief.

And eventually, when I can eat solid food again, my inaugural meal will be prime rib with a liberally buttered baked potato and freshly grilled vegetables.



sunnyside46 said...

I am so sorry. i have a lot of tooth problems too. i feel like the dentist thinkks I dont' take care of my teeth, but I am a fanatic & brush every time I go to the bathroom,even in the middle of the night.I have had to have all my molars removed & am somewhat limited as to what I can eat. I live in terror of looking like an old mountain woman if one of the front ones goes!
sincerely wishing you luck with this.

sistercdr said...

Malcolm, I am so sorry.  I've fortunate to have basically good teeth, but I have my share of fillings.  I've had a root canal on a molar go bad which caused me to loose that tooth. (I'm still saving up for a bridge, but the daughter's orthodontia has to be over before we do that.)  Be careful about jumping quickly to dentures though.  Our gums change shape over the years, and doing it too early can mean having to change dentures a lot.

louie0768 said...

Hey Malcolm. My husband and I too have been plagued with these unfortunate mishaps callled teeth. We are looking to save up enough money to go to that thing called 'sedation dentistry' so all the work can be done at one time. It will cost us a small fortune though. You're demise sounds so damn familiar. Pat just lost a chunk of one of his teeth on our vacation when he bit into a chocolate chip cookie.
My parents have had false teeth since I can remember and my mom was in her 30's when I was but a wee tot. The mere mention of it to my dentist that he just yank my teeth and be done with it brings both an audible and visible cringe. He would lose a good chunk of his pocket change if he bowed down and gave me what I wanted.
Pat and I have joked that we should just camp out at the dentist office and give him our every paycheck. It is a sad predicament to say we have dental coverage when in all actuality is seems like the coverage doesn't help in our lives.
I hope that one day you will find what you are looking for in a dentist! They should listen to their patients and do what they are asked. Afterall, we are the ones who put food on their table.
Good luck Malcolm and try to enjoy your soup.

mutualaide said...

If I have just one more darned filling fall out and tooth snap, I shall join you on your journey.  I am just a tad tired of the dentist chair and knowing that I could have put my own daughter through college.  Well, that's just the icing on the cake!