Sunday, February 3, 2008

Chipping My Tooth

I accidentally bit into something hard over lunch today and chipped my tooth. It was one of my molars.
It wasn't an unadulterated, pristine molar, but nevertheless, it had my DNA on it.
That tooth had seen better days. The reason why it's in such a fragile condition is that most of it has been rehabilitated by a root canal procedure when I was still in grade school.
Can you imagine going through a root canal at the age of 10?
Well, anyway, I wised up after that and that was the last filling I ever had.
But a while back, after almost two decades of being part of my mouth, my filling decided to just leave me. It just upped and left. Sure, there was some abuse on my part. I was chewing gum at that time--the LAST gum I'll EVER chew, I'll tell you that--then it just decided to divorce me and stick to the gum I was chewing. No final words, no goodbye letters stuck to the fridge.
Seeking much-needed solace, I went to my dentist and she told me, "If you're not in pain and your bite is the same, we don't need to do anything right now. Your tooth looks fine."
Fine?!? I think. It has a big hole where all the food I chew disappear into and I have to excavate with a soup ladle afterwards, and you tell me it looks fine?!?
But outwardly I say politely, "Is there any way we can fix it, like fill it or something?"
Well the dentist proceeds to tell me that other than the filling, a part of my tooth chipped off and since it was a molar, I have to have it capped, and in order to do that prosthetics have to be used and posts have to be installed, blah blah blah, blah blah blah (at this point i was just staring at her face mask and how it moved when she talked). Then came time for her to tell me how much it costs to cap one tooth, and well...
That was some how many years ago and, you guessed right, I just lived with what remained of my tooth after that. She is my dentist after all, and I believe her. I go to her for regular maintenance anyway, so my tooth MUST be okay.
But today, a part of my tooth decided that hey,
it can't live like this, that was too hard a thing to accidentally bite into, and besides, it's had it with the soup ladles! So it decided to break off and gain it's freedom. It is now nestled in tissue paper, which I unceremoniously threw in the trash. Goodbye, disloyal tooth chip.
Now, I find myself setting up an appointment with my dentist, and knowing how prices have soared, I know I'll be forking over much more money now than I would have then.

And that's how life is.
NOTHING LASTS FOREVER. Not your filling, not your tooth, not even the prices of the caps for your tooth. Not even your dentist lasts forever.

Life is change. And change comes when you least expect it.

Lesson learned?
NEVER chew gum.

P.S. Don't believe everything you read, either.

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