Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sometimes Teeth Are All About The Shoes

A little tale, to bring you up to speed...and maybe you'll learn from our stupidity. An oral history, if you will. (ha, so punny)

Twenty years ago last month we were walking home from school, which was at the top of a hill. Despite it being October, there was already snow; this was 20 years ago, it used to snow earlier way back then.

Anyway, apparently we weren't as smart as we are now (ha!), something about fashion over comfort (as if we were at all fashionable in high school). We had worn dress shoes to school that day, despite the obvious choice when having to walk home from school in snow, which is boots...or at least some heavy shoe with treads.

The path home was downhill the whole way, the first portion being fairly steep, which then leveled off a bit and passed by a chained-in junkyard with big steel posts on the corners of the seven to eight foot high fence surrounding it, and then the terrain continued to descend the rest of the way.

As we were working our way down the steepest portion we lost footing and began to slide, arms flailing, panicking. Instead of just falling on the ground and being done with it, we tried to gain balance, all the while speeding down the hill on those flat dress shoes with no traction.

Before we could think to aim for the chain fencing around the junkyard to stop our uncontrollable flailing down the hill, our face beat us to it and smacked right into the round steel post on the corner of the junkyard, teeth first.

Laying on the ground spitting blood and broken teeth onto the white snow, the two boys who were walking us home laughed and laughed. Boys are obviously great friends.

Unfortunately, dad didn't find it funny, nor the dental bill that followed. That year we had a chipped tooth fixed and a post, which is a tooth basically attached to a screw, implanted into the top row of teeth.
Dental Post
The work that was done was terrible, and soon after high school it go impacted (infected) and had to be removed, at which time it was replaced by a Dental Flipper. Which is fun and disgusting all at the same time. Fun because you can really freak people out by removing it while talking to them using only your tongue. Disgusting because food gets beneath it, and it's basically covering up a gaping hole in your gums. But it was an inexpensive solution.

Dental Flipper
A few years after that we opted for a more permanent but temporary solution, after the tooth broke off of the flipper, and got what is known as a Marilyn Bridge.

Marilyn Bridge
It only came off a couple of times, but we were really self conscious about it, it didn't look too natural, and it caused us to hide our natural smile when in public (yeah, we actually smile, get over it), and so in 2004 at the encouragement of Talented Boyfriend (now an ex) we bit the big one and went for the (expensive) Permanent Dental Bridge.

Dental Bridge
It was great, we could bite into apples again, we felt more secure, had less nightmares about out teeth falling out...it only bothered us once and awhile because it's hard to clean around.

Then the beginning of this October the chipped portion of the front tooth that had been fixed 20 years ago fell off while we were eating a homemade egg-roll, of all things. Work and classes had us busy so we planned on getting the chip fixed this month...

And then this past Sunday night happened...we hate to admit we know how it happened...we were chewing on a turkey leg. We had decided to wait until Sunday to make Thanksgiving Dinner, and while biting off one of those final bits of gristle (mmm, gristle!) from the leg joint...we bit down wrong and felt something. It wasn't obvious what it was at first. Later, running our tongue along the backside of the Bridge, which we do often, we felt a rough spot. Continuing with the tongue play we told James that we though we'd maybe cracked one of the supports on the bridge.

Next morning looking in the mirror, after brushing our teeth, the whole time thinking something felt weird, like a strange pressure, we pressed our tongue on the back of the bridge and sure enough, a little air bubble on the front of one of the support teeth formed. We ran our fingernail over the outside and yep, there was the crack on the front. 

The porcelain crack on the front and the back, so obviously we couldn't eat breakfast. We promptly went to the dentist, the one who had installed the bridge ten years ago, to try to get an emergency visit, but he wasn't available until today. Distracted by day two of severe back pain, the faulty teeth, and a very hungry belly, we went to take our meteorology lab final and wait until after another class today to find out the big fun news.

Long story short, not only will he have to replace the bridge, but we also need a root canal on one of the teeth - and one of the roots of the support teeth is infected. Voilà, a penicillin prescription and a $4000 dollar estimate later, and here we are...thinking...if we'd only worn different shoes 20 years ago, shoes that would have been more practical...we'd have saved at least $10,000...and wouldn't have busted up what was a very very nice set of natural teeth.

Meanwhile, for the next three weeks it's soft foods and liquid meals only, and then we get another Marilyn Bridge while a new Permanent Bridge measured for our mouth is cast in porcelain, or whatever the cool synthetic teeth are crafted from these days.
Thankfully we have "some" Gin.


  1. If we didn't have dentists, Zombies would be much less of a threat.

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