Tuesday, May 27, 2003

the lost tooth

I stayed home today, captive by a slight fever and an overwhelming need to sleep and not think too much.

Before I had a nap, I thought about the tooth I lost the other day - yet another testament to getting older as well as my stubborness (and fear of the dentist).

Yes, it was wiggly, and yes, I could have had a root canal to save it, except for the following things:

1. My pain tolerance is slightly lower than an infant's (Sage could beat me in whatever pain competition you care to think of). The very thought of sitting helplessly while the dentist drills into my jaw and performs whatever implants are needed is enough to make me swoon. Yes, I am aware that anesthesia is used, but I can't even stand the needle that delivers it. An aside: when I was a young kid, I almost had my face bashed in by a military dentist who did not take well to my kicking him in the stomach. When it comes to the dentist, I'm a nutcase.

2. Root canals are expensive. Yes, I know I spend money on stuff like $35 comic book graphic novels and such, but really, I am flabbergasted by the cost here. Why do they have to save the tooth? Why not just pull it out? Yes, I know I could have had it pulled out if I really wanted to, but see point #1.

3. I never found a dentist with a "light touch", which, in terrible sexist terms, means a female dentist. One that does not make small talk or comment on the shocking state of the secret cavity I've been nursing since I don't know when.

4. I got used to the dull throbbing pain of the loose tooth. When it used to get really bad, I'd take a swig of some of Nikki's perfume. Tasted like shit, but the alcohol content dimished the pain, giving me a new foul aftertaste to dwell upon.

So anyway, I was eating and bit into something hard and the tooth gave way, leaving me with a molar gap at the back of my mouth. No, I don't have a gap-toothed grin, but somehow it seems my tongue misses the damn tooth, rooting away and feeling the emptiness where it once rocked.

I thought about leaving it for the tooth fairy, but then what kind of tooth fairy would want that old tooth?

Now that I've had my way (no dentist), all I have is a missing molar that will never grow back. It makes me feel old, making me think about getting dentures (which, of course, necessitates a visit to the dentist) and putting them in a glass of water at night, like my grandparents and step-father.


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