Monday, July 14, 2008

Dental Emergencies--Is there a moral to this story?

This post really should go over at MidLifeBloggers because my dental adventures are all a function of my age. Well, that and the fact that I didn't floss for much of my life. And also that my father had good gums and decay-ridden teeth (he was still having fillings at 86) and my mother had great teeth but lousy gums--and I inherited her gums and his teeth. As a consequence, I have spent a lifetime in the dentists' chairs. And I am not a friendly patient. I am not even a patient patient, as I have no zitzfleish, which loosely translates as the ability to sit still. Finally, I've managed to find several dentists who will listen to me, do what I tell them, humor me, laugh at my jokes, hug me when I come in and leave, and generally give the impression that, hey, they like me, they really like me. The fact that both of them are Persian is--well, I don't know what it is. But they are, and one's a Muslim and the other's a Jew and we all get along really well. This being the case, there was no way in the world I was going to find new dentists in Sacramento. Really. I've made periodic trips to LA just to see one or the other or both of my dentists. Mostly this has worked out relatively well. But every so often, I have a dental emergency, and then I cry like a baby for them to save me. Which they must do long-distance, since I'm here and they're there.

Like yesterday, when appropros of a nectarine and some cheese and crackers, I bit down on something alien. It was, it turned out, the crown from one of my lower teeth. I have lots of crowns because I have lots of implants because of my mispent dental youth and bad genes. And here one was, on my tongue, a vision in porcelein and gold. If I were in LA, I would have called my dentist and he would have told me to come right over and I would have and he would have glued the thing back in my mouth. But I'm not in LA...

...and I just happen to have some dental glue that he gave me a while back. So late last night I mixed it up, troweled it onto the crown and shoved the little bugger back in my mouth.


This morning I called my dentist. I've got good news and bad news, I told him.

Please, he said, give me the good news first.

I'm moving back to LA at the end of the summer--and you know that last crown you put in my mouth last year well it fell out yesterday and I glued it back in place. Backwards.

I could hear him sigh--and laugh, because he does know me!--and then he proceeded to give me step by step instructions on how to get it out and please please please call him when I do. The process involves a lot of wiggling of the tooth until the glue loosens. Which it hasn't yet. But it will, goddamit, it will.

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