Monday, July 01, 2013

The Miracles of Modern Dentistry


I meant to write something today, but had an unexpected emergency dentist appointment this morning. Around 9 am, on my way to the coffee pot, I sneezed ferociously. A porcelain, almost metallic thud rang out as most of one tooth clanged against the wooden floorboards at my feet. I knew then that my morning work was going to be pushed off to the afternoon at least. Time to collect the remains of the tooth, place it in a plastic baggie, and make a phone call.

All of this followed a marathon two-hour visit to the dentist's chair on Saturday. One of my teeth had abscessed and six cavities needed to be filled. The most painful part was the protracted process of draining a large infection, a complicated procedure that continued for over an hour. I have never been so glad to leave the dentist in my entire life, and this is really saying something.

My upper lip on the left side is swollen enough that it simulates a Novocaine injection. I live off of ibuprofen. My tongue rubs abrasively against the new fillings, which will wear down with time. If I can get the swelling to go down, I'll be satisfied. In the meantime, I intend to keep writing.

It appears that modern dentistry lied to me. I was told that if I brushed my teeth twice a day, flossed, used a waterpik, and went to the dentist regularly, I had nothing to worry about. 12 cavities, one root canal, and an abscessed tooth later, I find that there's nothing I can do to prevent problems with my teeth. Maybe I can keep them from getting worse. Thank God for dental insurance.

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