Tuesday, January 31, 2006

tooth crags in a gum sea

My morning was totally hijacked by dentistry, and now I'm in pain. I had written down that I had a dentist appointment, and I had just assumed it was a cleaning. When I got to the dentists office, the hygienist leaped out from behind the counter and surprised me with "you're here to have your fillings replaced with inlays." After I had been in the chair for a while I got another fun surprise. "You know, there is really too much decay here for inlays. I'm going to have to give you crowns on both these teeth. Don't worry, I won't charge you more, though."

Now I had always pictured crowns as something small that goes on the top of your tooth. They apparently don't teach this benign image in dentistry school, though. Mr. Dentist Person started in with the drill, and by the time he was done, there were just little crags of tooth left above the gum line. I guess “crown” is really “anything that is not the root,” or perhaps “anything we can get at with a drill and still leave tooth left to glue the crown to.”

They put in temporary crowns, which will break or fall off if I use them to chew anything crunchy, or sticky, or solid. They also used an electric cauterizer to push back my gums, so that they could find more tooth to drill into. My mouth hurts, and no one even gave me a sticker. Caroline always gets a sticker when she goes to the doctor. I want a sticker. Or a treat. But only a liquid one.

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