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On the Longevity of Teeth

I Am About to Lose Another Tooth

Within the last year and a half or so, whenever one of my crowns comes loose, there is some collateral damage that entails either (or both) a root canal and an extraction. I remember that my great grandmother, father, and mother all had false teeth. With my father, the false teeth were problematical, as any pressure on the roof of his mouth led to his ejecting his dentures at high speed across the kitchen table, to the amusement of my brother and myself. (I have inherited the same roof-of-the-mouth sensitivity, which makes me not a comfortable candidate for dentures.)

Now suddenly, I find myself in a similar situation. As my former dentist, Dr. Thomson Sun, said, “Teeth don’t last forever.” I am beginning to find that he is right.

Truth to tell, I have been greatly remiss about oral hygiene. I didn’t brush my teeth after every meal, or even once a day—and as for flossing, fuggedaboutit! I have become more regular about brushing my teeth with an electric toothbrush every evening before going to bed, but there were all those years during which I let plaque accumulate and attack my teeth.

I would love to have implants, but not only are they expensive, I would need special surgery to increase the bone mass of my upper teeth, where all the recent damage has occurred. And for me, it would be even more expensive because I would need to have an anesthesiologist present to make sure I awaken. (This harks back to my lack of a pituitary gland, and therefore no adrenaline.)

So if things continue along the same line, I will have a crystal meth addict’s smile, which is good for frightening small children and young women.