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.

Sinking Your Teeth Into Florence

No, Not Florence, Italy: Florence, South Carolina

I was just having a conversation with a friend of mine about dentistry. Depending on where you are, dentistry can take your household finances and turn them into mulch.

For their dental care, my Mother and Father actually ripped off the Peoples’ Republic of Hungary (that’s Magyar Népköztársaság for you fellow Hunkies) by having the Communists pay for their false teeth. I doubt they flashed their American passports, but they got thousands of dollars worth of dental care for bupkis.

One could cross the border into Mexico for inexpensive dental work, but there is no good way of holding the dentist accountable if something happens.

My Aunt Margit moved to Florence SC in the 1970s. When she died in 1977, my parents were in Budapest and couldn’t get back in time for the funeral; so my brother and I went instead. One of the things I discovered while there is that Florence was a major dental center, with some clinics doing dental procedures 24/7.

I don’t know if that’s still the case, but there are scads of dental clinics still in operation—many of which have no problem with giving you a price list in advance of need. I suspect that since dentistry is so competitive in Florence, there must be some good dentists to be found there. Even if they voted for Trump and Lindsey Graham.