The Old Tooth Troubles

I’m in-between antibiotic spells on my next old filling to go bad. I could not afford to have it dealt with a couple years ago, but eventually it has to be undone one way or another.

I have had several molars pulled in my youth which never were replaced in any way. Gradually, the other teeth migrated to kinda fill in the voids, allowing my “wisdom teeth” to come in without being cramped, or so I imagine. I had dental insurance at one job I was at, but heard what a ridiculously long wait it was to get an appointment, so I will never know what could have been done then.

To inform you; although my long dead oldest sister never had any tooth issues, I grew up with many unattended cavities and eventually missing teeth through my teenage years. I mention that since you are often told it is genetics. I have heard that the first born tends to have better teeth due to better availability of calcium and such in the mother, so that does not elude genetics either.

In much of my life, I just took what happened and lived with it, years of toothaches, unattended broken finger, etc. One was never to complain or bring up costly issues. And though I should have been “made” to brush my teeth as a child, I was not. We were just supposed to be always perfect. If one is perfect, what then can be the problem? It sounds crazy to some of you I am sure, but this is the self destructive mindsets some of us are raised into. After I was 16, both of my parents were dead, and I was left with an even more dysfunctional “guardian” who pretty much was my prison guard.

Anyways. Two weeks to the next root canal, and then I am getting a cap on that tooth. The World War Two guy I occasionally see on a hospice visit might have it right. He had all of his teeth pulled and a sculptor who lived in the neighborhood made him a realistic set of false teeth. None of that ridiculous perfect white vanity plastic mouth for him. The sculptor made a very organic set (30 years ago) that you would have never guessed were false. He feels all those costly problems like I have are permanently off of his radar.

My whole life, (except when they were past the point of no return, and may I add, sometimes too abscessed to allow the Novocain to penetrate), they have told me the object was to save your teeth. Around 1970, I had a rich uncle Sam who died, and left me 1,300. dollars, my only ever inheritance of assets, which I then used to have my teeth fixed as much as that would afford. After that, I always brushed twice a day and flossed daily as well when that came around. I often go many years without a cavity, except where old root canals and fillings go bad and I end up with infections I cannot see until they show up on the pain scale. Unfortunately, root canal teeth are “dead” and it takes an X-ray or a large enough abscess to get noticed. What fun.

I resign myself to going to dentist, and with that surface anesthetic they give before the shots, dentistry had gotten less painless. But these days they are seemingly so rushed, that my last cleaning was one of my most painful. I mentioned it to the person doing the cleaning and they acted like; suck it up. They never inquired how I was feeling, which I have noticed is another feature at some of these low budget dental centers. So next time I will say; just give me Novocain in advance. So there. I had one root canal with nitrous oxide, I am going to ask for it as well this time. I am too accustomed to paying intense attention during dental procedures due to my often youthful extreme pain experiences.

Those of you waiting for your golden years to have it easy. Uh. For many of us, we were never told of the rope burns you get sliding down that rainbow into the pot of gold. Only to find you are no longer strong enough to lift the gold out, but a little might get left in your teeth when you fall face first into the treasure. Remember to floss.