Story of a tooth

I haven’t broken a single bone in my body, in my whole life, except for my upper right front incisor.

And I’ve broken that one three times.

The first time I don’t actually remember, although I remember having a direct memory at seem time, but now it just feels like hearsay. It was on one of those spring-mounted horses that we used to play on, which have since, for the most part, been outlawed by the safety-conscious parents and playground designers. I knocked out my front upper baby tooth, but, of course, it was replaced b an adult tooth, and all was fine.

But, then, when I was 11 or 12 years old, and we were up at camp in the California, on Mount Shasta, I think, spending a glorious afternoon sliding down these natural water-slides that connected potholes of accumulated rainwater, I slipped, and my head came down and my front teeth collided with the granite rock. My tooth didn’t withstand the impact, and I had a broken front tooth.

My best friend’s mother had dental insurance, and she coached me to say that I was her daughter (ie I was to pretend that I was, in fact, my best friend) and we would get emergency care fro my tooth. The dentist covered my tooth with a clunky silver cap, and I came back home with a huge piece of metal in the front of my mouth.

My home dentist made a nice crown for me, and left me with a decent approximation of my old smile.

That crown was revised once or twice, and then, just a few years ago, I stumbled down our stairs onto the front landing of our home, which had slate tiles. My face hit first, and my crown fell out. It was a Sunday morning, and my darling husband brought me to an emergency dental clinic, who again covered up my raw nerve with a temporary cap, until my regular dentist could install a more permanent crown.

And, all was good until last year, when I went in for my routine dental visit, and my dentist, Dr. G, came in and wiggled my front incisor, and said something to the effect that “There’s too much wiggle in this tooth, and that it could come out when I bit into a sub sandwich, and we should reinforce it by attaching it to a veneer on the adjacent front tooth.

And, I hated that idea!

We were going to shave down a perfectly good tooth, in order to attach it to my “fake tooth”, to reinforce it? That sounded crazy!

So I ignored that advice, until this year’s routine visit came around, and Dr G again wiggled my front tooth, and made the same declaration, and I thought “Maybe he’s right, and I really should go ahead and do this.”

So, I made the appointment for the veneer fitting.

Before:

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That squarish tooth on the right is the “fake”, and the one on the left is my “real tooth”.

After:

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And, now, both front teeth are “fake”, but the alignment is better, and the color matches better.

I still feel a little anxious about biting into things – I can’t imagine biting into an apple, but I hope to be able to do so someday.

I’m having to retrain my bite – at first I couldn’t figure out how to bite down, without hitting my front upper teeth with my lower teeth, but that’s getting better.

I feel some sadness about losing my “real tooth”, but I guess it’s helping out my “fake tooth” so it’s all for the best.

And, I hope I don’t have to go through this again for many years!!! I do hate the sound of that drill!

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