What would you do?

I called my dentist’s office at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, my first day off in over a week, to schedule the six-month checkup I’d been putting off for lack of days off from work. The office manager asked if I could be there at 2 p.m. that day, and I said, ‘Sure, why not?’ The dentist’s office seemed like an apropos destination on a rainy Ash Wednesday day off.

My dentist’s office has little alcoves for each chair, but none of the alcoves have doors and the walls that do exist are thin, so you can hear pretty much everything going on. (My hygienist admitted it was probably a HIPPA violation to have the place so open, but I’m not going to report them because of the following story, which shows why I — after loathing the dentist’s office for so long — actually enjoy getting my teeth cleaned now.)

A lady who was there at the same time I was getting my teeth cleaned had lost a crown off one of her teeth. She was recounting the story of what happened to it loud enough for all of us who were there to hear, though I think maybe she was telling it loudly enough for everyone’s amusement and not just to bring her hygienist up to speed.

The crown had popped off her tooth a few nights before. She put it back on, figuring she’d head to the dentist the next day to get it reattached. Except that not long after that she swallowed her crown, which no doubt cost over $1,000 as crowns often do.

Did she purchase a new one? No, she decided to wait it out, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. While she was recounting the story to all of us, the hygienist was bleaching the crown and laughing her ass off.

‘I hope I never have a crown for that reason,’ I said. ‘I can just see the same thing happening to me. I think I’d have to declare it gone the minute I swallowed it.’

‘Yeah, me too,’ my hygienist said. ‘Although those things can be pretty dang expensive.’

‘True, and I am a tight-wad with money and probably as far from a germaphobe as you can get,’ I said. ‘Hmmmm.’

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3 Responses to What would you do?

  1. I made the mistake of getting dental work done in Denmark, which resulted in TWO root canals and TWO crowns the week I got back to the US (within days of getting my wisdom teeth out). Five years later, I’m still paying for this mistake, as my crown cracked in August and I had to go to the dentist for a series of 13 visits in the fall to get it repaired, have gum surgery, get drilled down, etc. And THEN, after all that, my temporary crown cracked and fell out into my mashed potatoes as Scott and I were having a romantic dinner at a castle in Carmel.

    It’s safe to say I have the worst teeth luck ever. (And my front veneer cracked from a bagel at Panera in Knoxville last summer, so now I’m pretty much afraid to eat anything, ever.)

  2. Anna says:

    When I was six, I chipped off my two front adult teeth in a swimming pool accident. After the silver caps (this was 1963) were in place I was told by the dentist and my mother to not eat any sticky candy. Well, my favorite candy in the whole world was a Sugar Daddy sucker which is a sucker made up of hard caramel. Imagine my surprise and subsequent horror when I bit down into that sucker and found both my caps stuck in the caramel. When I pulled the sucker out of my mouth, the caps went too. I tried to put them back on my teeth but eventually had to ‘fess up’ to my mom. I never forgot that lesson (parents usually makes rules for a reason no matter how outrageous it seems at the time) and think of it even now (at age 53) when I see those Sugar Daddies in the candy aisle at the grocery store.

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