Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Will it stay in this time ?

I once laughed at my dad because he glued a filling back into one of his teeth rather than have a dentist fit a new one - I laughed but actually to the best of my knowledge the Araldite was still holding the filling in place when he finally fell off his perch years later.

I mention this because a couple or three years ago I had a full crown fitted to a tooth root, which is basically a full false tooth that is fixed to the root of the old tooth by drilling a hole into the root where a titanium spike which is attached to the new tooth can be glued into place.

I had this done and paid the dentist £300 or so for the pleasure of him drilling out my tooth root, but as he said, "it will last forever".

Two years later and after that dentist had sold his practice (fortunately and by coincidence to another dentist), I noticed my new tooth was wobbling slightly, and in no time at all I had been informed that the root to which the new tooth was fixed had snapped and the new tooth would have to come out.

I was given three choices involving treatment which ranged from a few hundred pounds to several thousand pounds for an operation to graft a new tooth onto my jawbone, all of which sounded a bit OTT, I plumped for the option four which the dentist never mentioned which was to leave the tooth wobbling.

It wobbled for another two months at which point it promptly fell out while I was eating a curry in an Indian restaurant in Bradford, so I booked an appointment to see the dentist again.

I smiled at him as I walked into his consulting room at which point he mentioned that the tooth appeared to have fallen out, he's good is my dentist, you have to get up early to put anything past him.

We went through the choices again, mentioning the one at several thousand pounds which he recommended. I mentioned that Her Majesty's Government are currently under the impression that I owe them many thousands in back tax and that next year could be a bread and water year and he shook his head with a sorrowfull face and gave me that look that all tax defaulters understand, "Me too", its bad enough me having to pay my own tax bill I'm not going to provide him with the wherewithal to pay his own too.

I then mentioned that I was happy with the huge gap in my smile as it made me look like a pirate and could he just check the root of the old tooth as it was obviously still in there and I was aware that there would be a deep hole drilled in it, would it need filling or removing ?

He looked into the root for a while then asked if I still had the crown that had fallen out, indeed I had, it was in my pocket I explained, I gave him it, he worked out which way round it should fit then rammed it back into the hole from where it had fallen two weeks earlier.

"It fits" he declared

I almost reminded him that at £300 I already knew that it fitted, it had been custom made for me, it was the root that was knackered not the tooth.

He then murmured something about being able to temporarily fit it back in while I decided what sort of permanent job I wanted doing on it, he basically wanted to glue it back in.

Seemed reasonable to me, sounded cheap and the pirate look wasn't actually that glamorous anymore, so with his back turned to me he set about mixing some glue with which to stick my tooth back in with, and I was reminded of my dad doing the same thing with his filling all those years ago, I asked him if he was using Araldite and he looked over his shoulder and gave a sort of half nervous laugh as if to confirm that I was perhaps joking - I think he really was using Araldite.

He shoved the tooth back in its socket and cleaned off the surplus glue from around its base and charged me £35, I asked if this was possibly option five, a permanent fix but he was very noncommittal about his handiwork and said he see me at my next inspection visit.

Like my dad, I've now got glued-in teeth.

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