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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Dental Work

I can think of a hundred and one (make that a thousand and one) things I would rather do than spend an afternoon in a dental chair having my teeth drilled. And yet, today, I found myself doing just that.

Let me explain how I got there. Last Monday, my hubby and I were debating about what to have for dinner (you should know we take these debates very seriously). I was looking forward to reading Must Love Dogs and didn’t want to bother with cooking so my vote was for frozen pizza. No judgments, please! I am not some horrible wife who serves frozen dinners all the time. Once in a while maybe – and besides, in my defense, Freschetta’s brick oven pizzas, especially the one with 5 cheeses, can almost pass for restaurant quality.

Hubby, on the other hand, wanted something home-cooked. However, since I was eventually going to end up doing the “home cooking”, I argued the merits of thin-crust pizza and even magnanimously offered to compromise and pick a pie with his choice of toppings. And so pepperoni, olives and green peppers it was! I considered pizza for dinner a small victory.

My victory lasted till the next day, since I had the leftovers for lunch. Personally, I think pizza is better a day old - straight out of the fridge - cold, tough and chewy. Unfortunately the slice I had was a little too tough and I ended up losing the filling in one of my back molars. So I guess my dinner-choice-victory actually landed me in the dentist chair. The moral here is obvious … (fill in the blank with what you think it is). FYI, it’s NOT that you have to give in to your husbands’ every dinner request.

So there I was sitting in the dental chair, with my dentist shaking her head. Not a good sign. First, the molar where I lost the filling could not be “re-filled”. Turns out the bone matter was very thin and could not hold the filling - what I needed was to have a crown attached. What’s worse, the tooth right before the molar also had a huge cavity and that needed filling too. Just great! It’s amazing, I can walk into my dentist’s on any given day and she will always find something to work on! No fail!

While waiting for my crown, I realize that this marks yet another significant time in my life. Looking back at my dental/life history, it started with regular visits to Dr. Ang in Greenhills. She was my first dentist, where I got fluoride treatments and had my teeth cleaned. Ironically, I would always get candy after a visit with her. Then when I was a teenager, I switched to Dr. Sunglao in Bel-Air, who also gave me fluoride treatments, and marked my entry into young adulthood by filling my cavities! Getting those silver-black fillings really made me feel like a teenager. All my friends had them. It was as close as I could get to wearing braces which all the cool kids wore but I was “unlucky” enough not to need! I must have gone to a weird school cause where I went, braces defined coolness!

This time, I have a new dentist (Dr. Reyes) and am getting a new procedure too. I think I am now officially in the beginning of my mid-life! After all, I got my very first crown today!

I used to hear my parents and aunts and uncles talk about getting “crowns”, root canals, caps, bridges, and eventually dentures! Back then it sounded like something really old people got. And now, here I am getting one myself! Boy, talk about feeling old.

Not only did getting the crown age me – it also set me back $750.00! Yes – you read right. Seven hundred and fifty dollars - and that's after my discount! No wonder they call it a “crown”! Gosh. Getting my tooth filled cost $170.00 (that seemed reasonable) but the crown – sheesh! I actually felt bad having the crown on my second to the last molar – all the way back in my mouth. For that price, I may have to practice smiling with my mouth wide open and give people a glimpse!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Incredibly fantastic parallelism of tooth procedures with your growing years. You have remarkable ability to describe simple tooth troubles and turn this into an interesting story. Hopefully the high cost of the crown and the filling will discourage you from taking hard to chew food. Never laugh at the tooth problems of old people; you are going there soon.