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9:16 pm - Tues 2.03.2009
Oral Fixations

Oral Fixations

I'm really hoping this isn't just the new way of things as I get older, having my "big news" at any given time being something unpleasantly medical.

Or in this case, something unpleasantly dental.

But anyway...I went to the dentist yesterday, and now I have a gaping hole where a tooth used to be.

Or to be more accurate, a gaping hole where the battered remnants of a tooth used to be.

Years ago, I had a couple root canals - two molars on the upper left side - that I never had capped, for reasons too mundane to get into (Thought I was going to get braces, then became too poor to get braces, then became too poor to get caps). And in recent weeks, one of those root canals had starting paining me (I'm not certain that "paining" is an actual word, but I'm sure you get my meaning).

The Dentist told me the hip and happening thing in my situation - having a gaping hole where a tooth used to be - is to get a tooth implant.

But sadly, due to my alien physiology, that's not the best option in my situation (It would necessitate something he called a "sinus lift", which doesn't sound like something I want to deal with right now), so we'll be going "old school" with a bridge.

Considering this was a very unpleasant, downright painful experience (No "Twilight Sleep" for the patients at Whittier Dental, thank you very much, just lots of needles and leather restraints), and considering it's going to cost me at least $850, with deductibles and whatnot (And have I mentioned lately how I don't have a lot of money these days...?), and considering how my jaw still aches from yesterday's assault...I'm kind of in a good mood today, oddly enough.

"Why?", you ask?

In part, because once I realized there was a problem, I acted on it fairly quickly, which is unusual for me, even if I'm in pain (I ended up back at Whittier Dental, where I had the original work done, because a Dentist I saw last week in Koreatown was going to send me to some specialist, and I thought, "Well then I might as well go back to where they already have my history on file...").

I was also happy the news wasn't all bad - No new cavities, the Dentist approved of my oral hygiene (I've upped my game since the two root canals), he told me that, aside from my spacing/crowding issues, my teeth are in very good condition (Though by the same token, the spacing/crowding, added to the fact that I may be grinding my teeth at night, is causing some worrisome wear and tear, and a "mouth guard" may be in my future).

He also did a little cosmetic "fix" on one of my chipped front teeth that, added to the whitening effect of the deep cleaning, made a noticeable difference in my appearance.

But the big "happy news" was that they now do the "Invisalign" thing for people with crooked teeth (Where instead of metal braces, you wear a removable "spacer" mouth-piece thingie).

I would love to have straight teeth - I'd feel better about my looks, it would enhance my career (You don't get cast as rich, powerful guys when you've got fucked-up teeth), and maybe more than anything else, it would feel like a victory on some very primal level; "Nobody cared enough about me when I was a kid to get my teeth fixed, but fuck them - now I can do it for myself".

So I guess the hours of pain yesterday, and the dull ache today, feel "worth it"
because it feels like the "stage is being set", as with my recent weight loss, to take another step towards being the "me" I was always supposed to be.

(This would be a good time for a big national commercial to come my way...)


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