Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Tooth Fairy

When I was a child, I always had good teeth. All except one. Every other tooth behaved and did as it was told. It was one errant troublemaker who was responsible for all my dental pain. The only cavity I have ever had in my entire life was filled and life carried on.

Several years later, that filling fell out and the tooth cracked. I probably should have gone to a dentist right away, but I was busy. Dental appointments have never been at the top of my list of priorities.

Unless there’s no other choice.

I was eating some steamed rice and I bit into something harder than you should ever get with steamed rice. It turned out to be part of my tooth. The rest of the tooth was intact, but there was a segment that decided not to stick around anymore. This was a back molar, and the missing part was facing in, so I was ok cosmetically. I was never in danger of looking like a hillbilly, but I figured I should probably go to a dentist anyway.

The dentist was nice enough to give me a root canal. That’s always a fun day. What was left of the tooth was completely killed and they put on a shiny silver crown. A week later I had a permanent crown that looked surprisingly like my real teeth. This tooth is far enough in the back that very few people will ever get to see it, but the dentist still made an effort to make it look natural. I went from having an obvious filling to looking as if my teeth had always been as good as they should have been.

Several years later, I was eating some fried rice and I bit into something harder than you should ever get with steamed rice. I was just as surprised to find my crown as I had been to find a chunk of tooth all those years ago.

The big difference is that now I’m in Hong Kong. The system is a little different here. I’ve heard stories about dentists who don’t believe in novocaine. I’m not entirely sure what they have to do to replace a crown, but I know that I don’t especially want to feel it.

I’ll be going in next week to get it fixed. I should probably go sooner, but I have other things to do, and it seems like a purely cosmetic situation to me. I don’t know if not having the crown is causing any damage, but I don’t feel anything, and since it’s in the back of my mouth, no one can see anything. It would be hard to do my job if I was missing a front tooth, but no one ever sees my molars.


  1. My dentist only 'optionally' offered a painkilling injection after I noticed he wasn't going to me one! He had only one needle that everyone seemed to share... not hygienic

  2. The hospital where I went was pretty clean. I didn't need any painkillers this time, so I didn't have to worry about it, but I'm dreading the next time.


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