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The (not-so) Folly of Youth

Jun. 5th, 2003 | 12:52 am

13 years ago, when I was a freshmen in college, about a third of one of my molars just broke off and fell out. No warning, no pain, it was just gone. Not having any insurance, and mostly since it didn't hurt, I ignored it.

3 months ago another third of the tooth fell off. Also no pain, no warning. But this time I had insurance, and thought this was a good time to stop putting off going to the dentist, which I had been doing for about the last 3 years.

So in I went, although it took 2 months to get the actual appointment. I had steeled myself to my biggest fear, the recrimination of the staff as I fessed up to my absymal oral hygiene. Although my mom had been great about getting us to the dentist on a very regular basis, the day to day emphasis on toothly things just wasn't there. For 30 1/2 years of my life, I brushed my teeth an average of once a month, and that's being extremely generous.

As I approached my appointment, I kept thinking about an episode of Northern Exposure. Chris came from a family that died before 40, and that was the lifespan he was looking at. Then something happened and he realized he would live a lot longer, but his teeth might not accompany him. In fact, that's exactly what I thought would be the case. I thought I'd be completely in dentures in short order.

So I went, and I was ... shocked. There was the obvious problem, which needed a root canal and a crown. There's a pretty bad cavity on the left that needs a filling. I had mild to medium periodontal (gum) disease. And that was it. Not only was that it, but my other teeth looked "exceptionally good". Not only that, but my overall health was so good they didn't even ask my about my dental routine. I was floored. I really had been convinced my teeth were decayed and rotting and about to fall out.

So I quickly got my root canal, which wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. There were painful parts, but I kept picturing the birth of my son. I drew on my wife for stength at that time, and it worked extremely well.

The other problem area, the gums, are now almost completely taken care of. The hygenist was in awe at how quickly they had healed, and thought I must be doing the most fantastic of jobs. Today I left the office again on a high, extremely proud of myself for taking a nagging problem of 13 years and finally taking care of it.

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The (not-so) Folly of Youth

Jun. 5th, 2003 | 12:52 am

13 years ago, when I was a freshmen in college, about a third of one of my molars just broke off and fell out. No warning, no pain, it was just gone. Not having any insurance, and mostly since it didn't hurt, I ignored it.

3 months ago another third of the tooth fell off. Also no pain, no warning. But this time I had insurance, and thought this was a good time to stop putting off going to the dentist, which I had been doing for about the last 3 years.

So in I went, although it took 2 months to get the actual appointment. I had steeled myself to my biggest fear, the recrimination of the staff as I fessed up to my absymal oral hygiene. Although my mom had been great about getting us to the dentist on a very regular basis, the day to day emphasis on toothly things just wasn't there. For 30 1/2 years of my life, I brushed my teeth an average of once a month, and that's being extremely generous.

As I approached my appointment, I kept thinking about an episode of Northern Exposure. Chris came from a family that died before 40, and that was the lifespan he was looking at. Then something happened and he realized he would live a lot longer, but his teeth might not accompany him. In fact, that's exactly what I thought would be the case. I thought I'd be completely in dentures in short order.

So I went, and I was ... shocked. There was the obvious problem, which needed a root canal and a crown. There's a pretty bad cavity on the left that needs a filling. I had mild to medium periodontal (gum) disease. And that was it. Not only was that it, but my other teeth looked "exceptionally good". Not only that, but my overall health was so good they didn't even ask my about my dental routine. I was floored. I really had been convinced my teeth were decayed and rotting and about to fall out.

So I quickly got my root canal, which wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. There were painful parts, but I kept picturing the birth of my son. I drew on my wife for stength at that time, and it worked extremely well.

The other problem area, the gums, are now almost completely taken care of. The hygenist was in awe at how quickly they had healed, and thought I must be doing the most fantastic of jobs. Today I left the office again on a high, extremely proud of myself for taking a nagging problem of 13 years and finally taking care of it.

Link | Leave a comment | Share

The (not-so) Folly of Youth

Jun. 5th, 2003 | 12:52 am

13 years ago, when I was a freshmen in college, about a third of one of my molars just broke off and fell out. No warning, no pain, it was just gone. Not having any insurance, and mostly since it didn't hurt, I ignored it.

3 months ago another third of the tooth fell off. Also no pain, no warning. But this time I had insurance, and thought this was a good time to stop putting off going to the dentist, which I had been doing for about the last 3 years.

So in I went, although it took 2 months to get the actual appointment. I had steeled myself to my biggest fear, the recrimination of the staff as I fessed up to my absymal oral hygiene. Although my mom had been great about getting us to the dentist on a very regular basis, the day to day emphasis on toothly things just wasn't there. For 30 1/2 years of my life, I brushed my teeth an average of once a month, and that's being extremely generous.

As I approached my appointment, I kept thinking about an episode of Northern Exposure. Chris came from a family that died before 40, and that was the lifespan he was looking at. Then something happened and he realized he would live a lot longer, but his teeth might not accompany him. In fact, that's exactly what I thought would be the case. I thought I'd be completely in dentures in short order.

So I went, and I was ... shocked. There was the obvious problem, which needed a root canal and a crown. There's a pretty bad cavity on the left that needs a filling. I had mild to medium periodontal (gum) disease. And that was it. Not only was that it, but my other teeth looked "exceptionally good". Not only that, but my overall health was so good they didn't even ask my about my dental routine. I was floored. I really had been convinced my teeth were decayed and rotting and about to fall out.

So I quickly got my root canal, which wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. There were painful parts, but I kept picturing the birth of my son. I drew on my wife for stength at that time, and it worked extremely well.

The other problem area, the gums, are now almost completely taken care of. The hygenist was in awe at how quickly they had healed, and thought I must be doing the most fantastic of jobs. Today I left the office again on a high, extremely proud of myself for taking a nagging problem of 13 years and finally taking care of it.

Link | Leave a comment | Share

The (not-so) Folly of Youth

Jun. 5th, 2003 | 12:52 am

13 years ago, when I was a freshmen in college, about a third of one of my molars just broke off and fell out. No warning, no pain, it was just gone. Not having any insurance, and mostly since it didn't hurt, I ignored it.

3 months ago another third of the tooth fell off. Also no pain, no warning. But this time I had insurance, and thought this was a good time to stop putting off going to the dentist, which I had been doing for about the last 3 years.

So in I went, although it took 2 months to get the actual appointment. I had steeled myself to my biggest fear, the recrimination of the staff as I fessed up to my absymal oral hygiene. Although my mom had been great about getting us to the dentist on a very regular basis, the day to day emphasis on toothly things just wasn't there. For 30 1/2 years of my life, I brushed my teeth an average of once a month, and that's being extremely generous.

As I approached my appointment, I kept thinking about an episode of Northern Exposure. Chris came from a family that died before 40, and that was the lifespan he was looking at. Then something happened and he realized he would live a lot longer, but his teeth might not accompany him. In fact, that's exactly what I thought would be the case. I thought I'd be completely in dentures in short order.

So I went, and I was ... shocked. There was the obvious problem, which needed a root canal and a crown. There's a pretty bad cavity on the left that needs a filling. I had mild to medium periodontal (gum) disease. And that was it. Not only was that it, but my other teeth looked "exceptionally good". Not only that, but my overall health was so good they didn't even ask my about my dental routine. I was floored. I really had been convinced my teeth were decayed and rotting and about to fall out.

So I quickly got my root canal, which wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. There were painful parts, but I kept picturing the birth of my son. I drew on my wife for stength at that time, and it worked extremely well.

The other problem area, the gums, are now almost completely taken care of. The hygenist was in awe at how quickly they had healed, and thought I must be doing the most fantastic of jobs. Today I left the office again on a high, extremely proud of myself for taking a nagging problem of 13 years and finally taking care of it.

Link | Leave a comment | Share