Wednesday, September 09, 2009

So I have my first silver tooth filling. I've had a couple of small fillings before, but the dentist said this one was deep. He even took an X-ray to make sure I didn't need a root canal. A root canal?! Oh no. I also needed another, smaller filling on the adjacent tooth.

There's nothing like the sound of that dentist drill and seeing little bits of tooth come flying out of your mouth. It's pretty horrifying, even if the right side of my mouth was fully numb and I didn't feel a thing. The dentist put some metallic stuff onto the teeth and I waited for about ten minutes and it was all over. I rinsed in the sink and saw the right side of my face drooping down in the mirror, and that really scared me, too. Is that how it would look if I had a stroke?

My tooth doesn't look silver. The inside of the back of the tooth with the big filling actually just looks black. I ate hot food and drank cold soda and it didn't feel too bad. The cold felt kind of strange, I guess.

I tend to see cavities as personal failures, as in why didn't I floss more? But today it occurred to me it's something else: it's yet another sign that I'm getting older. No one's teeth improve with age. I think of my parents with their multiple root canals, my grandparents with their dentures, and it is not a pretty dental future. Not pretty but something I will have to deal with, one procedure at a time.

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