Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Adventures in Dentistry: The life, death, and resurrection of a molar.

Once upon a time, Little Jill had a cavity on (in?) a baby molar. Her dentist gave it a filling and gave Little Jill a lollypop and a toothbrush (go figure.) The cavity won the battle, however, so Dentist pulled the dying molar and placed a metal spacer in its place to save a spot for an adult molar. Little Jill really loved caramel apples. While partying in Little Jill's mouth, the spacer and the caramel fell in love or something and refused to be separated. So the spacer said "peace-out" to Little Jill's gums and remained stuck to the caramel apple. Luckily, the adult molar quickly filled its absence, much to the delight of Little Jill's mother.

A few years later Tween Jill had another cavity on the now-adult molar. (Jill really liked candy...) Again, Dentist filled it. Unfortunately again for Tween Jill, this cavity was a fighter and it kicked the filling's trash. Dentist retaliated and performed a root canal on Jill's molar and put a shiny silver cap on it. All was well. This capped molar served as the anchor for Teen Jill' s braces (for three+ years) and all seemed to be well for Late-Teens Jill until one day this all-but-dead molar starts to hurt again. Then Late-Teens Jill's face swelled up to the point where she couldn't even open her right eye. She was lovely.

Jill's mom (who was rather upset by all this) does some investigating. She learns (with the help of a new dentist) that the root canal was done incorrectly and Jill's poor molar has been dying a slow, painful death. The exact details are somewhat more gory and so I'll spare these particulars.
So Jill gets doped up on all sorts of pain medication and has another root canal done on the same tooth. Jill is really excited by this. She loves root canals.

Skipping some details...

Young Adult Jill finds herself in the L.A. county hospital waiting to have all four wisdom teeth pulled. The poor little molar has not fared well. It's all but gone at this point; it hurts still and looks really gross. Jill decides to do the humane thing and finally lay this molar to rest-along with her wisdom teeth. She is at the hospital's dental ward because she doesn't have insurance. And because she is only 19 and is on her own and is very poor. As long as she pretends to be a resident of Los Angeles County, she will get all five teeth pulled for only $50. So she patiently hangs out with all the illegals and state prisoners and all others looking for the State to throw them a bone. She realizes she has no pride. She avoids eye contact with anyone wearing handcuffs.

She perserveres and has the teeth removed. The mourning period was very brief.

Young Adult Jill learns that it's not wise to make follow up appointments while under the influence of laughing gas. She misses the appointment where she was going to get a fake tooth. Jill's Dentist decides to be a hero and travels to Africa to give orphans free dental work. He takes with him Young Adult Jill's chances of getting a fake tooth on the cheap. Young Adult Jill is devastated.

For almost six years, Jill is a hillbilly. She doesn't like this at all, but can't justify the expense of a fake tooth. Well, mid-twenties Jill finally has dental insurance, a good job, and scores a major hook-up on a dental implant. Today, Mid-Twenties Jill will no longer be a hillbilly. No, after today Jill will smile big and be welcomed back into the folds of civilized society. Jill is really excited.

The only thing Jill will be mourning tonight is the only likeness she shared with Amy Winehouse.


And I'm totally okay with that. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

ruth said...

I just keep imagining you with amy winehouse hair and makeup smiling big. I never even notice a missing tooth? I say we recreate this oicture before you fix it.