Thereís a hole in my mouth. Iím not talking about the one thatís supposed to be there. No, this one is where one of my permanent, adult teeth used to be and isnít anymore. Itís been with me for a really long time Ė probably all but 6 of my 50 years Ė but now itís not and Iím sad. Rest in peace, adult tooth.
When youíre a kid and you lose a baby tooth, it is a pretty joyous occasion. People clap you on the back, take your picture and basically treat you like a superstar for doing something that naturally happens to 99.9 percent of the population. Itís such a big deal you even get rewarded for it by some mythical flying creature, or quite possibly your parents, who gift you a dollar or more for this sorry little piece of hardened calcium. Up until this point, losing that tooth is probably your greatest achievement second only to learning how to use the toilet. Not an especially high bar.
When youíre an adult, however, youíre not supposed to lose your teeth unless youíre a hockey player, a prize fighter or on ďDuck Dynasty.Ē Youíre supposed to brush, floss and whiten the heck out of those suckers until youíre dead, and even then, I think youíre still supposed to floss. Thatís how important flossing is.
However, even with the best intentions, fastidious attention to oral hygiene, and world class dental care, itís still possible to run into a problem. Such was the case with my tooth. Iíll call it Gary.
Gary was a good tooth. A nice molar. Kind to the other teeth around him. But one day Gary got an ache and when I went to the dentist I found out that Gary was not well. Gary needed something bad called root canal. As this is something that happens from time to time, I was not worried for Gary. But one root canal turned into four root canals and after a year and a half it was clear Gary was not going to make it. Poor Gary.
The decision was made to put Gary out of his misery and out came the tooth. This time around, no one treated me like rockstar. No one clapped me on the back and no mythical flying figures gave me money for Gary. In fact, this time I had to pay them. And all the money Iíd made on all those baby teeth didnít even begin to cover the cost of pulling Gary.
So now I have no tooth and no money and also a really big hole in my mouth. The hole is temporary, fortunately, until everything heals and I can get an implant. In the meantime, I have to get a bone graft to build up the area for the implant. The implant comes from the dentist. The bone for the graft comes from a dead guy. Really.
I hope he flossed.

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