Tooth Tales – A Dentist Story

The big rage in dental advertising right now is products to make your teeth whiter. Whiter teeth do what? I don’t understand why the money I spend on toothpaste is being ploughed into research and advertising for these products. Just give me a toothpaste that keeps crowns and bridges from falling off, stops night tooth grinding, and lets me eat ice cream without worrying about the calories. Is that too much to ask for?

I visited the dentist recently. One of my teeth decided to evict the crown that protected it. The crown, unhappy with that unilateral decision, took some of the tooth with it. Now I have a small stub of a tooth, not much use for anything. I don’t really miss that tooth much. I have lots of other ones to chew with. But my dentist says I can’t run around with a stubby little tooth for very long.

We’re discussing the merits of a bridge vs an implant. Like many other decisions in life, there are no simple or clear answers. There are merits to both paths, but it is all complicated by what the dental insurance company is willing to contribute towards the various schemes. At first glance, it would seem not much. I don’t really blame the insurance company. Over the years, we have helped several dentists enjoy nice annual vacations and put fish tanks in the waiting areas.

I’m quite okay with having this renegade tooth pulled out and call it a day. My concern, however, is what if the neighbouring teeth stage a rebellion, or start to lay down on the job? Then what?