SUMMARY: Vanity, thy name is Money.TWO years ago, right around New Year's Day, I broke an upper-left molar. (Actually, the first premolar, if you want to be technical.) Broke it good, too, right down into the root, so there was no way to repair it. Had to have the root pieces extracted. Asked the dentist with great trepidation about whether this is my future, breaking my teeth and becoming a toothless wonder by the time I'm ready to retire (whenever that may be). He assured me that it was an oddball occurrence; the tooth was already damaged with at least a couple of fillings through the years.
Looked into implants: Very expensive and the expert guy said this one wasn't a good candidate for it anyway. Looked into bridges: Fairly expensive, and you have to replace them every few years with equal expense, and they have to ream down the teeth on either side of it, which I just hate to do. Looked into removable plates--well, just uck, did one of those in high school (a "retainer") which sucked. Rejected that, too.
And, after a year, when no one anywhere had commented about me suddenly missing a tooth, it occurred to me that maybe no one noticed. Or could be they were being polite, but really good friends would say something, right? So I decided I didn't need to do anything at all.
So, fast forward to right around New Year's Day ONE year ago, when I broke a lower-right molar. (Actually, the first premolar, if you want to be technical.) Broke it good, too, right down to the base of the gum, so there was no way to repair it. Asked the dentist with great trepidation etc. etc., and he reassured me that this was an oddball occurrence; this was an old baby tooth that never had an adult tooth come in behind it, and it was also previously damaged, and baby teeth when left behind get kind of brittle anyway because the roots are so tiny (or something along those lines).
I didn't have it dug out because there were no jagged edges, and it kind of acted like a placeholder while I decided what to do with two gaps--which didn't seem to actually bother anyone except my tongue, which keeps looking for the missing toothers.
It's been almost a year now. Maybe I should wait until the New Year just to be sure we're not in some kind of tooth-breaking pattern here. BUT. This one, I think, is noticeable. Sometimes. Or, at least, with 2 teeth missing, if my mouth is open enough, people are going to start noticing.
Teeth seem fine--
Teeth seem fine--
--uh -- hmm, what's that big gap?!
Dentist says it's OK to leave them like that for a while, but eventually I should have *something* done because (a) the teeth on either side will start drifting in, and (b) the opposing molars (actually premolars) will start drifting up, and it could screw up my bite.
So, today, I had the baby roots (not to be confused with Baby Ruths) extracted as a first step towards getting an implant in the lower right. I have no dental insurance, and it most likely wouldn't be covered (or not much of it) anyway. We're talking $2000-3000 for the implant and another $1000-2000 for the crown to sit on top of the implant.
Do you know what I could do with that kind of money? My want list is huge; my baglog of repairs and upgrades for home and car is huge. But, OK, for 30% practicality and 70% vanity, I am going to spend it on a new tooth.
Progress will be reported in future months. Implant minus 2 months and counting.