My Front Tooth

Remember the movie, My Left Foot? Well, I’ve got a story to tell about my front tooth and it goes all the way back to growing up in an era before toothpaste and drinking water contained fluoride and kids with rotting teeth was the norm.

I came from one of those families that didn’t empathize dental hygiene and about every adult I knew had a full set of dentures. One of my best friends in high school had a set of fake chops before his junior year. By the time I’d gotten out of the Navy and lived a couple of years in California I had changed my ways but I still had a front tooth that showed the black signs of decay.

My wife to be, as part of her plan to make me into the person she wanted rather than the person I was, decided I had to have things taken care of before the nuptials. So, I made an appointment with a dentist she knew and he suggested I have the remaining snaggle tooth ground down and a crown installed in its place.

A few weeks later the job was done, I had a sparkling new tooth, and the wedding plans remained on track. The only problem was that the adhesive the dentist used didn’t have a good track record of staying stuck. At least once a year, for two decades and at the most inappropriate times, the crown would fall onto my tongue. I haven’t a clue what kept me from swallowing it but fortunately, it didn’t happen.

After I had remarried I switched to Dr. Weinrich, my new wife’s family dentist. The first time it came off under his care he said that he’d take care of it and it wouldn’t fall off again. Maybe by then, the chemistry of glues had improved but, he was proven good to his word.

The hole where my old front tooth was.

I think it only fell off once in the next thirty-nine years but age finally got the best of things. Six to eight months ago the crown and the remaining original tooth finally broke off leaving me with no other options than a very expensive implant or a less expensive bridge. As an aside, several years earlier I had opted for an implant on another tooth that had died and after the first of three phases, I decided I didn’t want to spend $3,000 on a tooth. So, I took that money my wife and I took two of our grandchildren on a Caribbean cruise, created a memory, and still had money left.

My new front tooth along with five more you can’t see.

In late July I finally received my new bridge and as a bonus, they were able to build into it several molars I had lost over the decades. I now have my new front tooth, the one that was related to the cruise story, and four others that time and neglect had taken.

I remember my grandfather not having any teeth and he was still able to eat corn off the cob. Well, I had given up and had been cutting my corn off the cob but now, hold my beer and hand me another one of those yellow sticks!


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