Do you know that dream you have where one of your teeth falls out in your hand? I was just talking about it a week ago with somebody and we were discussing what it means. Fear of loss was what we agreed to half remember it meant.
Well, a chunk of my tooth, a healthy tooth, came off in my mouth on Saturday night. No initiating event. It wasn't rotten or infected. It seems, I grind my teeth at night and my constant clenching had just cracked it. It was a good third of a tooth and it left a sharp edge that poked at my tongue.
No pain, just a sinking feeling as I ran my tongue down the row of teeth and came to the empty spot.
I was scared.
My dentist, Dr. Ong, reminds me of the Asian torturer from the first season of Alias. Quiet pleasantries on top of pain. "Very good David, now open a bit bigger." (Drill noise and tormented scream.) His accent is very light, mostly it's the overly correct English of someone who learned it as a second language. I made an appointment for Monday afternoon. Because there was no infection, they could just crown it instead of pulling it. Less than five minutes after I arrived at the dentist office, they already had me numb and were sanding what was left of my tooth down to a nub.
Actual quote from procedure, "I'm sorry for all the blood, but it will probably get messier as we aren't even half way done yet."
End result, I am getting a gold molar. But, this week I have a temporary crown that feels like it's made of dried playdough.
As I was leaving his office, I hear Dr. Ong say to another patient, "It is impossible for you to be in pain. The nerve in that tooth is long since dead."