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I got my crown put on on Tuesday, or as I like to phrase it, “I now have a $1300 toilet in my mouth.”  Honestly, it’s a lovely little bit of porcelain, and matches my other teeth beautifully.  The dentist was exclaiming as he snapped and shoved it into place, “This is just wonderful! Sometimes things just work out!”

Of course, now that my nine fillings, one root canal, and one crown are all taken care of, I can start going to the dentist once a year like normal people.  I’m excited about this, but it was a bit of an emotional goodbye on Tuesday.  The dental hygienist and I get along famously, and she told me that I’m one of her favorite patients.  This is a girl who I’m guessing says this to a lot of people, but honestly, I may just miss her as well.

“I just get so excited when I see your name in the schedule book!” she told me.

Regardless of the level of sincerity in that statement, it’s still very nice to hear.

“I was thinking about you when I was in Toronto,” I told her, “There were Ugg boots everywhere, and it would have made you so angry!”  This is completely true, I almost took pictures for her as this is what bonded us together.

The bond between this hygienist and I is not so strong that we will become bestest besties, or even seek each others company outside of the dentist’s office, but it’s still a little bit like high school graduation, or the last day of camp in it’s “end of an era” feeling.  This makes little sense because even though high school sucked, it never costs me as much money as this dental adventure; and even though I had to go to Lutheran bible camp while an atheist, it was still not as uncomfortable as getting your tooth drilled down to nothing while the worst sound/smell in the world fills your head.

What will I do with my Wednesdays now?  Will I just go back to life as usual except flossing a bit more frequently?

I’ve been tonguing the new, fake tooth in my mouth so frequently I’ve given myself a headache, but I’m beginning to get used to it.  It’s time to move on.

Mondays: work/ class every other week

Tuesdays: work/class

Wednesdays: Used to go to work, now I just go to the dentist, which means my Fridays that used to read: sleep in, half-heartedly do homework, feel proud of doing homework and celebrate by going running, then come home and collapse until time to go out, are now: work/ come home and eat Cheez-its then watch What Not to Wear

This is officially out of hand, and I now live in fear of becoming the girl who talks about nothing but oral hygiene.  I think I’m becoming boring.

Today was root canal day, and I have to admit, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  Certainly, it’s uncomfortable to sit for that long with your mouth open and two people passing horrifying-looking instruments over your face, but it could have been much, much worse.  Even the hygienists overly-perky demeanor and stunted vocabulary (though she knew all the dental terms), wasn’t as annoying as I thought it might be.

That said, I don’t want to do it again.

But, because I am me, and I have the worst teeth in the world, I have another appointment next Wednesday where I will be having fillings– eight of them.  When the dentist told me the number, I gawped at him and said, “Is that basically all of my teeth?”

“Well, you’ve had your wisdom teeth out, so you have 28 teeth, and you’ll have fillings in 10 of them… for now…”  he just kind of shrugged.

My inner brat wants to develop some kind of candy and soda habit in a way to legitimize the fact that most of my teeth will not, in fact, be teeth but some kind of scary-ass, space-age bonding agent– but I do not much care for candy and soda, so I will place the blame squarely on my mother.  My brother, who subsists on skittles, pizza, and chips while drinking his body weight in Mountain Dew daily, has never had a cavity; and my father, who cannot say no to a piece of pie and eats an obscene amount of cookies, has a great dental check-up every six months.

They both have thinning hair though, and that it what I will comfort myself with.

I woke up in a very good, albeit slightly hungover mood still reeling from last night’s events.  Today was part IV of Andria’s Dental Saga– which is the part of the story where I actually meet my dentist for the first time instead of spending more time with Erin the anxious hygienist-in-training, or the rather hilarious girl who took my x-rays last week.

My plan was, to go get the tooth re-filled, beg off of work for the afternoon citing numb face to watch Jurassic Park II and read this fascinating book The Fattening of America (about the economics of obesity– yes, I should do homework instead, yes, it’s a lot like Fast Food Nation), then shift my focus to eye doctors instead of dentists since I have a hard time reading the power-point in class. Instead I got a different tooth filled and now have yet another appointment for next Wednesday when I will be having a root canal.

Root Canal.

The two scariest words in all of dentistry are happening to me in one week.  Also, it turns out that root canals cost as much as some cars, so there goes my dinner plans for tomorrow night (sorry Joe), my tickets to The Nutcracker (sorry Culture Friend), and my plans to turn on the heat (sorry Watson and any potential visitors I may have had).

I’m feeling very “woe is me” right now, and very much like one of those hard-working folks Obama talks about just struggling to break even.  I brush my teeth at least three times a day, I chew sugar-free gum exclusively, I take a calcium supplement daily, and I’ve started flossing, I actually do everything you’re supposed to do to keep your teeth healthy and intact except visiting the dentist regularly.

I could just let it go, but then my tooth would break and eventually fall out.  I’d be the girl with two masters degrees and a missing tooth.  I have very few vanities, but I’m not going to have a gaping hole in my mouth– that’s non-negotiable.

Go to the dentist, all of you.