A tooth story | Bleader

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A tooth story

Posted By on 06.19.08 at 05:14 PM

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I don't know what it's like to be homeless, but I do know what it's like to be missing very important teeth. When I was a kid, I got tripped coming off a pick-and-roll, went down face-first, and shattered my two front teeth. They were immediately capped, but over a decade later the roots died and and what was left started to hurt, then come loose. This inspired a frustrating if half-assed job hunt during my senior year of college and taking the first full-time offer I could find so I'd have insurance immediately after graduation.

In order to replace them I required time-consuming and expensive dental work, which, for about a week, involved a temporary cap that was basically a very crappy set of dentures where three of my front teeth were supposed to be; they'd been extracted for the permanent replacements. For several days, when I talked, I had to hold my hand over my mouth for when (not if) I couldn't tongue them back in place and they came shooting out. At home I just had a huge gap in my face and talked weird. Eating  wasn't a problem but it was, however temporary, a humiliating cosmetic flaw, which I countered by telling people I was going for the soccer hooligan look. Like it or not, people expect you to have front teeth.

Which is just a roundabout way of explaining that I appreciated this post about providing dental care for the homeless, who often require expensive dental work incurred by years of going without it and who find it harder to function in society with missing teeth.

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