When I was 7 I fell off a seesaw and broke three permanent teeth, all in the front of my mouth. I also lost a molar in the accident, but it was a baby tooth so it didn’t matter as much. Two of the permanent teeth were bonded, a fix designed to last about 10 years. I don’t know why the third tooth was never fixed, but it’s definitely unnaturally smaller than its partner.
By the time I was 19 I needed a root canal in one of the bonded teeth and in its neighbor, the third broken tooth. Less than a year later I had a root-end resection (a filling in the root) in the bonded tooth. A few months after that it was clear the tooth was beyond resurrection. A dentist persuaded me to get an implant, an expensive process that takes 12-18 months to complete. The first step, pulling the tooth, was unbelievably painful. A few months later he put in the implant. He placed it all wrong though, and thoroughly and permanently damaged the root of its neighbor (the third tooth). By this point I was nearly finished with college and completely broke. So I stopped the implant process until such time as I could afford to continue. Meanwhile I had a fake tooth to hide the fact that I was short a front tooth. Yep. A partial denture. At 20. No wonder I had low self-esteem.
Seven years later, I lost the permanent replacement to that one baby tooth, the bond to my other tooth broke (and has been repaired), and I’ve had two more root canals on the third tooth. And the whole time I had this partial denture that I basically refused to tell anyone about. Well. Today, I finally, finally finished. I got my crown. No more denture. This baby’s permanent. I can’t stop smiling.
Tooth loss is actually a really big problem when it comes to nutrition. If you don’t have teeth, you can’t chew. So you’re more likely to eat soft things, like fries, that aren’t very good for you. Also, the things you do chew enter your stomach in bigger, harder-to-digest pieces, which may lead to stomach upset and malnutrition. Gum disease and jaw/tooth loss are complications of diabetes, which creates this wonderful vicious cycle. Can’t eat healthy food, diabetes gets more out of control, lose more teeth, makes it harder to eat healthy, and so on. So it was really important for me to get this tooth back, for many reasons.
I’m too sore right now to try it, but I’m really looking forward to eating an apple without slicing it up first. For the first time since I was 20.