Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sadly, I will remain a toothless redneck in Paraguay

Here's the story: About 7 months ago, a bridge (aka fake tooth glued in the front of my mouth when I was 13) cracked. My dentist said bridges were soooo 1990, so me and the Mrs. decided to be big spendors and pay for a fancy new dental implant.

I've been living with a titanium anchor screwed in my gums for the past six months patiently awaiting the day when my new chopper was attached. Luckily, my dentist was kind enough to fashion me with an middle school-style retainer complete with a gnarly fake tooth during all this. I was really going to miss taking that thing out at restaurants before eating or feverishly searching for its whereabouts on the sidewalks of NYC after a good sneeze.

Anyways, I went to my dentist last week to take an impression so that my new tooth would look and fit as perfect as I always imagined. Would I go with the standard white or pay tribute to my fallen homeys and go with gold? Vampires are all the rage right now, should I get a fang? The possibilities were endless. Or so I thought...

My dentist's exact words when she leaned over to take the impression: "Uh-oh."

As it turned out, my implant never fused to my jawbone. I was one of the lucky 10% of patients whose implant fails for no apparent reason. It was like winning the lottery...the shittiest lottery in the world.

I had surgery two days ago to remove the failed implant and to get a skin graph on my gums (about as fun as it sounds). Since the entire implant process takes 6-8 months, I won't be able to have another surgery before we leave for Paraguay in February. On the plus side, my dentist has agreed to make me "a handful of retainers" to take with me for the next 27 months.

With my dreams of greeting the people of Paraguay with a perfect smile crushed, I hope they'll still welcome this walking jack-o-lantern with open arms. I may not be pretty, but they'll always be welcome to sit on my front porch while I relax in my rocking chair and drink from a dirty jug with "XXX" on the front.