On the installation of my abutment.

Today I paid a visit to my dental surgeon to get the cover screw taken out of slot #31, and replaced by a dental abutment, which itself will soon be covered by a crown. In the meantime, it is covered by a cylindrical guard that looks like a breath mint. I’m not sure what’s stranger: seeing what looks like a thumbtack pressed into my gums, or seeing what looks like a breath mint protruding from my gums.

Problem: apparently one of my top molars, the one directly above all the action, has descended “just a hair,” which could affect the fit of the abutment. When the surgeon told me this, I assumed this meant he would put that information in his notes to my dentist, so that she would take it into consideration when molding my crown. Nope. Apparently it’s easier to shave off the bottom of the descending tooth– which was minding its own business, not bothering anybody– to make room for the crown. The surgeon said it wouldn’t hurt, and it didn’t… but it took four nerve-wracking attempts sans anesthetic to get just the right amount shaved off.

Grinding down one of the homegrown fellas to make room for some synthetic interloper is a bold and perhaps necessary move, but it’s putting team chemistry at risk. Once we get the new crown installed, we’ll run through a few steaks, some potatoes, maybe some lobster, a decent bottle of red, and then we’ll have a better sense of whether this was the right move.

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