Saturday. Mother-in-law’s house. Dinner.I don’t know how it happened.
One minute I was eating cod fish with bak kut teh and the next thing I knew, I felt a sharp pain in my top tooth. It was as if a bone had pierced right through my tooth. As the pain subsided, I could feel a part of my tooth shaking. I knew I have micro cracks and needed crowning. It’s expensive and I try to avoid excessive medical fees, considering how much I spent already this year. So could this micro have turned macro? I could feel the crack had split my tooth into two.
Sunday, I tried frantically to sms my ex- RJC classmate who is a dentist. He did not reply. I called my neighbourhood dentist – he is away and the closest schedule is 11am Christmas eve. His partner is full until Tues afternoon.
Monday, I called Alexandra Hospital, where they did a good job with my wisdon tooth surgery. Walk in to E clinic and be prepared to wait, i was told by the operator. As a last resort, I tried my old dentist, who had recommended me to AH and whom I thought had retired. Thank goodness, there was a free slot at 2.30pm.
Dr Lim has been my dentist since I was a teen. He is a neighbour and a friend’s of mom. Someone had told me he retired. Could be his daughter, whom I meet often at the park, or mom, or Mike. Anyway, at 68, he is still making himself useful to society.
So, what did you do to crack your tooth, he asked. I said Bakuteh. Dangerous food, as with chicken bones and fish.
Apparently I had indeed cracked my tooth – Leong’s premolar- laterally. Most dentist would just pull the tooth out, but he would try to save it. However, if in the event I feel pain later on, I would need to have it extracted.
It’s ok, then I won’t smile so widely. I told him.
It’s either that, or smile like a Japanese – cover your mouth everytime you smile. He replied.
And that’s how the session went with Dr Lim. He would chat about my sons (Faberhills soccer player), brother (I didn’t know he got married? and a son too?), sister (her daughter enjoys coming home…) and I would nod, smile, grimace, with the suction tube stuck inside my mouth.
Anyway, to cut my story short, in place of a premolar is a newly shaved canine, one for me to exhibit a nice smile, but have no function whatsoever.