2020: The Year That Keeps On Giving

As you know, I’ve been a bit morose these last 4 months, watching our planned trips implode and our net worth fluctuate and our country come apart. Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse…

I went to Sisters, Oregon last week for a 5 day cycling tour/performance camp. My first time away from Brumby Road in 7 months. Athleticamps decided we could do this long ago planned event safely. So we wore our masks when not riding, took catered meals to well spaced tables outside, and kept the socializing to a minimum. Very little conversation off the bike, which is one of the pleasures of cycle touring.

While I was there a piece of porcelain broke off of one of my dental bridges. I was eating a piece of crispy bacon. Another argument for vegetarianism.

I went to the dentist and he took a look but said if it wasn’t bothering me we should leave it in. He filed the sharp edge and that was that.

Two days later the whole bridge came out. It was pretty much intact. I got on his waiting list and yesterday they had a cancellation.

The wonderful news is that he can’t simply glue the bridge back in, or even make a new one. One of the two anchor teeth has deteriorated to the point where it is going to break sometime relatively soon.

Now I want to make it clear that my oral health habits are excellent. I floss every day. Brush twice a day. I have no trace of gum disease or rotten teeth.

But through no fault of my own, I have teeth that seem to crack easily. Root canals do not help: I’ve had two and both times I had to have extractions a few months later. The count so far is 3 bridges and 2 implants over the last 20+ years. With more coming! I’m a dentist’s kid’s college fund or 401 K, all by myself.

The most secure solution to my newest oral disaster is to have the two teeth under the bridge extracted, put in two implants, and then mount a 3 tooth bridge to the implants. I have had implants twice before. The procedure is not pain free. The reason both teeth need to come out is that it is recommended not to secure a 3 tooth bridge on one implant and one natural tooth.

So…I’m looking at some painful oral surgery. It doesn’t really hurt when the dentist does it but later there is a lot of discomfort. First the extractions. Then healing. Then a bone graft unless I get very lucky and don’t need that part. Not likely. More healing. Then inserting the socket and still more healing. Finally the implant goes in. Then I have to go to my regular dentist to be fitted for a bridge, which should be put in a couple of weeks later.

The whole thing is going to take a year and cost something like $12,000.

The last time I had an implant I told Diane that if I had to go through all this again I would shoot myself. I’m considering it. The only thing that keeps me going is that I have already paid for our 2021 trip to Europe and I don’t want to forfeit the money.

One other thing, I will have to take antibiotics for a couple of weeks after the extractions. I’m not allergic, but they do irritate my stomach and affect my digestion.

So…2020 is turning out to be the year from hell for the planet and for bike touring companies and my mouth. I can hardly wait to see what will go wrong next.

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