A while back, a dentist was positioning a new crown on my old and crumbling jaw. "This one will see you out," he said.
Last week I found a tooth crown in my salmon BLT. It was my own crown, but not the one under warranty, so I dropped by the dentist again this morning to consider my options. He said I could just let it be, or he could build a bridge. Or, he said, he could fit me out with an implant, but it would cost me about $3,000, and my insurance would not pay.
Three thousand dollars. I think that is about 60 times what my father paid to Dr. Burpee to bring me into the world in the first place. But it would give me a reason for living: I'd have to amortize the tooth.
And I remember the lady who wrote to Dear Abby asking if it was true that they take all the gold out of your teeth when you die. She said she was worried because she heard you can't get good dental care in heaven. . .