Today I had a procedure done that I’ve been putting off for many years. Many years ago when I was young and stupid (about 19 or 20 years old), I ate a bunch of junk food and didn’t brush/floss my teeth much. I went do the dentist had had something like six or seven cavities. So they did what dentists did back then (early 90s or so) and they gave me a bunch of metal fillings. I never had a cavity since then, because I’m no longer an idiot, but the fillings I received stayed with me.
Just one problem. If you have metal fillings in your teeth, they likely include mercury and other evil minerals that will put you at risk for cancer later in life. Not to mention the fact that metal fillings in your teeth don’t look very nice.
So for a long time I’ve wanted to get my metal fillings removed and replaced with the safe and nice-looking porcelain resin that lasts 30 years and doesn’t cause cancer. Finally, today, I did it.
My dentist is an old friend of mine, someone I’ve known since the sixth grade. I had so many fillings from my youth that he strongly suggested that we do it in two separate visits. The procedure is painful and somewhat uncomfortable, so spread it over two one-hour visits, he said.
I told him we should just do it all at once, one big two-hour procedure. I’d like to say I said that because I’m a Big Manly Man™, but the real reason is that I’m the kind of person that just likes to get pain over with as quickly as possible. Two visits just seemed like dragging out the discomfort to me.
He relented, and today I spent over two hours sitting in the dentist chair getting my gums stabbed with needles, my teeth drilled, and my fillings sanded. If that’s not bad enough, try sitting with your neck tilted backwards and your jaw as wide open as you can for two straight hours. Painful and uncomfortable. Not fun.
When we were finally done my face was so full of local anesthesia that the corners of my mouth sloped downwards like Sylvester Stallone, my speech sounded like my tongue was too big for my mouth, and I was drooling all over the place like a starving dog. I was also very dizzy and had to steady myself several times as I got up from the dentist’s chair.
As I write these words the feeling is just starting to come back to my face and I’m just starting to enunciate words correctly.
Was it worth yet? Hell yes. I now can completely eliminate a likely cause of cancer from my life, and my teeth look really fantastic. He did such a good job I can’t even tell where the fillings are, even if I take a mirror and look closely. The new fillings will last 30 years. That means I’ll be in my seventies before I need to worry about his again. Nice.
I may actually grab some Crest White Strips and play with whitening my teeth now; something I haven’t bothered with in years.
If you have any metal fillings in your teeth and are well under the age of 60, I would strongly urge you to get to your dentist and get them replaced with the white plastic resin ones. Just about every book on longevity recommends doing this. The procedure will cost your $500-$900 depending on how many fillings you have, but it’s some of the best money you’ll ever spend.