Crow's-Feet Chronicles: Jewels in my triple crown
By Cindy Baker Burnett
Feb 5, 2018
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Why would you fritter away your hard-earned money on a second honeymoon or a flat-screen TV the size of New Jersey when you could enjoy a dental implant (that’s where they ram a steel post through your jaw and plunge it to your clavicle with a molly bolt), complete with a new tooth made of the same material as a toilet bowl?

My tooth was no match for the popcorn kernel that jumped on board while I watched Special Agent Aaron Hotchner of “Criminal Minds” empty his clip into a hiding, bullet-proof-vested George Foyet, aka “The Reaper,” and then beat him to death for harming his family.

“How did you break your tooth, Cindy?” Dr. Hopkins asked. Deception is an art and I never admit to chomping ice, opening bottles with my teeth, or using my molars as work horses.

“I was eating food.” (As opposed to eating a John Deere tractor)

“I’m afraid I won’t be able to save your tooth,” announced the dentist. “I’m referring you to an oral surgeon.” Translated, that means, “Get ready to buy the doctor his next Ferrari.”

I resisted the urge to feel like royalty when Dr. Hopkins said he would put on a temporary crown until I could get an appointment with the oral surgeon. I informed him that I wanted on the Dr. Feelgood Express and would appreciate double doses of Novocain, nitrous oxide, valium, and any other pain-eradicating potion he had before he began chiseling. Voila! In no time, I left his office, placed my deadened lips on the seat beside me in the car, and followed my Texas-size mouth down the street toward home.

Weeks have turned into months, and I have rescheduled my appointment for the first stage of the dental implant at least three times (I can’t get an implant until I sign over the deed to my house). And, those months have included two trips back to Dr. Hopkins to re-cement my temporary tooth. It must be those hard-to-crack Brazil nuts.

With three thumbs (two belonging to Dr. Hopkins and one to his assistant) and 12 fingers inside my mouth performing synchronized porcelain ballet, my dentist asked a question. “When are you and Lanny leaving for Italy?”

“Ahk-kah-guh Thby-Aks.”

While his assistant held the temporary crown in place with her knee, Dr. Hopkins inserted the suction hose to pick up the debris left when I chewed their knuckles. Accidentally (or on purpose), the dentist got the motorized hose too close to the inside of my cheek. It sucked one side of my face and most of my blouse into the tubing before I could bite him again. Kinda like getting the vacuum cleaner too close to the drapes . . . or the house cat.

Tired of getting my temporary crown regularly re-attached and hoping it will hold until after our trip to Europe, I told Lanny that from now on I’m swallowing all of my food whole. I figure deviled eggs will be simple. Pork chops? Not so much.

“Would you like for me to chew your food for you?” Lanny asked.

“You’d do that for me?” What a guy.