I like to think I am as wise as Solomon. Of course, I delude
myself if I do, though I don't think I am the only one who
feels this way. However, sometimes I am pleased that I think
I do exhibit some of his wisdom. But this post is inspired
by a wonderful e-mail friend who seems to have that gift more
than myself and probably a lot of others.
When I recently wrote my e-mail friends about a needed tooth
cap, I found that caps - like everything else keep getting more
and more expensive. I feel so sorry for people who don't have
dental insurance. One friend didn't, and she was forced to make
the choice of an extraction over both a root canal and a cap.
When I told another dear friend who was willing to take me to
the dentist on the day of my appointment if it snowed (I am a
terrible snow driver), he couldn't believe that the cap would
cost $1,000. Well, really neither could I. Only a few years
ago, I paid $500 for one. Now this dentist charged me $1,000
for another recent cap, and he probably wasn't the only one who
charged this high fee. My co-pay for my new cap will probably
be one-third of the cost.
In the late 60's, one dentist thought a gold inlay on some of my
molars on the right side of my mouth would be a good investment
of money for healthy teeth. He was so right. I never have had
need to address them for cavity or pain and, if memory serves me
well, they didn't even cost as much as a cap today. And then I
smile when I thing that if there is an ounce of gold in my mouth,
then someday, it would be worth extracting if gold is still worth
what it is today.
My first $1,000 cap from my present dentist had had a root canal
done by him, and then one morning while brushing, I discovered that
the tooth had turned black. Not to worry said my dentist- it was
only the filling! Yes, another mercury filling which I really
had not wanted in the first place after finding out that mercury
is a harmful element.
I think that with this recent knowledge, dentists should give us
a choice - either the old mercury standard or a composite which
the dental assistant warned is more expensive and doesn't last
as long. Still, I told him that the choice should have been mine,
and that I, personally would rather have an amalgam which is not
potentially harmful as a mercury filling. I am amazed that with
today's information, we still hang on to this use as well as the
use of flouride and too many x-rays.
Am I the only one who reads? Recently, the overuse of flouride is
being seriously questioned. When we think we have made a "useful"
health discovery, we seem to go overboard with it. Now, we have
flouride in the water - flouride in our toothpaste. Is it also in
mouth wash and dental floss? As they often say - too much of
a good thing is not. I believe it's use is seriously being questioned
I also believe that too many dental x-rays are not needed. How
many should there be? In my opinion, they should only be given
when there is a need. Case in point. When the dentist recently
put in a very large amalgam filling without asking me first whether
I wanted a mercury or composite filling, I was very uncomfortable
with it. There was feeling in the tooth. I told my dentist about
it, and instead of giving me the full mouth x-ray, I asked that
only that part with the "offending" tooth be x-rayed. Nothing unusual
was the finding. So much for x-rays!
Since that large mercury filling in the "offending" tooth, I have
had cold after cold. This is the first time in memory that a cold
has made me unwell to the point that I didn't leave the house for
a week. Before this, I would nurse a cold for 3 days and then
bounce back. Could this tooth which I was uncomfortable with be the
reason for my colds?
I hope everyone knows by now that a healthy mouth contributes to
the general well-being of the whole body and conversely, a diseased
mouth can cause even serious illness. This point was brought home
to me on the day I read that a young boy with a diseased mouth
actually died because his teeth care had not been addressed.
Well, the jury is still out re my newly capped tooth. If I still
begin to suffer bouts of illness, then of course, I can't blame the
tooth anymore. I hope though that my hypothesis is correct. Otherwise,
I will have to make an appointment with a doctor. I haven't seen
one since 2005 because I generally attribute my good health to NOT
taking prescription drugs, and most of all, to my vegan diet. Time
I hope one day more and more of us will become vegan. The benefits are
so great to one's general health - to the environment, and to compassion.
Many of us cannot abide the thought of how horribly we "raise" our
farm animals. America, in my opinion, will never be a great nation so
long as we are indifferent to the suffering of billions of farm animals
who suffer each day needlessly for the indulgences of some of her people.