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Next, the hair goes by Ken
I sat in the dentist chair and waited for the dentist to return. It had been some time since my last dentist appointment. I had not great teeth and I was always getting cavities and other problems.
Dr. Brownson returned with the xrays. "It's not good new, I'm afraid."
"Another cavity?" I asked.
"I wish it were that simple. You've lost bone structure in your jaw, and your teeth are very weak."
"What does that mean?"
"Well, we can't save them. I'm sorry, but we're going to have to pull them all."
"What? All of them?"
"Look, you haven't really taken good care of them, and you have bad teeth structure. There's just no saving them at this point."
"So dentures? I'm only 28."
"You'd be surprised how many people your age, and younger, have dentures. Look, it's not really that bad. You'll have a couple months of discomfort, but the new dentures will look great. Most people who get them, love them."
My head was spinning. Dentures. No Teeth. "When?"
"Well, as soon as possible. I can do it the day after tomorrow. I can change a few appointments and get you in."
"When will I get the dentures?"
"Well, with your jaw issues, we'll have to wait a month. You'll get temporary dentures then, keep those for 6 months, then when the swelling goes down, we'll make you your permanent dentures."
"So, I won't have any teeth for a month?"
"Sorry to say, yes. But with your jaw issues, you wouldn't be comfortable with dentures in right away."
They made the appointment and I got the day off work. I looked at my teeth for the next day, every chance I could. He was right, I had 24 teeth, but they didn't look all that great.
The day came and I went in for my appointment. There was no need for any anesthesia, my dentist was confident they wouldn't put up much of a fight. They numbed my mouth and I waited. He came in and started to work. He started with the top teeth, at the front and removed all the front teeth. Then I had to rinse. My tongue felt for the teeth but they weren't there. I sat back and he pulled the rest of the top. The lower teeth went quicker, or so it seemed to me. When he was done, he stitched up my gums, gave me a prescription for pain meds and I got my ride home. I went in and looked in the mirror at my mouth without teeth. It was the shock of my life, but then, it was a change I'd have to get used to.
I recovered quicker than the dentist predicted. The stitches dissolved and I got used to talking with no teeth. Still, the thought of no teeth any more. I was rinsing out my mouth with warm salt water, as recommended by the dentist, and I looked at my hair. It seemed long. Really long. I'd had it longer in my life, but for some reason, it seemed long.
I went to the Hair Masters in the mall. I was just going to get a trim, shorten it up a little. I took a seat and waited my turn. Finally, a young lady came over to get me.
As she washed my hair, she asked me how I wanted it.
And I blurted out, "I just want it shaved off. Can you do that?"
"Sure, that's no problem, we can get it right to the skin. Is that what you want?"
"That's pretty drastic, are you sure?"
I nodded again. "I just got all my teeth pulled and will be getting dentures in a few weeks. Now seems a good time. I got rid of my teeth, now, why not my hair?"
"I suppose that makes sense," she said and she put a cape around me got a set of clippers. I wasn't nervous in the least. I'd never considered shaving my head before, but after you have all your teeth pulled, what's a little hair. She turned the chair towards the mirror. She started at the back and I could feel the air conditioning as the hair went away. Pass after pass the hair fell to the floor. She went to the left side and the clippers left behind only a light stubble. I couldn't wait for her to do the top. The hair on the top went away easily, the part disappeared and all that remained was stubble.
When she was done, she took another set of clippers, just a bit smaller than the others. She started at the top this time and the soft stubble was replace by smooth white skin. I was liking what I was seeing. Slowly and deliberately, she shaved my head bald. I couldn't help but smile, then then she saw my toothless mouth.
"Are you getting dentures?" she asked
"I am, and looking forward to it. Tired of gumming oatmeal."
"You know, my younger sister got dentures. She was only 23."
I nodded. When she was done, she took the cape off and dusted off the loose hair. I felt the smooth skin on my head and somehow, it just felt right. I was glad I did it. I made getting all my teeth pulled out seem no so bad.
I decided to keep my head shaved, though the thought of getting a wig seemed a parallel thought to getting dentures. I adjusted to being bald quicker than being without teeth. The dentures are in and feel great....the dentist was right, I love them. Not as much as the hair cut, I must admit.