The time: Thursday, 9 pm. Place: An ordinary bathroom.
I was flossing my teeth, which I do occasionally, when a large chunk of white came out and rolled over my tongue. I spit it out into my hand. It was part of my tooth.
It was Thursday night, my daughter was in bed. The dentist's office is closed Friday through Sunday, but never fear, the emergency number will help. Except, it was answered by the babysitter who informed me that the doctors were away brushing up - ha - on their mad dental skillz at a conference out of town. I managed to control my mounting panic to state that I may require emergency care for the part of my tooth that was now in my hand. She laughed a little, and said that had happened to her. There I was, imagining imminent nerve exposure and crippling pain, but instead finding comfort in the babysitter (actually, the children's grandma) who told me it was likely not going to require immediate action but that I should call for an appointment on Monday.
Update: Monday, 9 am.
I have an appointment for a crown this week. I haven't had any pain associated with the cracked tooth, for which I am eternally grateful. And no, there will be no coronation ceremony to cap my falling apart, old teeth. At least I'm not an elephant. When their teeth are ground down to nothing, they die from starvation. I'm not saying I couldn't stand to lose a few pounds, but starvation is a slow way to go. I'm grateful for dentists.
And elephants. Merci.