Today I visited my dentist, who is ever such a nice chap, and I have a lot of confidence in him.
One of my front teeth broke about 18 months ago; he made a fake tooth for me, which was built up round a pin in the base of the old tooth. That worked for several months, but got loose, wobbled for some weeks, and eventually fell out. I went back, and he stuck it back again. That lasted for some weeks. After it fell out the third time, he suggested plan B, a bridge. The idea is, you have a fake tooth which is attached to the tooth next to it. It's less of a palaver than an implanted tooth.
A couple of weeks ago, he measured me up for it; I bit down on a sort of putty, which gave an impression of my teeth, and he decided the colour (so it would match the others, I had no idea that teeth came in different colours), and today he did the real work.
First, he had to extract the old root. I've been dreading that. I've had an extraction before (wisdom teeth) and it was horrible. And I couldn't see how he was going to get hold of the thing, there's nothing to see. But, he assured me, it had to come out, or I'd be forever getting inflammations there (abscesses), and I *know* how painful that can be. Apparently, an abscessed tooth is the worst pain you'll ever feel; it wants to swell up, but there's nowhere for it to swell to.
So he injected me, front gum and rear, which wasn't fun but not too bad, then left me to stew for several minutes, while the anaesthetic took effect. Certainly my nose felt numb.
Then back to The Chair. He prodded and poked a bit, making sure that I couldn't feel anything, and then he got something a bit like a pair of pliers, gripped, and pulled, and after a bit (I couldn't see exactly what was going on, which is probably just as well), it came out. It was a lot less horrible than I thought it would be, although I wouldn't want to do it every day. Then he fitted the fake tooth, which, as far as I could tell, consisted of putting it in place and applying some glue.
So now I have a new fake tooth (and no pain), and you can't see any difference from a real one, and he says I can eat apples, which I was nervous about before. And I have a rather small root as a souvenier.