Lost and found: my tooth!

Satire / Comedy

Kul Bhushan and his recent mystery adventure at the dentist.

It was an eerie feeling. I felt an empty space in my lower jaw on returning home after a session with my dentist for a root canal. I could not identify what had happened because the empty space was in my lower jaw where the dentist had not been working. What had gone wrong?

Dentist Puja Behal as she makes a mold for a replacement tooth

Osho exactly describes my state when he says, “Actually, man follows a strange logic: what is near him he cannot see, what is not there at all he sees. When a tooth falls out, the tongue goes time and again to the empty space in your mouth. When the tooth was there the tongue never once stopped in that spot. Now, no matter how much you try to stop your tongue, it keeps exploring the empty place. Man’s mind always searches out empty places. He is blind towards all the filled places, but has eyes for all that is empty.”

After exploring with my tongue, I put my finger in my mouth to find out what had gone wrong. To my horror, I discovered that my first molar – robustly healthy until that morning – was missing! It was perfectly fine after a root canal done many years ago; but what had happened to it now?

Frantically, I called the dentist, Puja Behal, and explained my predicament. Reassuring me, she said she would look into it and requested me to come in the evening without an appointment. When I hurried to her clinic I was cheerily greeted by her with the words, “I have found your tooth!” This floored me and I could mutter just one word, “How?”

Mould of lower jaw with black stump where replacement tooth was yanked out

The tooth was lost while she made a mould of my teeth to get the exact shape and size of the replacement tooth for the one removed for the root canal, Puja Behal said.

According to Wikipedia, the process works like this: a mould is made by an impression by placing an elastic compound into the mouth with a dental impression tray. The impression material is loaded into a plastic tray that looks like a mouth guard. The tray is then placed into your mouth and pressed into place around your teeth and gums, usually on the bottom jaw first. It is held in place until the material used dries. It is then removed and a mould of your teeth is taken from the ‘negative’ it has created.

During this procedure, I was asked to bite hard. The material then set to become an elastic solid, and, when removed from the mouth, it provided a detailed and stable negative of teeth. This is used to fashion the replacement tooth. So I bit hard until the dentist was satisfied and the mould was removed and I went home.

After I had rang to inform dentist Behal about my missing molar, she checked the mould and found said molar embedded in the impression of the upper jaw. Before I returned, she had removed it and later inserted it in the correct gap with some cement. I got my tooth back!

When I related this tale with much laughter to a dear friend, he rejoined, “Swear by God that this is the tooth and the whole tooth!”

Osho too had lots of dental problems and encounters with his personal dentist. A dentist’s chair was imported from Europe for his treatments and it can still be seen in his Samadhi in Pune. He talks about this in discourse:

“My dentist puts a blindfold on me. Have you ever heard that in dentistry a blindfold has to be put on the poor man whose teeth you are going to drill? He has to put the blindfold on me, but he is not successful. He puts on the blindfold so that he can make signs to his nurse because he cannot speak. If he says anything that goes against my idea… he has to convey messages to his assistant, his nurse, because she has all the mechanism, all the knobs on her side. And I keep the dentist on this side, and say, ‘don’t you be close to the knobs and the mechanism, let the nurse manage. You just be on this side and you do your work.’ So he has to make signs because he cannot whisper, because if he whispers, I stop. If he says something that is difficult… so he found a blindfold. That poor man… because of the strong light I can even see the shadow of his hands, and I stop him and say, “No indications!”

In another discourse he says, ”Your tooth is hurting – seconds will look like minutes, minutes will look like hours. It depends how much the tooth is hurting! In pain, you want to finish it, finish this pain, somehow to get rid of it. You don’t want to prolong it, so time seems to be long.”

Yes, we know the feeling.

Quotes by Osho from
The True Name, Vol 2, Ch 1 (translated from Hindi)
From Darkness to Light, Ch 15, Q 1
Beyond Psychology, Ch 38, Q 3

Kul BhushanKul Bhushan is a regular contributor

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