The dentist is very concerned about the state of my bottom teeth. He won’t tell me what’s wrong but he does explain that they’re in very bad shape. He’s afraid that he needs to pull them. From the bottom left incisor through the next four choppers. It’s going to be quite a procedure. He sends his assistant from the room to prep and then looks me in the eye. “We can replace those, you know…” I think he means dentures or some other kind of prostheses and I cringe at the thought; that’s hardly a true replacement. He gets a glimmer in his eye (however) and positions himself a little more closely.
The dentist goes on at some length about some miracle of modern genetics and protein synthesis. “FGF can grow you some new teeth.” I’m not buying it but the price is modest when you consider it could mean new, stronger teeth for that bottom row. It is a new procedure though and not approved by the FDA nor anyone else for that matter. So we’ll need to keep it quiet. He sets up the machine to start synthesizing the requisite proteins and when his assistant returns, it’s a quick injection of pain-killer and then the pliers come out to start yanking those teeth out.
As they finish up though, other folks start to come into the room. The dentist gives me a wink as if to say, “I’ll be back in a little bit to finish up,” and disappears into the back room. His assistant shrugs and throws a towel over the protein synthesizer. For the first time, I notice the mountain in the back of the dentist’s office and note that everyone who keeps coming in has done so to sled or ski down this steep hill.
So I decide to sled while I wait for my teeth to grow and hope no one notices that I’m missing five already.