A Cowboy’s Faith: Fake tooth four decades

buchmanheadAbout 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon, Jan. 7, 1976, the gray 5-year-old stallion, a son of Jet Mack, that we had in training reared as we were just about in the saddle, and came over backwards on top of us with the flopping right stirrup knocking out one of our front teeth.

Alarmed but unhurt, our first thought was “find that tooth,” which would have likely been most difficult under the best conditions. But, it was sure impossible in the two inches of snow covering the ground.

Of course, the outlaw steed had to be put away, before we could worry about the tooth loss, and try to see a dentist on a weekend. But, one call found Dr. Essington at home, but willing to “do what I can” for a cowboy missing a front tooth.

There wasn’t any pain, or even blood, as we recall, but the tooth wouldn’t grow back, the doctor said, and tooth implants apparently were not known about.

Diagnosis was a “bridge” would serve as our front tooth, and it’d take a couple days to get made. Thus, we went public with our tooth missing. Don’t think there wasn’t plenty of conversation about our appearance, even more than usual, especially from the boss.

Within a few days, we had all of “our teeth” again, although they didn’t ever match the real ones.

That didn’t make any difference, because despite wearing braces in high school, our teeth remained crooked, and have always been dingy yellow. Could blame it on not enough brushing, or too much coffee, but not tobacco. Actually, it’s in our genes; Mom and our aunts had similar teeth.

Now, nearly 40 years later, one of the real teeth ground off to hold the bridge completely rotted, and a cavity was growing in another. So, fake teeth were removed, and the nubbin with a long root pulled without pain, because we insisted the dentist dope us again.

A “temporary bridge” is in place, while more work is required on a couple of real teeth, before we get a “permanent bridge”. Somebody insisted: “That’s better than false teeth.”

Reminds us of Job 4:11: “No teeth, no meat to eat.” Now, Genesis 49:12: “His eyes sparkle; his teeth whiter than milk.” And, Second Timothy 3:17: “You have good teeth for good eating.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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