Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Removing body parts

One of the things I noticed when I came here was that there was a large number of "denturologists". These are specialists in dentures (Is there a correct English term I'm unaware of?). About the only exposure to the field of dentures I've had is Florence Henderson peddling Polydent. I suppose dentures are something one keeps quiet about, like hemorrhoids.

Last night, when Florence Henderson danced and sung the praises of her product on tv, I asked spouse about why there were so many denture places. Is it because people just have bad teeth up here? Is it because, though everyone's medically insured, everyone has to pay for their own dental work? Do poutine and beer rot teeth more quickly and vigorously than other diets?

He said that no, like braces for teenagers today, it was quite a fashion back in the day. Then he mentioned a member of his family who got dentures as a teenager. I was aghast. "You mean people had all their teeth ripped out of their head because it was the thing to do?!" He admitted that the financial side of taking care of one's teeth might have played a role, but that a whole generation of people freely and willingly had their teeth removed and dentures made. Thus the large number of businesses centered on dentures thrives. Bizarre.

Still, I suppose it's no more bizarre than ripping the flesh off your baby's penis.

24 comments:

Lemuel said...

touché

As much as I hate dentists, I cannot imagine having any teeth pulled that I did not have to, fashion or not.

publius100 said...

Growing up, I can remember my grandmother taking her teeth out at night & putting them in a glass by the sink.

I thought that was a fate waiting for all of us when we got old. Now you're telling me it was just a fad, way back then?

Ed said...

my grandmother had dentures and would stick them out of her mouth and chase the neighborhood kids.
My next door neighbor had a mud puddle in front of their house I was playing in it as a child and found a set of teeth. The boy came running out of the house and said his dad had come home drunk and lost his teeth. The guy was only about 30 years old.

bardelf said...

The same thing happens here in Newfoundland. There are denturists (I think that's the term they use here) everywhere. Neighbors of ours would concur with Serge that people opt to have their teeth pulled when problems arise, because it is cheaper in the long run than paying for individual teeth to be repaired. Quite sad.

Maurice said...

A friend of mine who's from a Ukranian background in Alberta once told me that some young men at one time simply expected their perfectly healthy teeth to be ripped out when they reached adulthood. I think in the case she was telling me about, he was convinced that it was not necessary. This probably goes back 40 or 50 years.

David said...

I am not saying a word. I am not saying a word. I am not saying a word. I am not saying a word. But you're pushing it.

Anonymous said...

i think it is a little more serious than just the cost of the dental work...most people in the not too distant past did not take care of their teeth like they do now..in the 50ties the canadian government started to put floride in the drinking water because of the poor state of health of our teeth....The people were experiencing gum disease and there Jaws were rotting in there mouths from rotting teeth...so it was more practical to remove the teeth and let the jaw heal than to remove the Jaw....it was not just a fad...and there was also gum disease..and peoples teeth were falling out...
i am the youngest of 7 i was born in the 50ties and i am the only one with my own teeth...all my siblings had their teeth removed not for vanity but for health reasons.....and cost..

St. Dickeybird said...

When I had my minimun-wage job, my teeth cost me an average of about $900 per year. I seriously considered having them all pulled out and replaced. $1500, and never having to pay for a dental visit again...
As it is, i've got a dental plate where 3 of my teeth used to be.

ps. i'm totally clean and take care of my teeth. they just don't take care of me.

Jason said...

I think quite a few Canadian baby boomers did this (the non-affluent ones) to save money.

Can't imagine it though.

Cooper said...

My grandfather had also had all his teeth removed because of the cost. I'm not sure how old he was when he had it done, but before I was born for sure. When I was a kid I used to find the sight of his teeth in a glass oddly fascinating.

I am glad the flesh wasn't ripped off my penis when I was a baby. I am quite attached to it!

CoffeeDog said...

Weird. I like my real teeth.

Chunks said...

Did you know that people who have dentures only have about 20% of their original biting capacity?

My mom has had dentures since she was in her early 20s. According to her, after she had my sister her teeth turned to chalk and started falling apart. I've had nightmares of this happening to me. Thanks mom.

Steven said...

First, I am shocked at the number of people who can comment on dentures.

Second, Serge was right about it being easier to have teeth pulled because it was easier to take care of false teeth than real ones.

If only they remembered to floss... Ew.

em said...

Your last line made me laugh.

I suspect part of it was the whole brave new world technology thing. You know, "we can make Better teeth". At least in the states. Did that happen in Canada? It happened with baby formula, that way. It was a status thing not to use natural breastfeeding.

GayProf said...

Maybe the whole community was just really into oral sex.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

May I stickle you now, please?

When my father joined the Marines during WWII, he was about 40 and had perfect teeth. Nonetheless, he had them all pulled and got dentures. It seems the Marines felt they would rather deal with his dental problems preemptively, rather than wait until he got a toothache in the middle of some amphibious assault.

Patricia said...

never. in. a. million. years.

Lewis said...

What? Ripping out teeth and penis flesh? All in the same entry. You're ruthless and horrible. I can't ever see either happening for a very good reason.

dirk.mancuso said...

I am speechless. I can't imagine anyone willingly doing that, but then again I couldn't imagine stirrup pants catching on and look how that turned out...

Mark in DE said...

Its hard to imagine willingly relinquishing one's teeth for fashion, finance, or any other reason. It nearly requires a severe blow to the head to get me into a state to have a cavity filled.

Anonymous said...

I'm 43 and have a complete denture on top and a partial on the bottom. Soon the bottom ones will need to come out too. I did take care of my teeth also but am now convinced that bad teeth are hereditary, as my mother and father had dentures before they were 30. It is very expensive to have this done, I paid $2500+ even after insurance.

This Boy Elroy said...

Wow, that is weird.

art said...

I've been reading long enough now to know that YOU would not keep quiet about hemorrhoids. :)

Anonymous said...

Some of us don't have a choice about the denture thing, y'know. Without insurance during uni, I for one had a choice of 17 crowns, 12 root canals and a partridge in a pear tree for a mere 24'050$, or a plate of synthetic dentitions for 4000$ out the door. So I paid the four grand and never have to worry about breaking my teeth off in a MTL bagel again. But for fashion? No way. Men don't seem to mind the added suction either:P