I just got back from having a tooth pulled. It has been very loose for many years but I was loath to give it up. It got infected three times, and this last time was really, really bad. It migrated into my sinuses on that side. The X-Ray photograph was amazing. There was this completely obvious lack of bone all around the root. This had been eaten away every time the tooth got infected. The tooth, itself, has been dead for years since a long ago root canal, and had a nice ceramic crown on it. There is only about a quarter inch of space between the top of the root and the bottom of the sinus cavity, and the dentist told me that this bone is not solid to begin with, but pretty porous, like a sponge, so there is no real barrier against the infection getting into the sinus. For some reason, as long as the tooth is still in there, the missing bone won't try to repair itself. She said it would start to grow back, now that the tooth is gone. I wish this were the other way around, cause I would like to have kept that tooth. It's was two teeth back from the canine, just forward enough for the gap to be visible when I smile. She's going to fix me up with a bridge, though, so that won't be permanent. So this got me thinking about the phenomenon of teeth in general. They are a strange evolutionary solution to eating. I'm wondering why we didn't evolve with a solid, one piece bone structure to bite and chew with, something not separate from the skull and jaw, but a continuous extention of them. This having 36 independent pieces seems to allow for an awful lot of complications. Life must have been truly horrible before 20th century dentistry, and even that leaves alot to be desired: it always seems to me they could have found some much less painful way of doing dental work by now.