A couple weeks ago one of my bicuspids literally split in two when I bit down on something. The front half separated from the back half. There was a really unpleasant crunching sensation. It was pretty clear the whole thing had to be pulled, but I dithered around for a few days trying to get used to the fact I was going to lose yet another tooth. When I did get to the dentist it was pretty clear to her the whole thing had to be pulled, and she got her needle and pliers out of her tool belt without delay. I've had some bad novocaine shots but she managed to give me the most horrendous, white knuckled, Nazi interrogator treatment I've ever had. When she was done I used the F word. Twice, because she ignored it the first time. Perhaps she hears it a lot. -------------- I was down at the cafe where I hang out tonight and one of the characters who'd had a front tooth knocked out a couple months ago showed up with a nice new complete set of choppers. He's Mexican-American so I asked him if he'd had it done down in Tijuana, where, rumor has it, dental work is dirt cheap. He said yes. I asked how much it cost and he said he'd had a bad tooth pulled in addition to the one that was broken (they were right next to each other) and the bridge, consisting of his two front teeth, had cost $400.00. Two years ago I was quoted a price of over $3000.00 for a bridge to replace two molars here in the US. Another guy who was sitting there piped in and said he'd had work done in TJ as well, and in addition to the amazingly cheap cost, the dentists and assistants were very gentle and everything was done as painlessly as possible. he said he won't ever go back to an American dentist because they're all so rough. The first guy agreed about that. So, it strikes me as very odd that a person can get treated vastly better, at a vastly cheaper price, in a third world city than they can in San Diego. I've been to about 7 different dentists in the 20 years I've lived here and they all pretty much sucked in terms of being gratuitously rough with the inside of my mouth: everything from unnecessarily painful novocaine shots to jamming the suction thingy into my tonsils and stretching my lips back till they felt like they were going to tear.