In Which My Son Knocks Out His Permanent Front Tooth

Life never ceases to surprise me. You might think you know what’s going to happen on a particular day, and most of the time, you’re right. But sometimes . . . sometimes, my friends, you’re very wrong.

Denisa took TRC and DC ice skating yesterday. They’ve been wanting to go for quite some time, and she decided yesterday was it. My kids can both skate. They’ve been skating quite a few times before. So this was No Big Deal. They left at 4:15, and I was digging in to watch MC for the late afternoon.

45 minutes later, they were back. I watched the car pull in, surprised. The rink must have been closed or something, I thought. Poor guys. And then TRC walked in. And this is what I saw, minus the brave smile:


I was stunned, I’ll admit it. I stared at him, my mind trying to figure out where in the world his tooth went. He was distraught, of course–I had to get the story from Denisa. They’d been skating for 15 minutes or so when he slipped and fell face first on the ice. The tooth just snapped right off.

It’s easier to look back on the experience a day later, of course–but at the time, I was far from rational. My son had been seriously injured, and–after making sure he wasn’t still in danger or anything–I was just so angry. I know that sounds silly. Who would I be angry with? Denisa? For having somehow prevented him from slipping? My son for slipping in the first place? But I was furious. I’ve never really felt like that. In general, I’m a person who likes to think things through ahead of time. I don’t particularly like surprises, and I often don’t do well with them–especially surprises that force me to think on my feet. That said, I also consider myself a person who thinks well on his feet. In other words, I can do it well, but I really don’t like having to do it.

In any case, I was angry, but I also realized I was angry for no identifiable reason, and so it would be better if I withdrew from the situation for a bit to gather my thoughts. At that point, I fell back on instinct: I started researching the problem. And thankfully as soon as I did that, my mind snapped back with it. Call the dentist, silly. I asked Denisa to give our dentist a call on the off chance he was still in the office. In the meantime, I got on Facebook and contacted an old BYU library friend I knew had subsequently become a dentist (because we can’t all be librarians).

He gave me his phone number, and I talked to him for about fifteen minutes about the problem. (Seriously, Spenser–thank you so much. That conversation helped me a ton.) I was a much better informed Bryce after it, able to start making rational decisions again. Denisa was able to reach our dentist, and he even stopped by the house on his way home to look at the problem in person. (If anyone needs a suggestion for a local dentist, can I give a huge shout out to Milad Bozorgnia? He’s been our dentist here since we moved to Maine, and he’s both a great dentist and a wonderful human being.) Once I had information and a prognosis, the immediate knee-jerk anger subsided. (I’m not going to mock anyone who acts irrationally after shocks to the system, though. I know what it feels like firsthand, now.)

Long story short (too late!), TRC is going back to the dentist’s today. The prognosis looks as follows: temporary cap today, followed by a root canal early next week. Once the root canal is done, there’ll be a pin put in place and a semi-permanent crown attached (made out of composite, not normal crown material). Once TRC is older (17+, a real crown will be put on.)

In retrospect, I was also surprised at how quickly we adjust to the new normal. An hour after TRC’s accident, we had a plan in place, he was lying comfortably  on the couch watching Netflix, and all was well with the world. (Although I was crunching numbers to try and figure out how much that slip is going to affect my pocketbook. My current calculation is $750 or so right now, with another $1000 to come when he’s 17. That’s half what it would be without insurance. I’m hoping it turns out to be less, but I prefer to plan for the worst. Hey–he likely won’t need an implant, at least. That would have been thousands of dollars on top of everything else.)

So there you have it. My yesterday’s adventure. TRC gave me permission to post his pic and his story to ze blog. I’m sure he’d appreciate any well wishes any of you have for him. He’s been handling it like a champ. Very proud of my boy today. He even wanted to play some Magic the Gathering later in the evening. I think he’ll be fine, though he doesn’t have any real concept of “root canal” just yet. He will after next week.


I’ll keep you updated.

7 thoughts on “In Which My Son Knocks Out His Permanent Front Tooth”

  1. Zoe knocked that bottom half of her front tooth off. It was in the gym. Brad Rand superglued it back on. That was about 7 years ago. Its still hanging in there. I forgot it even happened, but at the time I was devastated. Magnus fell and knocked his baby tooth into his gum. It grew back, but not well so after a year Brad pulled it. He’s 5 now and I keep expecting the new one to grow in. It hasn’t really slowed him down, and chicks still seem to dig him.

  2. Life is full of little surprises. Last year my middle daughter was bit on her cheek by a dog. Talk about an unexpected afternoon. As she sat in the ER awaiting stitches, she uttered this now classic line, “Well, i was going to talk about going to the circus at school tomorrow.” Hope he feels better, and you too!!

  3. Thanks for the support, all. Superglued a tooth back in? I had no idea such a thing was possible. Yikes. And Tracy, the dog biting thing would have sent me right over the edge. Horrible.

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