Biting Off More Than You Can Chew?

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

As a dentist I am often asked: what are teeth for and how can you charge £585 per minute to poke around in them?

Professor Thrupiece in one of his many appearances on the front of TIME Magazine. Here he demonstrates the pipe-clamping functionality of teeth: it produces a stable grip and a manly jawline.

The answer to the first question is easier [to digest] than the second. Teeth - or dentition - function to fill the space between the upper and lower jaws and to prevent the delicate soft tissue of the gums from rubbing together. They are - in effect - dental buffers. Once used for biting, chewing and clamping, these vestigial roles have been rendered more or less redundant by modern foodstuffs [eg the thrupiecediet] in the case of the first two and the near extinction of pipe-smoking [in the case of the third]. Surveys show that the average mature male now has 4.5 upper and 5.5 lower teeth - enough to crunch a Spangle or severely dent a pop-tart, but insufficient to justify the costs of maintenance. Researchers believe that soon teeth will join the tonsil and the appendix in becoming pointless anatomical remnants of our former evolutionary selves [see Cro-Motcombe Man] and that in future all babies will be born without them. "The wisdom tooth has shown the way", says leading practitioner Ortho Dontist, "it wisely gave up the ghost years ago - hence its name. As a dentist I am often asked what will I do then? A good question to which I have no immediate answer"


Ever the innovator, Professor Thrupiece became concerned for those pipe-smokers unable to obtain a satisfactory grip using the then rudimentary NHS prosthetic dentures. His solution was "at once elegant, clever and ridiculous".

The answer to the second question is more difficult to explain and, frankly, I am not paid enough to write this column, to answer it. An answer can be secured via a private consultation which will be charged at £585 per minute [other charges may apply].


NEXT TIME:


Are Uncle Joe's Mint Balls bad for my molars and will Perfect Gnasher win the 11.15 at Uttoxeter?

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