I brought Bullet into the vet, thinking we'll find out what it is before we worry about it. It turns out there isn't much to worry about there, except paying the bill after he spends five days there (mostly boarding fees, fortunately).
My tooth. The dentist, Mark, is very good about explaining and being as careful as he can be. I spent almost two hours in that chair, being worked on, in addition to the waiting time of over a half-hour. It turns out to be just about the worst situation I could have asked for. The molar that supported one side of a long bridge (bridged the length of two teeth) had become decayed and the decay had reached the nerves. Mark first tried to remove the bridge, and when that failed he had to cut it in two and lift off the part where the molar rested. Then he drilled down to remove the decay and insert bleach to kill any remaining bacteria.
What remains is to determine if that tooth is salvageable from a periodontal point of view. I go to my periodontal dentist next Wednesday for that assessment. Then, if it is salvageable, I go to the specialist who does a root canal. From there, rebuild the bridge. A long and expensive project.
If the tooth is not salvageable, I don't know what options there are but can make some guesses. Some kind of false teeth? An implant (very expensive) and then a bridge? Something along those lines.
But it does no good to dwell on what-ifs. I am just taking it this step and then the next. I did that in the chair, too, as they took impressions, drilled, hammered, sucked, sawed. It was a great opportunity to go into a kind of panic mode so I was taking nice deep breaths as necessary, and it wasn't all that necessary, I just had to keep breathing period.
What I know is that Mark will not leave me in an unacceptable position. I will somehow have something like teeth and they will work well. It may cost a lot but I am sure he will work with me on paying that off, too. So things can always be so much worse. I'll be fine. I am glad this didn't happen tomorrow. Small grace, works for me.