Boiling It Down: Dental Problems

What happens to an alligator when he has a toothache? I imagine it must be painful. A mature male alligator is about eleven feet long, and weighs approximately 1,000 pounds. He has four short legs: the front legs have five toes and the back legs have four toes. He also has strong jaws and sharp teeth... between 74 and 80 in number.

Dental hygiene for an alligator seems questionable. He can't floss. He can't even brush his teeth. Where would he get toothpaste? If he crawls into your neighborhood Walgreen's to buy some, it would cause a panic, regardless of his good intentions. Come to think of it, if he had a toothbrush, where would he put it? My wife has an alligator bag, but an alligator has no bag. He doesn't wear clothes. Where would he put his money or his credit card? Furthermore, he lives in a swamp so he's always muddy and smelly.

At any rate, the alligator has a toothache. He is wealthy, because he was the model for the Izod logo which decorates their brand of clothing. He has an income stream although he lacks dental insurance. He wants to see a dentist.

There are all kinds of people who are dentists. Some are kind and able. Some are in the business just for the money. These predatory guys are known as sharks. Such a shark would treat an alligator, for the right amount of money.

So the alligator crawls to the dentist's office (on the second floor), and makes his way into the dental chair. I have never seen a chair which would accommodate an eleven foot person, but a shark has his methods. The alligator, given his lifestyle, does not need a bib. The dentist would order the alligator to open his mouth nice and wide. He would see all of these very sharp teeth. I don't know if he would take x-rays. Would he administer a topical anesthetic? The prospects boggle the mind. At any rate, the dentist might pull a few teeth and eliminate the toothache. In his lifetime, an alligator can go through 2,000 to 3,000 teeth. Imagine all of those dental bills!

This leads me to a discussion of Jonah and the Whale. The whale has teeth. The size of this animal can be between 11 and 98 feet, and weigh up to 180 tons. Who is his dentist?

Finally, in the Garden of Eden, Eve met the serpent who tempted her. That snake could have had teeth, or fangs. How was its dental health maintained? Only Heaven knows!