Most of the time I have not a smidgen of awareness that I have four porcelain crowns residing in my mouth. They rarely call attention to themselves. The first one came along in the mid-nineties and was followed by the other three at approximately three year intervals, the fourth one arriving about ten years ago. One in each quadrant. In Dentalese, they occupy positions 3, 14, 17, and 30. They get along well with my natural teeth and function like them. Which is how it's supposed to be. Until yesterday afternoon when, for no apparent reason like chewing a huge wad of sticky bubblegum or deliberately poking around in my mouth with metal prying tools, #17 came off its mooring. For a moment I thought, why am I rolling a small marble around in my mouth? as I became aware of a slightly metallic taste. No. It's not a marble! It's one of my crowns! Holy shit! Fortunately I neither bit down on it nor did I swallow it. Tomorrow afternoon I'm going in to have it cemented back in place. Meanwhile, I'm chewing on the right and avoiding getting cold liquids on the left. I won't make the mistake of putting it under my pillow or in a dish of salt water on the kitchen counter. It is safely wrapped in a tissue in my purse. If the tooth fairy does happen to get her little paws on it, all I have to say is, she owes me about two thousand bucks.