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Thursday, August 28, 2014

This is Probably How Rich People's Teeth Feel...

I spent some time yesterday with a dentist.

Up to their wrists in other people’s mouths, dentists are some of my favorite people to mess with.

“I don’t get to party with dentists as often as I’d like,” I confess to him from the chair. “When you guys get together, do you, like, sit around and watch Little Shop of Horrors? Sing “Be a Dentist” while pretending to be Steve Martin?”

The dentist lets out a whoop. “I love that song!” He sighs reminiscently. “That reminds me,” he says. “It’s my turn to bring the gas next.”

I twist around, crank my head to look up at him, and he grins at me, a charming upside-down smile. “We’re not allowed to talk openly about it, you understand; but you’re messed up right now and would make a pretty lousy witness.”

We’re doing the final stages of a crown. It’s my first foray into dental work beyond having cavities filled, and it’s been quite an experience. It’s a nerve-y thing, the mouth. I have never cared for lidocaine or its brothers, but having involuntarily lifted myself off the chair early in the appointment, I was convinced by the assistant that maybe a shot or two – just to get the party started, ya understand – might not be a bad idea.

He showed me the gold crown, and I admired its intricacies. Hopefully I will never see it this closely again.

“So how many of these have you dropped down a throat?”

“AHHHHHHH!” Both the dentist and the assistant bellowed in unison.

“No, no, no,” said Halina. “Ees like ‘MacBeth’ in theater. We don’t say.”

“No worries,” said the dentist. “I drop it down your throat, we just postpone the rest of this appointment for, oh, three days.”

It’s my and the assistant’s turn: AHHHHHHH!

Installation was easy, particularly since I was anesthetized and did none of the work.

And nobody dropped anything down my throat.

And now I have a gold tooth. It’s not noticeable, even if I smile broadly, but I like to think that there’s something about me, now, that would lead the casual observer to think, Hmm. Now there goes a woman with a secret…

And I do have a secret. Because for the first time in months, I’m chewing – tentatively! – using the molars on my left.

I’m tellin’ ya, man. This is how the other half live.

30 comments:

Shelly said...

I once fooled my students into thinking I had a gold grill by affixing a gold gum wrapper artfully to my front teeth. I hope you have many decades of good chewing on that golden molar, my friend.

vanilla said...

Amazing exchange. My conversations with the dentist consist of his incessant prattle and my occasional "Wu?"

Delores said...

I love a dentist with a sense of humor...and, welcome to the sorority of secret mouth gold lol.

joeh said...

My experience is much like Vanilla's.

I always thought making a person who has a high power drill in my mouth laugh is not a good idea. Apparently you just can not help yourself.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I think a good dentist doesn't get enough admiration. We take chewing for granted.
(not so) Fun fact: of all medical professions, dentists have the highest suicide rate. They have to have a good sense of humor, I think.

Patricia said...

One question. Why gold?

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

It sounds like a fun (well, as dentist sessions go) initiation into the Crown Club. May it be the last one you have to have for a very, very long time! I have spent half my life in dentists' chairs and have graduated from crowns and bridges to implants and I know how much it means to have a dentist with a gentle touch and a sense of humor! Glad you're chewing happily again!

jenny_o said...

I hears ya. I've had four and each one was worse than the last. It's the anticipation that gets me. Not to scare you or anything. Enjoy that two-sided chewing, girl!

Round here we get tooth coloured crowns. I want a gold one instead.

Ray Denzel said...

Ah yes, the needle that numbs has on the last few occasions has caused me to levitate out of the chair feeling like Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
.............ugh.................

All the best to the gold toothed one. YAM xx

goatman said...


After paying $1K for my crown recently (not gold), I wish never to see the man again . . .

Joanne Noragon said...

I had the dentist put a flower on my first bridge No one knew it was there except me and a few select people for whom I pulled my lip aside.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

You are movin in up, Pearl! To the east side!

Jono said...

I hope you remember us on your way to the top.

Geo. said...

Congratulations on your new gold tooth, Pearl. I have found it prudent to withhold such news from relatives.

Elephant's Child said...

And of course you find a dentist with a deft touch and a sense of humour. Clone him please. Pretty please.

Linda O'Connell said...

My dentist prefers porcelain, and when I forked over that $1,500 I said, "I saw a set of dentures advertised for this price." My dentist has no sense of humor. You can chew ice on that crown!

Merlesworld said...

I didn't know gold was still used, I thought white was the new colour,
Merle.......

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Oh, how I wish my dentist would give me gas to put me out, starting on the night before.

VEG said...

You know, I've had doctors prod me every which way and had medical people messing around in my ummentionables on numerous occasions, yet I would much rather have half of the world checking out my ladyparts than have a dentist stick that sharp metal thing in my mouth just once. They are people we pay a lot of money to be tortured by. They terrify me. I'm not exaggerating either. Terror. Just mentioning them made me grab for the wine bottle.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

I love messin' with my dentist. 'Course there's always the chance that he can then mess with you.

sage said...

Gas is nice. I had a beautiful dentist in Michigan, nice and petite except for her hands (they didn't feel petite deep in my mouth). Now that I've moved and am going to have to find a new dentist--I'll have see if there are any on the comedy circuit.

Daisy said...

Congratulations Pearl! Your retirement fund is now safely glued to the left side of your mouth. Guard it well!

River said...

I'm saving towards crown and bridge work myself, but on my front teeth, so they'll be tooth coloured, not gold.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I avoid the dentist like the plague which is why I have false teeth I can only open my mouth a little bit so going to the dentist is not a pleasent experience

Suldog said...

Extensive dental work here, which I won't bore you with, but I also have gold in my mouth. Mine is completely hidden, also, and that bugs me a bit since the work I had done was so damn expensive. It should somehow show to prove what I paid, like "mistakenly" leaving the price tag on a thing you just have to let your friends know was expensive.

Suldog said...

Oh, and as for dentists with a sense of humor... When I had an extraction a couple of years ago, I asked if I could have the tooth. My dentist said, "No! It's mine now! Bwah-hah-hah!"

He really, honestly, said "bwah-hah-hah". It was hilarious. Anyway, after we both laughed, he explained that he couldn't, by law, give it to me. It was considered medical waste material (something like that) and had to be disposed of in such a way that if the authorities checked up on his records he could prove he hadn't sold it or traded it or infected the nation or something. Bizarre.

Susan F. said...

A dentist once did drop a tooth that he had just pulled down the back of a family members throat - and they have never let the otherwise competent dentist forget it!

Daisy said...

You seem to be glowing, Pearl! :D

Being able to chew is definitely a good thing.

And having a dentist drop something down my throat while I am his patient is something I've never even considered until now. Thanks so much for adding that little tidbit to my mental anxiety! Wishing you a good week ahead. :)

Chicken said...

Eyebrows and a gold tooth...it's really not fair. No wonder your so pithy. How could you be anything else? And then I'll bet you all sat around waiting for the anaesthesia to wear off while raising sardonic eyebrows at each other.