Dental Etiquette

I’m going to the dentist on Monday. It’s costing me more than I earn in a month. I AM GOING TO DIE, people. TO. DIE. And it’s not that I’m scared of the dentist. Not really. I mean, sure, I get a little apprehensive about it, but it’s not like, say, going to the doctor’s, where they could take one look at you and give you five minutes to live now, is it? No, it’s not the horrific pain I fear: it’s The Ugly.

I’ve been afflicted with The Ugly since I was a kid with a bad poodle perm and an unfortunate dress sense. In fact, come to think of it, it was probably those things that caused The Ugly in the first place. Well, those and the PEG TOOTH, obviously. For yes, folks, I had the misfortune to be born with a PEG TOOTH. Actually, no, that’s not right: I wasn’t born with the PEG TOOTH. If I’d been born with it, a) I’d have been a mad crazy FREAK BABY WITH TEETH and b) It would have fallen out years ago, along with all of my other baby teeth. So no, I wasn’t born with it: it’s one of my adult teeth, but you wouldn’t really think it because a PEG TOOTH, for the benefit of the uninitiated, is a tooth so tiny it’s almost invisible to the naked eye. Mine is right next to my front teeth, and is – let’s not mince words here – ugly. UGLEEE. Or it was, anyway. I haven’t seen it for, ooh, about 14 years now, because the very second I was old enough, I took myself to the dentist and had some veneers fitted. Yes, I’m vain. SO?

Time passed. The PEG TOOTH was forgotten. Terry, for example, didn’t even know it had existed until a few months ago, when I noticed that the two veneers I’d had fitted (I had to have a veneer on the tooth next to it too, because the PEG TOOTH is so small one veneer wouldn’t have been enough for it) were looking a little bit the worse for wear, and when I say “worse for wear” I mean, “I’d rather wear a bag on my head than be seen looking this”. And, bearing in mind that in less than two months time I will be having wedding pictures taken which will be on display FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, it was clear to me that drastic action would need to be taken.So I went to see the dentist.

The dentist took one look at me, and pound signs started flashing before her eyes. Seriously, I could see them. “Both veneers will have to be removed,” she told me. “Then replaced. We’ll do it on Monday, so you can have no money right before your wedding. Have a nice day, now!” Damn. I knew she was right, though. I mean, I’m at the point here where I’m seriously contemplating cancelling the wedding photographer, or making him sign something to the effect that he will not under any circumstances take pictures of me in which my teeth are visible, so Monday it is.

I am troubled, though. On Monday, the existing veneers will be removed and replaced with temporary ones. What if something goes wrong? What if she tries to take the veneer out and the PEG TOOTH comes with it, and then I can’t get new veneers because there will be NO TEETH to stick them to? What if while she’s removing the veneer, she breaks off both my front teeth by mistake? I mean, she’s promised she won’t, but what if she does?  WHAT IF, people?!

Also: the temporary veneers will be very, very fragile. What if they break, and everyone gets to see my PEG TOOTH?

I’m troubled. Other things that trouble me about the dentist:

1. When she’s looking in my mouth, and then she turns away to get something, or to do something, and I don’t know how long she’s going to be. Am I supposed to just lie there with my mouth wide open until she turns back to me? What if she’s cleaning something, say, and it takes her five minutes, but I don’t know that’s how long it’s going to take? I’m just going to be lying there with my mouth wide open, like an idiot, aren’t I? What must that look like? (Answer: pretty freakin’ hilarious is my guess).

2. I wonder if they have CCTV in the surgeries, and if maybe when the dentists have their annual Christmas party or whatever, they show back the tapes of all the people lying there with their mouths open while the dentist’s back is turned? God, what I wouldn’t give for a copy of THAT tape…

3. When she’s finished working on my teeth and starts talking to me about the next stage of treatment, but doesn’t put the seat back into the “upright” position, so I’m just lying there flat on my back looking up at her while she’s talking to me. That’s kind of funny, isn’t it? But if I sit up, and the chair is still reclined all the way back, and there’s nothing to support my back… well, THEN I’m just sitting there with my legs straight out in front of me, like a doll or something, and IT STILL LOOKS WEIRD.

4. Oh God, I’m going to totally think about this now when I’m in The Chair on Monday, aren’t I? And it’s going to make me want to laugh, and what if I start laughing while she’s injecting me, and the laughter makes my head move, and she, I don’t know, injects me in the eyeball by mistake or something.

5. I AM GOING TO DIE! Seriously!

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