I feel like a princess, a princess with a swollen, droopy face and pulsating gums. I had a tooth crowned today.
You know, it really irks me to have to report that. All of my life, I have had great teeth, only a couple of cavities very early on. The rest of my dental visits have been, "Wham, bam, floss it, Ma'am," and I'm outta there.
Apparently, my teeth, they are ... getting tired. In fact, one upper molar on my right side cracked under all the pressure of trying to stay as young as other teeth, and so I had to have a crown.
The process for getting a crown can be drilled down to 10 simple steps: (Ha. That's a little dental humor.)
1. Look at the assistant with an expression so full of terror that she strokes your shoulder gently as if you are four years old.
2. Get some giant, humongous injections that don't even look like they could be real but could only be a movie prop but turn out to be real.
3. Look at the assistant and make your eyes somehow cry, "Mommy."
4. Have 2 millimeters of your enamel drilled away until you have a stump left. Yes, they call it a "stump." This is not my mouth, but this is a good before and after shot.
5. Get some more shots because you are "burning off" your numbness by being so tense.
6. Get some thread shoved under the gum for some reason that they explain but you can't hear because you are nervously burning off your anesthesia.
7. Make some bite impressions on some material.
8. Get some touch up with the drill. ("Mommy.")
9. Get a temporary cap sealed on with temporary cement.
10. Have a single tear drop out of the outside corner of your eye and some water drip from your numb nose and mouth onto your paper bib, just for that touch of "insult to injury."
One of the most surreal moments was when the doc and assistant (I don't know what her official title is) were trying to decide what shade of fake enamel to order my real cap in. They were holding up little fake teeth to my molar, which of course necessitated pulling my jaw way back for quite a while as they debated which colors suited me best.
For a moment, I felt as though I were in the optometrist's chair: "Is 1 better, or 2?" "Two ... or 3? "Which is better, 2 or 1?" I had no say in this.
That went on for quite a while.
Then the dentist used a big ol' camera to take some pictures with the fake teeth held up next to my teeth. Coincidentally, guess what song was playing during the practice paparazzi test? Paul Simon's "Kodachrome."
Now, I think if I were a regular on a red carpet in Hollywood, I might have to worry about how my new tooth in the back of my mouth blended in with my other teeth because I might smile like Julia Roberts when she throws back her head and unlatches her jaw, but since I mainly stuff envelopes on an industrial grade brown carpet, there was really no need for the paparazzi test.
And although this isn't on the list, the next thing I did was go to work, attend a meeting with one side of my face trying to slide down to my shoulder and then try to answer the phone without sounding drunk, which is important when you answer the phone for a church.
Finally, I would like to say that both assistants and my dentist are awesome. Truly. And I'm not just saying that because one of them said she has read my blog.
But that did make me smile. In a swollen, droopy face-pulsating gum kind of way.