Toothless or Penniless

So I am sitting in the waiting room of the dentist office. I am watching a video of before and after mouth shots. Before: ugly teeth. After: perfect teeth. Dollar signs start rolling through my head and I think about the look my dentist will give me when he sees my teeth. There are uglier teeth on this planet, but I spent too much of my allowance on Abba Zabbas and Sugar Babies in elementary school. I used to chase foul balls at my brothers’ Little League games and turn them in for free stuff — cavity makers. My daughter thinks I am rich because of all the “shiny silvery” stuff in my mouth. I use my mouth as a visual aid in what happens when you don’t brush your teeth 3 times a day and do eat tons of junk. I explain to them the horrors of the dental drill – – yeah, fear can be a good parenting tactic.

I hadn’t been to the dentist in quite awhile – too long. I hate going to the dentist, all those horrible sounds, nasty smells and scary people coming at you in masks — and it hurts! If doctors can remove a liver through laparoscopic surgery why do dental professionals still need to shove those painful pieces of cardboard in our mouths to take a picture? And there has got to be a better way to clean teeth. You’d think someone would have invented some magical tablet that dissolves in your mouth and miraculously cleans every nook and cranny. But no, we still have to foist a thin piece of waxed string between every nick and ridge to dislodge the remaining caramel popcorn we ate while watching CSI (actually, I can’t eat while watching CSI because it’s too gory).

After countless x-rays, my dentist reprimanded me and gave me my dental report card “D+“. I was going to have to pay to get up to a “B”.  20 years ago, I gave up my chance for an “A” after my 50th Atomic Fireball.  Dejectedly, I moved to the room where I would receive my estimate for my treatment plan. Everything short of complete extraction and dentures was recommended. I contemplated selling one of my kids on eBay. The dental clerk did try to comfort me by letting me know that I didn’t have to do all the work this year. That was somewhat soothing since I have a cap on the cost each year. I then scheduled one of many future meetings with my dentist. By the time my teeth are all fixed we should know each other quite well, and he will be able to buy a new car!

My dentist will start on my root canal in a couple of weeks (what will I wear?) I had to choose the crown material (wood, fiberglass, recycled plastic). Briefly, I entertained the option of a gold crown. Since it is a front tooth, I thought gold might make me look tough, a bit like Mike Tyson. It could help in warding off possible muggers. I decided to go with the porcelain crown so I would look like the boring white mommy that I am. Of course, after I pay for the dentist, I will be a bankrupt, boring white mommy.


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