donkey

Hi all. I am in a dental high comedy these days, or at least that’s how my man friend is regarding it. Every day comes a text from a faraway land, begging me to send him a photo of my pure white donkey teeth.

Let me explain.

When I was a girl, I was a gymnast. At 17, I fell off the uneven parallel bars and cracked my two front teeth. Combined with the Pearl Drops experiment a  year or two earlier that went terribly wrong and stripped my teeth of their enamel, my chompers were hideous. So I got bonded fillings on the four front teeth. Only once or twice have they needed to be completely replaced.

Little did I know, however, that Canadian dentists are apparently world-renowned artistes on the bonded filling front. When I went to a dentist here and asked him to replace the fillings and to make them whiter, he flat out refused, saying it would be too hard to do and instead, he’d give me four porcelain veneers at $1,500 a tooth. That was more than I could afford, so I went to another dentist recommended to me by a neighbour.

Sure, Dr. Mancini said. I can EASILY replace those bonded fillings and give you a lovely new smile, and I’ll do all four for a thousand bucks. Great, was my reply!

And so I showed up on Monday and the work began. And as soon as he was finished, Dr. Mancini cheerfully said: “I am really not happy with how they look. Your teeth are so discoloured underneath that it shows through the filling, and I could not get them white enough or uniform enough.”

I looked in the mirror. They were sort of marble-y, and not a ton whiter, but I’ve seen worse teeth.

“So instead, I am going to give you four porcelain veneers for the same price since I’ve sort of left you in the lurch here,” he told me.

Okey dokey, I say, and I set up an appointment to return the next day to have casts made for the veneers and have temporary ones put on.

Now for reasons I still don’t understand, the dentist put “Hollywood White” on my temps — a white so blindingly white, it’s almost blue.  Even his assistant questioned why he was going so white, to which I never heard a real answer. When he was finished and I looked in the mirror, I was almost blinded by the sheer pure-white power of the teeth. They also looked large. I have always had small, dull-coloured teeth.

“HOLY SHIT!” I shouted out loud.

“I TOLD YOU!” the saucy assistant said accusingly to her boss.

“Don’t worry,” said Dr. Mancini told both of us. “I always use the purest white with the temps, but we’ll go a shade or two darker with the permanent ones. See you on Monday! Oh, and by the way, don’t eat any apples or carrots!”

I stumbled home, astonished by the spectacle in my mouth. I immediately text my man, old SatinBalls.

“Oh my God, my teeth,” I write.

He wants details.

“I look like Kaye Chancellor on the Young and the Restless — huge, white, obviously fake chompers. I look like a fucking donkey!” I reply.

(As an aside, his response is why he is one of my favourite people on the planet: “There is nothing wrong with Kaye Chancellor’s teeth. It’s her face that’s the problem. Brock must be so relieved he didn’t inherit his mother’s mug.”)

I shake it off, and refuse his many pleas to send a photo. After all, they’re just temps, I tell myself. I’ll try not to smile too much and battle on. To take my mind of things, I decide to book a facial today. I won one in a contest at a party in the summer and I’m long overdue, work is slow today, and so off I go.

“How old are you?” the facial woman asks me.

“Forty-five,” I reply.

“Forty-five!! Well you need not just any facial, my dear, you need our special chemical peel facial for aging skin. You’ll be glowing when you leave!”

Fast forward an hour. I am glowing all right. I am glowing  brilliant red from whatever battery acid she brushed onto my face. So now I have a mouthful of snow-white donkey teeth that look even whiter, if that’s possible, against my purple skin. And great! I have to be at the office in an hour to meet with the cute young IT guy who is in town and returning my broken laptop.

He arrives at the office. I keep my tweed cap on and try not to open my mouth.

“Is everything OK?” he asks.

“Oh yes,” I mumble.  “I’ve been a bit under the weather.”

He insists we go out for dinner, on his dime. I remove my cap because it’s dark and figure at least he won’t notice that my skin is the same colour as  the pickled beets.  And as I sit spooning crab and artichoke dip gingerly into my mouth to avoid showing my teeth  — no bread in case it loosens the veneers!!! — the ENTIRE FOUR VENEERS FALL RIGHT OUT.

I excuse myself to go to the can as he looks on, ashen-faced. I text SatinBalls frantically: “My donkey teeth just fell out while dining with Jason in a posh restaurant!!!” The phone immediately rings. It’s SatinBalls, barely able to breathe because he’s laughing so hard. He is almost weeping. He can barely speak. But he does manage to issue another plea for a photo. “Lay them on one of the linen napkins  and take a picture!” he howls.

I sent Jason on his way, but now I am walking around with my four hideous broken discoloured non-enamelled original four front teeth. I am not opening my mouth AT ALL. I pray the dentist returns my call first thing in the morning and glues these big white monsters back on.

I am also really wishing I’d left things alone. My old bonded fillings were perfectly acceptable.No, they weren’t bright white Hilary Duff teeth. But they were fine. I don’t want mouthful of fake teeth that fall out when I eat a Honeycrisp! Fucking hell.

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