Things the Dentist Did

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see the dentist. It was really awful, actually. I had to get up really early, and sit in rush hour traffic for an hour, and not even for the sake of something good, like an early flight to somewhere sunny, say, or the Harvey Nichols sale, but for the DENTIST. GOD.

Now, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned here before, I’m not actually afraid of the dentist, which is  really quite strange, because I’m scared of just about everything else. I can’t even drive past a hospital or the doctor’s office without breaking into a cold sweat, but when it comes to the dentist I’m all, “Whatever. Drill a hole right through my head if you have to, just don’t charge me for it.”

No, I’m not afraid of the dentist, but I AM afraid of being forced to spend money on something I can’t put on my feet or hang in my closet. And as it turned out, I was RIGHT to fear that, because this trip to the dentist, it was not cheap. But I’m getting ahead of myself, here. First, let me tell you what the dentist did to me on that cold and frosty morning:

1. Tied a “bib” around my neck.

2. Put a huge pair of safety goggles on my eyes.

3. Instructed me to “grin like a maniac”. OK, those weren’t his exact words, but he basically got me to pull my lips back from my teeth and do this kind of maniacal grin, with my teeth bared like I was starring in a teen horror movie. (As the horror element, I hasten to add, not the teen element.) For full effect, I also opened my eyes really wide and put on this “Hi! I’m insane!” expression, although I’m sure that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

4. Took photos of me like this. In a really high resolution. PHOTOS.

5. Put said photos onto a computer (a wide-screen computer, naturally), and blew them to their full size, so my crazed Face-of-a-Killer took up the whole screen, and then made me look at them.

From this, you will perhaps have deduced that this visit was not so much about the health of my teeth (Which are healthy! And strong! In fact, I could probably have used them to chew my own leg off, if I’d wanted to, and at that stage I kind of DID want to, if only to give myself something a little less painful to think about than the images on the screen.) but about the appearance of them. Which is… crooked. And which is why my dentist wanted to take close-up photos of my teeth and then force me to look a them. Actually, it was a cunning move on his part, because let me tell you, once you’ve seen yourself in THAT much detail, you’re going to agree to just about anything anyone suggests to make it all better.

Which is why I’m getting Invisalign. (Which is an “invisible” brace, for those of you who couldn’t be bothered clicking the link.)

That wasn’t the only thing the dentist suggested to me, of course. In fact, we had a long, long chat about all of the options, and what we finally decided was that I would basically give him all my money, and in return he would destroy the images he’d taken of me that morning give me straighter teeth. I will only need one brace, for my lower teeth, and the way this system works is that I get a new version of it every two weeks, until the job is done, which will be in about nine months time, apparently. So, basically it’s like I’m giving birth to… teeth. Which is totally the kind of thing that would happen to me, isn’t it?

And when I finally left the room? I was still wearing my “bib” and had the imprint of the safety goggles all around my eyes. Great!

(I just wanted to add to this, that I spent a lot of time researching this and looking into all of the different options available, so I do know all of the pros and cons of Invisalign, and am totally aware of what I’m getting into. So please, no, “My aunt’s neighbour’s cat’s wife had Invisialign, and OMG, all of her teeth fell out and then she DIED!” stories, although obviously if you’ve had one of these braces yourself, I’d be interested to know how you found it!)

Edited to add: I should have made it clearer in this post that I actually went to the dentist to discuss ways of straightening my teeth: that was the purpose of the visist, so it wasn’t like I went in for a check-up and came out with a brace. Having re-read it, I realise that’s how it sounds, so apologies for any confusion!