But will I have anything to smile about in the future?

I let a successful person put their hands in my mouth.

I’d avoided the dentist for a few years because my previous one, in Vancouver, left me with bad news. When he said I needed crowns, I got three as permitted by my insurance coverage for the year. That was three teeth out of… all of them. The dentist said I was looking at a full set of gold crowns, as my enamel had disintegrated. Even though insurance covered 50% of the cost, capping these three molars with gold was still surprisingly expensive. Without dental benefits in Montréal, I didn’t have the incentive to complete my oral overhaul.

Now that I have extended health benefits again, I allowed a new professional the opportunity to rip me off. I’ve never been to a dentist’s office waiting room decorated in the current era, and this one was no exception. The receptionists sat in front of shelves full of file folders with colour-coded tabs, but at least they weren’t using CRT monitors. Even weirder was that there was more than one receptionist.

The dentist’s office welcoming committee had me keep on my mask as I was escorted across the waiting room, past the reception area, in the fashion of being served a table at a restaurant. My mask stayed on as I reclined on the dentist’s chair and wrote out my concerns, mentioning how my ex-dentist told me my mouth was garbage. It didn’t matter if I’d been the only child to ever take up regular flossing because of faulty genes.

A series of four photos of Lisa Simpson showing Lisa's teeth progressively getting worse to the point that a tooth impales her cheek.

I explained my issues in such detail that the hygienist probably expected a swarm of locusts to escape from my mouth as soon as the mask came off.

The x-raying, spit vacuuming, teeth scaling, all while scoping the residents of the condo across the street, made for a familiar check-up. What was new for me was having the hygienist stick a camera inside my mouth to capture extreme close-up shots of my teeth. The photos were not flattering at all, but I still wanted a copy to gawk at later, so I duplicated the images on the screen with my phone. Not the best decision as studying these photos later at home filled me with despair.

Ren of Ren and Stimpy looks in the mirror with a large grin displaying a decaying mess of teeth.

Miraculously, I don’t have any cavities. I do need to get fillings for acid wear, which is somehow not as bad as having cavities. The dentist explained how acid wear was caused by acidic food and drinks. And bulimia.

I take it the dentist thinks I’m thin.

Although I could get fillers for my front teeth, crowns are a more permanent fix. Also, despite what my Vancouver dentist told me, I wouldn’t need them for all teeth, just nine. I told the dentist to email me a quote so that I could get my finances in order. A few hours later, I received the email and opened it on my phone: $4,200.

Yikes.

But wait! When I re-opened the email on my laptop, I realized that they had sent me three attachments, for this type of dental work requires multiple appointments. Therefore, the actual cost is a spit-choking $12,600.

I guess if people of similar financial circumstances can save up for a car, I can do this. Will I, though? I have spent at least that much on tattoos (about 90 hours of ink), but I didn’t get them all in one year.

The visit ended with them sending me off with a goody bag filled with dental care products.

I'm holding up my dental goody bag with a smile.
My parting gift.

In this bag was a tube of lip balm to add to my growing collection of lip balms, which have been turning up in the pockets of the clothes that I had tucked away for winter at the beginning of the year.

My lip balm robot cannot shoulder any more: I need a dedicated lip balm drawer.

The most ingenious goody in this bag was a stealth floss card. It looks like the key card I use for work, only instead of copper wires, there’s 10m of floss. I can carry around floss incognito until I try using the card to unlock the door at work. Then I’ll feel like a twit.

My reward to myself was a visit to Bulk Barn, where I blew $40 on candy. Mind you, this candy shopping spree was a tax-deductible expense. Habitat for Humanity will write me up a charitable tax receipt for my still-incomplete gingerbread creation. I find coding this project as a charitable donation misguided, but if the option is there, I’ll take it. I’ll then pass on the savings to my new dentist.

How unfortunate is it that a trip to the dentist was one of the more thrilling experiences I’ve had this year? 2020 has been a stagnant year with excessive reflection. Here’s the latest on my mind:

I may have fooled Google’s algorithm with my odd searches. For example, today, I googled “fat pro golfers” because I was trying to make an unnecessary point about golf not being a sport. That, along with my many wild search terms, has yielded ads such as:

An advertisement featuring a photo of a smiling young couple wearing cowboy hats. The text reads: Date A Cowboy. Why are you Waiting? Single cowboys are looking for you. View profiles for free. Join n..."

How Google… how? Why would you think I’d have any interest in single cowboys? I prefer married ones.

Hoho, I’ve made that joke before. But, wait, there’s a COWBOY DATING SITE? What about… fat pro golfers?

I sometimes enjoy reading the local newspaper’s letters to the editor for no reason other than to confirm the prejudices I have about the Boomers of Victoria. This was a notable recent letter, which was without a doubt sent in by a Boomer:

“Victoria is looking for feedback on the addition of more bike lanes. I don’t own a bike but support most of the efforts by our council to provide safe passage for our cyclists.

However, I have a very important question for our mayor. Does she actually own and drive a car? If she did, she would know that the state of our streets is deplorable with many potholes, uneven surfaces and so on.” (letter continues)

Does our fair mayor, Lisa Helps own and drive a car?

Gif of Tai from Clueless saying "You're a virgin who can't drive."

The letter writer, presumably, hasn’t lived outside of Victoria and has definitely not been to Montréal, where the streets look as if they’ve been ripped apart by landmines. The roads were so bad that it made me hate cycling in the city. People sometimes fall into potholes, and the city of Montréal patches the hole up with the body still inside as a free burial to make up for the crummy infrastructure. The free tombstone is an orange traffic cone.

Mayor Helps doesn’t need a car when cycling is a dream here.

Yet, I’m missing Montréal today, rocky roads and all. It’s currently 20° C there, whereas it’s a biting 4° C here in Victoria. 2020 is truly evil if there’s been a winter weather switcheroo.

Along with the letters to the editor, I’m more likely to be reading the actual news than the clickbaity stuff, which makes it all the more confusing how legitimate news outlets end up with clickbaity ads. There’s an ad that I keep seeing that shows a picture of tonsil stones. It’s so fucking gross that I sometimes can’t finish reading the news article. I wouldn’t be able to stomach the job of a dental hygienist.

When my mind isn’t consumed by photos of disgusting clickbait ads, I ponder fashion choices of the 1930s, such as capes. I’m pro-cape. Yann, however, says capes shouldn’t make a comeback, because: “It’s like walking around outside wearing a blanket.”

No shit, that’s the appeal. Blankets are my favourite thing to wear! Capes are way overdue for a comeback. In the meantime, shawls aka mini blankets will have to do.

Lastly, it was pointed out that some of the links in my previous post led to photos that I had set as Private on Flickr. I’m not sure what made me decide to make these photos private years ago, but they are now public. Ogle away!

2 thoughts on “But will I have anything to smile about in the future?

  1. Did the dentist try to scare you by showing you The Big Book of British Smiles? If you view teeth the same way some view friends, then 9 teeth are not worth $12,600 if you will still have 20 teeth left.

    Like

    1. Years ago, I worked at Value Village where there were enough older staff with bad teeth to fill a coffee table book.

      Yes, I value those 9 teeth and will be arranging a payment plan to have them crowned. Royal ugh!

      Liked by 1 person

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