15
Jan
09

My implant hell, or how I spent £7,000 in the name of vanity*

Finally, the wait is over.

After two and a half years of monthly dental treatment, financed by the sale of three kidneys (one each from me and the kids) and a second mortgage, my teeth are now complete.

I now have Tom Cruise’s stature AND his smile, and now must only find myself a Hollywood wife, a Nazi costume and an unshakeable belief that an galactic overlord came to earth 75 million years ago and infected us all with alien juice to complete the metamorphosis.

Despite my anally-retentive dental routine, three years ago I realised that something was rotten in the state of Denmark, namely a tooth towards the back of my mouth which throbbed so insistently that in some ways it became a surrogate wristwatch, marking out the seconds, minutes and hours in which I could neither sleep, eat or speak.

I knew my infected tooth needed immediate attention, but just to make sure my self-diagnosis was correct, I waited another six months to be on the safe side – there’s no point rushing into these things.

By the time I crawled to the dentist, my drug habit dwarfed Pete Doherty’s and my tooth had taken on a life of its own; one that involved causing me as much agony as possible – a bit like Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms album stuck on repeat.

Having finally been forced by those around me to go to the dentist and undergone an appointment where I had ignobly burst into tears and had to be sent home to calm down like an over-emotional schoolgirl, I was finally treated and felt the true glory of a life without pain – right up until the moment I paid the bill.

From then on, it was downhill all the way. My calcium-leeching children had sucked all the goodness from my bones in the womb, leaving practically every tooth as precariously wobbly and unreliable as Britney Spears beside the punch bowl at a playschool barbecue.

The dentist broke it to me gently (at first with pliers and then with a bandsaw) and told me that to sort out my teeth I was going to have to have numerous treatments over several years which would include deep root canal, bone regeneration, surgery, extraction, antibiotics and implants.

I was so shocked that I didn’t even ask why I needed breast surgery. It seemed like the least of my worries.

My plan to have the troublesome tooth treated and then skulk away to my lair, tail between legs and floss between teeth until a check-up that I’d agreed to attend without any real intention of ever doing so, evaporated to dust.

Suddenly, I was spending more time with my dentist than I did with my friends and loved ones, which was a blessing in disguise for my friends and loved ones, because for quite some time, all I could bang on about was my teeth.

In a bid to bring my mouth up to 21st century standards, or even 18th century standards, I have spent around £7,000, with £4,000 of that spent on just four teeth (two implants, two porcelain veneers) – muggers from now on will ignore my wallet (emptied by dentists) and head straight for my gnashers.

I may be in debt for the rest of my life, but at least I can eat an apple. If it’s mashed up. And eaten through a straw.

I think the highlight of my treatment was the removal of an infected tooth without anaesthetic (you can’t anaesthetise infected tissue, as I found out after I’d been strapped to Sweeney Todd’s chair and watched him swallow the key to the door) in a scene reminiscent of the kind of back-street dentistry which went on in Dickens’ day. All that was missing was a match girl freezing to death in the corner and a rat the size of a Jack Russell looking on dispassionately as I stoically bore the pain in the only way I knew how; by screaming like a toddler in a shoe shop.

But it hasn’t all been bad. Very often it’s been bloody awful.

Along the way there’s been blood, sweat, tears, laughter (albeit ironic laughter when my dentist asked me if I was planning any holidays and I told him that I thought this year I’d stick to just paying for his instead) pain, infections and financial ruin. Mainly just the tears, the blood and the bankruptcy, to be honest, but to focus on the positive, I now have enough titanium rods in my mouth to audition for a role as a villain in James Bond.

With hindsight, I am glad that I had the work done and I’m sure that when they’re old enough for me to explain the situation to them, the children will understand why Christmas stopped for them in 2005.

Look on the bright side, I’ll tell them. I had my teeth done on the NHS – if I’d gone private you wouldn’t have any vital organs left.

* Maybe I should have qualified – when I said ‘implants’ I meant teeth, not tits. Sorry if I mislead you. I’m not sorry. But you knew that.

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4 Responses to “My implant hell, or how I spent £7,000 in the name of vanity*”


  1. January 17, 2009 at 12:00 am

    I’m gonna wet myself I’m laughing so hard! Here I am, checking the blogosphere, crying over my infected tooth that will be extracted NEXT week after the antibiotic kicks in and I stumble upon this post! How wonderfully appropriate and just what I needed! I’m so happy to hear I’m not the only one being ruined by poor genetics and greedy dentists!

    I hope my ending is just as happy as yours!

    • 2 womaninblack
      January 17, 2009 at 12:31 am

      I feel your pain…almost literally.
      Ironic that people talk about feeling ‘cheated’ out of a natural birth if they have painkillers, yet no one talks about being ‘cheated’ out of a natural tooth extraction…Don’t let them lay a gloved finger on you until those antibiotics have worked their miracle. And plan on getting very, very drunk afterwards. Worked for me!
      Will be thinking of you and your Sweeney Todd next week x

  2. February 10, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Отличный пост, прочитав несколько статей на эту тему понял, что всё таки не посмотрел с другой стороны, а пост как-то очень заинтересовал.

  3. February 14, 2009 at 7:42 am

    вы шутите…21 век на дворе, неужели нет ничего достойного внимания, как энциклопедия.Милые мои, вот нет снега в
    гордах, это тоже тема и история, пересмотрите темы.Я почту просматриваю, мне шлют не пойми что, не знаю кто, столько мусора, может оно и нужно, но не в дневнике.Я так понимаю, дневник это часть твоей души.Нам дается право выбирать – пользуйтесь. А информация бесполезной не бывает


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