Opinion: Just grin and bear it

AS I write this column, I'm sitting in front of my laptop sticking my tongue in a large gap in my teeth.

For the past three weeks I've been sans an upper-front tooth thanks to a root canal slash crown that failed after a number of years.

I wrote about the approaching disaster this time last year including the plaintive chorus, "All I want for Christmas is a new front tooth"; an interstate relocation meant I delayed the treatment for eleven months.

But I finally bit the bullet (pun intended) a few weeks back and have been enduring the very unpleasant treatment for weeks.

If there is a chance I will be reincarnated after I cark it, I'm coming back as an endodontist.

They are paid vast amounts of money to essentially torture a captive audience.

The bloke I saw, an otherwise delightful young man, looked too young to shave and sported a set of the most dazzling pearly whites I've ever seen in my life (and they were real, damn him).

As he administered the unpleasant local anaesthetic up under my nose and into the roof of my mouth, he murmured soothingly, "You'll just feel a little pinch".

Look, buddy, I was pinched many times by Julie Foster in primary school and it felt NOTHING like that ... and she used her nails, into the bargain.

I found it interesting that the second injection was counted off (one ... two ... three ... four ... five), while the 15-second-long first job wasn't.

Presumably once one gets past the five-second mark there's a very real possibility the patient will get up and run screaming from the room.

I do have a temporary fake tooth at the moment - while I await the new crown - so I don't look as though I am channeling my inner hillbilly, but it's encased in a clear plastic mouthguard that covers all my upper teeth (mostly invisibly).

The device revels in the name "suckdown"; I urge readers not to Google the word because in street parlance it means something entirely different, a practice still illegal in many US states.

It's remarkable how losing most of a front tooth makes one feel so vulnerable; I thought I was long past the vanity stage these days but it appears I am not.

I need to remove this thing to eat as otherwise it fills with bits of food - officially Not A Good Look - but I refuse to do that in public so I'm saving a hell of a lot of money at the moment by not eating out. I say "saving money" but of course it's all been channeled into the pocket of the endodontist.

Nice chappie, but I hope I never see him again.

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