It was relatively uneventful. I found a dentist office that happens to be within 5 minutes walking distance from my house. The Paget Manor Dentist Office is just right up the street and it was clean, affordable & neat, and the staff was sweet and efficient. Everything you could ask for in a newly remodeled dentist office (that was probably once a house at some point, like every other business here in England). Dr. Richard Milner, DDS was smiley and chatty. If I had to guess, I'd say in his mid 30's, old enough to not look like he just walked out of dentist school, and young enough to be hi-tech, with computerized x ray scanners and he was cool enough to leave a few buttons undone on his dress shirt to not look like a tight ass. His assistant was a lovely young lady, and accommodating throughout my entire visit (can't say the same about her buttons, though), even handing me a tissue every time I had to rinse & spit. Dr. Milner was thorough, if not redundant, about what he would be doing in, his explanation. As I eased back into that better-than-a-barcolounger big, comfy chair, I noticed there was some Adele "21" on in the background. All that was missing was a cranberry & vodka and a fireplace, really.
He advised me that I'd feel a little sting as he numbed my gumline with a Novocain shot, which I did- feel a little sting. No big deal. We chatted a bit while that was starting to work, mostly about how much he enjoys Florida and how much I enjoy England, or at least until I drooled, which probably indicated we were ready to start. He told me I'd feel a bit of pressure and if at any time something was uncomfortable, to just raise my hand.
Which, I think is a super nice way to say, "Don't scream, jump or kick me in the nuts because I could easily cut your tongue in half." That's just a guess on my part, though.
He said to try and ignore the sound because it's worse than what's actually happening. I focused on Adele. "Never mind, I'll find someone like--" Within 6 seconds, my tooth was out. No pain, no scrunching of my nose or hand movement of any sort. He gave me some precise aftercare instructions and off I went. Within hours of the numbness wearing off, I was ready with some high powered pain pills a friend had given me, "just in case"- but I didn't need them, nor did I even need ibuprofen. No pain, no cotton wad in my mouth, no blood, no stitches, just a faint twinge every once in a while. Nothing notable. I stuck with the mushy food plan for a day or two- scrambled eggs, oatmeal, yoghurt, pudding, and mashed potatoes. By Day 2 and 1/2, I was chewing on my other side, eating regular crap like crisps, chips, fish, pasta, and even pizza. By Day 3, I was perfectly fine.
So, the cool part about this whole experience is that it's renewed my faith in England's dentistry, and really ...dentistry as a whole. But England, in particular. I mean, I didn't really doubt it. Yes, the age old jokes about bad teeth weighed a bit on my mind, but in all honesty, since I've been coming here, even for visits, before I moved here, I don't think I've ever really seen anyone with a nightmare mouth, gaping holes, crooked or broken teeth, other than perhaps an old codger in a pub who would more than likely spend his last five pound note on a Guinness rather than at a dentist visit anyhow.
I've been to a lot of different parts of England, from Shrewsbury, to Birmingham, to Maidenhead, Windsor, Hammersmith, London, Banstead, Leicester, Soho, Wimbledon, even Wales and I've been to all kinds of venues from pubs, bars, theaters, shopping centers, Starbucks, hotels, piers, beaches, festivals, Prides, book stores, spa's, pet stores, and farms so I've seen a LOT of different, diverse people in all sorts of settings and I've yet to cringe at one smile. It doesn't surprise me, now that I think about it. I mean, seriously, look at the teeth on those "Downton Abbey" people! Perfect, right?
I'm sure you saw your share of English people just watching the Olympics on TV this summer, and, truthfully now, how many times did you poke your friend and say, "OMG, did you SEE THOSE AWFUL TEETH??" Not once, I'm guessing. Look, I get that Prince Charles may not have the most dashing presence, but let's face it- that has a lot to do with his big friggin' ears, beady eyes and narrow nose. Even the Queen, on the rare occasion that she does smile, doesn't have some mangy messed up "teef" or anything. Prince William has a gorgeous smile, always has, like his mother Princess Diana. Prince Harry, Kate Middleton- great smiles, although people have been looking at more than their smiles lately- STILL- there's a lot of GOOD teeth over here and we seem to forget that. Simon Cowell doesn't show 'em often, but he's got a decent set of whiteys, and Kate Winslet, Daniel Radcliff, Helen Mirren, Jessie J, Graham Norton, Gary Barlow, John Cleese, even Colin freakin' Firth and he's as English as it gets! I can't comment on Victoria Beckham since no one has seen her teeth in god knows how long, because she's constantly sucking in her cheeks all the time. And Will.i.am has a pretty good-- Oh wait, he's American. Come on, though! Have you ever looked at Jude Law and thought, "Those are some screwed up teeth, man!"..? No. And FYI: More good teeth people: Cheryl Cole, Emma Watson, and shut-the-front-door shocker: Russell Brand- he doesn't have bad chompers at all for the twisted bastard that he is. In all seriousness, I haven't met a person yet that has a set of fucked up buckers like Austin Powers or Margaret Thatcher. (Ok, maybe Alan Carr could use some veneers). Don't get me wrong, I'm sure they're out there, looking like the creepy old villian in a Scooby Doo episode. All 148 of them that are still living, because that's about how old and dated this "England's bad teeth" rap is.
I'm not giving a "GET OVER IT!" speech, by any means because I'm not completely convinced that Robert Pattinson doesn't have real, creepy, yellow vampire teeth, but I'm cutting the guy some slack since his girlfriend got caught getting her muff munched in a Mini Cooper by a married scumbag director twice her age.
Think about this, USA: Metal-mouthed disgusting rapper Lil' Wayne is on magazine covers. Oh and P.S. - need I remind you about Kirsten Dunst, Steve Buscemi, Mike Tyson, Jewel and Michael Strahan?!
Yeah, I definitely think it's high time we give England a break. I'm more inclined to laugh at the funny way they talk over here than be stopped in my tracks by anyone's banged up teeth. Listen, all I'm saying is we can't let Ricky Gervais' god awful fangs represent an entire nation anymore, people.