Deb: I am ten-years-old and my new front teeth are just a year old. I am at that beautiful Bunny tooth stage that preteens enjoy. I am out with my friend Carol Ann on our bikes. Before I know it, I can see out of the corner of my eye a long stick hurtling toward me. As suddenly as I catch it in my peripheral vision, it is jammed in my tire spokes and I am flying through the air toward the curb. My new tooth is now half a tooth.
It would turn out to be the first time I would ever see my Dad cry.
And sadly, the young boy was so upset because he truly did not mean to hurt me. I felt that myself as I witnessed his upset at the scene. And even at my young age, I knew that it was not fear that drove his tears, but regret.
He and his buddy were throwing branches under car wheels to see them crushed. (Yeah, I know, but in all fairness they were nine-year-old boys.) When they threw the branch under my tires, it did not land at the bottom. It jammed that bike with split second timing.
Our dentist at the time put me through 5 painful surgeries and insisted to my parents that he could not “crown” the tooth. As a result I had a partial front gold tooth all through my teens. But “whatever”. We didn’t know that I could have had a nice white tooth until much later. What a thing to do to a teenage girl!
Fast forward ten years and I am sporting that nice white tooth. But now I have to have emergency throat surgery. They do not make a “plate”, hoping for the best, but sure enough, I wake up in recovery only to find my tongue moving its feelers across my shard of a front tooth. And ... it wasn’t the original broken tooth. So now I have TWO broken front teeth. They are filed to points and replaced with a bridge. Before the bridge, I tried implants twice, only to find that my body rejects any and all metal objects (the IUD surgery is a whole OTHER STORY).
So I had to get a bridge made and I survived quite nicely for years … until we went skiing five years ago with Barb and her lovely family. I had a skiing accident and I had to rush to a local dentist who had to temporarily cement my broken and un-repairable bridge. Oh, and just to give you the “ski accident” details: I broke my bridge by biting into a breakfast bagel. But be honest, you were impressed for a second there, weren’t you?
Well, my dentist back home solved that disaster and although he said the bridge was a ticking bomb, it was hanging in there for all it was worth. Until....
Cut to: before Christmas 2010. I am shooting and we are doing the photo galleries and my tooth is loose. Like baby-tooth loose, like I-am-playing-with-it-with-my-tongue loose, like I-am-making-the-sibilant-s’s loose. So the driver rushes me to my dentist who cements it in and all is well. Until...
Two weeks ago and clearly my tooth is trying to commit suicide. So my dentist and I decide to do a four-tooth bridge and add veneers to the rest of the top teeth for vanity reasons. After all I am an actor and my teeth are greying and my career is having to play fake smiley characters so...
So, five hours, $10,000 and 12 needles later, I left the office wearing a hideous temporary bridge and a single false crowned tooth that still needs to be veneered.
Lisping and closed-mouth smiling, I make my way to our gig in Vancouver where I have to spend hour upon hour displaying the closed mouth smile. All was well. Left Vancouver and was sitting on the plane and my single tooth came out.
Well... experienced trouper that I am, I popped it into an Advil bottle and sucked it up. Cancelled an audition that I was to have Monday as the role did not call for a hillbilly. And called my dentist to arrange for it to be glued back in. They fluffed me off until Wednesday, although I was calling at the crack of 8am Monday. My dentist is on holiday and the fill-in dentist clearly does not give a damn.
So here I sit, Hillbilly Deb, dreaming of the 8th of March when my new teeth will go in. I won’t lie to you, I have looked better. Much better. Waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy better. But there you have it. And my lesson. Laugh. Always laugh. What’s the alternative?
Barbara: Oh god, Deb, I feel for you. Only one question: where are the photos???