The Veneer Of Civilisation

12 Oct
Cavities evolution 4 of 5 ArtLibre jnl
Image via Wikipedia

It’s manky teeth time again.  I have the worst teeth in the world.  When Americans whisper behind their hands about British mouths, it’s me they’re thinking of. 

I had root canal treatment on my front tooth, twenty-odd years ago.  Being dead, it got greyer and greyer until I begged my dentist to help me.  He suggested veneers – in the plural, because one’s front gnashers should match. 

I told my friend Flo about it and she thought it was a great idea until she spoke to her own dentist.  Next time I saw her, I asked her if she was going to have her own teeth done but she fobbed me off.  She didn’t want to upset newly-veneered me, or make me feel uncomfortable.  I knew she was fobbing me off by the way she blushed and ran to the other side of the playground every time teeth were mentioned.

I never did learn what horror story her dentist told her about veneers, but I can take a good guess.  First of all, installing them hurts.  My teeth were sanded down to nothing and every time I breathed (which I do a lot of; there’s no getting round it) it felt like a gale force wind was prodding them with a skewer.  Then the cement used to stick on the veneers was so adhesive, it dried before my dentist had time to remove the excess.  My mouth spent weeks looking as if it had been grouted to match my bathroom.

Worst of all, the cement only seems to work on the gaps between the teeth: my veneers have fallen off several times and had to be glued back on.  Last night it happened again.  ‘I don’t know why it does that,’ I said to the Hub as I finished my chewy lollipop.


I had intended to attend the monthly session of Stockport Write Out Loud last night, but I don’t go out with a broken mouth.  It’s one of my rules.  My new dentist has agreed to fix it this morning.  She keeps a spare appointment just for me: I am forever losing crowns, fillings, veneers and bits of old tooth that I don’t use anymore.

I hope my children read this as a cautionary tale: brush your teeth twice a day for three minutes.  If you don’t, I’m warning you: I’m going to smile.

6 Responses to “The Veneer Of Civilisation”

  1. vivinfrance October 12, 2010 at 10:20 #

    Oh, poor Tilly. I will ask Jock about veneers, though I have a pretty good idea what he’ll say.

    I’m with you in having awful teeth. I gained several crowns while he was my own dentist! Since then we’ve found a dentist here who wins sir’s approval, and last time we went for a checkup I was chuffed to find nothing needed doing whereas he needed two fillings! Since then
    a root-treated tooth broke on his meusli(!) and he’s going today for the first stage of getting a crown.

    I hope you don’t mind me putting a link on here to my ranting blog: I’ve taken off my offending poem and put on a piece about critiquing!


  2. flo October 12, 2010 at 17:56 #

    Gosh, that was a long time ago!
    However,that’s a great picture of me, I think you got me on a good day! x


  3. slpmartin October 12, 2010 at 21:10 #

    Sorry to hear about your teeth…sounds as though the dentist wasn’t very experienced with veeners.


    • Tilly Bud October 15, 2010 at 21:46 #

      No, but he was so sweet I didn’t mind.


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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