Tuesday, August 31, 2010

So Long, Ole Snaggletooth. Hello Regular Guy.

WARNING! If you're my brother or Alex, don't read this blog. Or at least don't look at the pictures. For some reason, certain people don't like seeing a close up picture of my face with a broken tooth hanging out in the front. If you don't want to see that picture either, then you should probably just stop reading right here. And also, you should probably get ready for me to give you a hard time and call you a wiener a lot. I just don't see what the problem is. It's just a broke-ass tooth! Man up!

So here's what happened. When I was 19, I was going to school at a lovely little liberal arts college in Beloit, WI. One of my good friends from high school, Straight Edge Rob, had come to the same college with me, and we lived in the same dorm our freshman year. One night, I believe in February, we were hanging out in the lounge of our dorm with a bunch of people, being innocently stupid, as most 19 years olds tend to be. I was doing a headstand in one of those big lounge chairs when I felt something hit me in the mouth. It didn't hurt at first; just felt weird and not right. I heard, sort of in the distance, our friend Gail exclaiming "Oh my god, Robert, you broke her tooth!" I came down from my headstand and put my hand to my mouth. Sure enough, there was a gap in my front teeth! My front left tooth had been broken in half in the front, and then angled upwards so there was almost no tooth left at the back of it. "Oh my god oh my god oh my god" I kept saying, looking at Rob. He looked horrified, insistingly saying "It was an accident!" I looked in the mirror and screamed, full out. I had a giant hole in my mouth. Damn.

A couple of questions are probably floating around right now. Namely, I imagine, "what broke your tooth, Reem?" Well, my friends, I'll tell you. It was a plastic hair pick that Rob had thrown. Yes, one of these:

Rob kept saying something about how it must have been the trajectory and angle at which the pick came down and hit my tooth that caused it to break in half. I was skeptical, but I really did know he couldn't have thrown something at me that hard on purpose. Or with that good aim. It was definitely an accident, but um...yeah. What an accident.

I assume the second question you're asking is "what happened to the part of the tooth that broke off?" Well...I can say with about 95% positivity that I swallowed it. The thing is, I don't remember swallowing it, but everybody else seems to remember that happening, and the tooth was nowhere to be found, so...I guess I swallowed the piece of tooth. Whoops a daisy.

Here is a picture of me shortly after it happened. I've been reluctant to share this in the past, not because of the ugly gaping hole in my teeth, but because of my crazy ass eyebrows in this picture. Yep, I'm sometimes vain. Not vain enough to resist posting pictures of myself with broken teeth, of course, but almost vain enough to not show you my pre-waxing-days eyebrows. Now you know everything.
See the broken tooth? The Cosmo comes into play because not but an hour before Rob knocked out my tooth, I'd been doodling on the cover of that Cosmo magazine, and had colored in Cindy Crawford's front left tooth. The same tooth I got knocked out! Creepy, eh?

I got the tooth fixed pretty soon after that, and had a couple of temporary crowns that fell out from time to time, usually in food or right before I had to get in an airplane. Very stressful. I had bad dreams about teeth falling out for about a year and a half after that and still have them every so often. Most recently (three nights ago) I dreamed that I had braces and the wire came off, which revealed the fact that I had no teeth at all on the bottom right side of my mouth. All gums, smooth and soft, that I could feel when I ran my tongue over them. So gross. One positive to come out of this, however, was a poem that my dad wrote and sent me right after this happened.To the best of my memory, here is an excerpt:

Reem laughed very hard with a mouth that opened wide
When from a far off land came RJ comb and busted her tooth apart!
One half went down in her guts and gave her the diarrhea!
The other half was broken and triggered the hysteria!
Reem called up her parents and cried out her heart
Thinking that for the rest of her life, she'd have to work at WalMart...

Oh Dad! I can always count on you for laughter during stress. Thank you! By the way, RJ was what we called him in high school, and how my parents knew him.

I eventually got a permanent crown when I was 20, which was a relief. And really, it wasn't too bad until the last couple of years or so, when I realized my fake tooth was looking longer than the rest of them. I called it my Snaggletooth. Apparently it wasn't evident to very many people, but there are definitely pictures in which it's obvious. Like this festive holiday one:

Or this one, which is one of about 20 that I took at all different angles in order to fully display Ole Snaggletooth. See it?

Needless to say, it was time to have it taken care of. This, in addition to the fact that I needed a root canal on the tooth and I had an abscess above it that was starting to weird me out. I went to the dentist, a very nice man who hums along with the Lite FM station in his office while he works, and over this summer, have had three dental procedures to fix my tooth, hopefully permanently.

During my second visit, they removed the old fake tooth and put in a post to help stabilize the permanent one I'd get a few weeks later. In between the removal of the fake tooth and them putting in the temporary one, I asked to look in the mirror. To my surprise, the leftover real tooth that was there was a totally different shape than I'd imagined. I think it looks like a sideways pacman, or maybe a shrunken head, in a way, but you can decide for yourselves (by the way, this is the picture Emil and Alex were mad about. Whatever, man):

When I asked the dentist and dental hygienist whether I should take a picture of this, they were both emphatic about me not documenting this. The dentist even said "You don't want to remember what this looks like, do you?" Hmm, I guess he didn't think I looked too good, eh? I guess some people don't think broken teeth are funny. Like Emil and Alex and Dr. Kosovec. Waa waa. You know what though? When they left the examining room, I jumped out of the dentist chair and snapped that photo real quick on my phone. I'm not one to let a golden moment go to waste. I just can't.

This morning was my last procedure, and I got my permanent crown put in. It's such a weird feeling to have my tooth be the same length as the rest. Also, the old crown was super thick in the back and this one is normal, and it's so strange. But I think it looks pretty nice! I'm trying not to micro-examine every inch of it, but I think it's okay.

And that's the story of my tooth, babies! Thanks to those of you who lasted through all the pictures. Were they really that bad?


SophisticatedBrew said...

oh GOD and your dad's poem! amazing.

Lauren said...

It looks great. Seriously, you're looking super hot in that last pic.

DV said...

i love it! major lols! my bf is missing his front right tooth and has a denture/retainer thing with a fake tooth. i think fucked up teeth are adorable!

Anonymous said...

Lovely story Reem- Def looks MUCH better than old one in the pictures, and that's normally when dentists can really analyze it- tell your dentist his lab did a beautiful job replicating your adjacent tooth- very natural looking- Looking forward to seeing it in person :)

Luper said...

Looks great! Hopefully, you'll eat lots of delicious food with it ;)

Sara Ashes said...

awww, now I'm all depressed and missing Snaggletooth!

Lynn Vollbrecht said...

a)I love your eyebrows in that first photo. Like, ridiculously.

b)I also love the un-capped tooth! Like a lil'baby biter of a thing!