After a very warm welcome Aunty M and Uncle J (my mother’s friends – not actually related, not that it matters just to sketch the picture) both have a look at my mouth. Oooh there seems some surprise at how big the missing bit of my tooth is. I’m not sure whether to be worried or not.
Their son A, bless him also a dentist, has come over to make X-rays of my teeth. ‘Right’, he says dryly,’ as you can see…’ whilst pointing at the broken tooth, ‘this one is much shorter than the other one.’ I am lucky because I have not exposed the nerve, which is why I am not in stupendous amounts of pain. But depending on whether nerve can heal through the trauma or dies I might have to come back for nerve treatment. Great, I can see this freak accident will keep me busy for the rest of life.
There is a quick team-tactics talk : Aunty M discusses a couple of options but it is Uncle J who seems to be enthusiastic. He actually likes fixing these things and is a man with a plan. He invites me in the dentist chair but without revealing the plan. So I lie there, absolutely trusting this man who I have met twice before, who preps the bit of my tooth still left for whatever he wants to do. He mumbles something about the tooth being a little crooked, but since I am missing about 75% of the tooth, this really is the least of my worries.
My mum decides to help with the procedure holding the spit-hoover that dries out your mouth and they have small talk in Indonesian. Which I don’t understand. Every now and then Uncle J will ask me to do something in Indonesian (The man speaks Dutch but I guess because he is so engrossed in conversation with my mum, he forgets my handicap.) My mum then translates and I do what is requested. Dribbling, my mouth open, hypnotised by the dentists lights, I have no clue what is happening:
I get cotton put in my mouth, my tooth is viled and prepped with cold and hot things, which surprise me because the broken tooth has become v sensitive, I pick something up about making a little bridge to hold it, some kind of putty is put on it, I get instructions, my mother translates, I bite on the piece of fabric that has appeared in my mouth, everything is shaped and polished, Aunty M has a look in my mouth as well and praises her husbands work, more shaping and polishing is done, my head is turned different angles, my head nearly falls of the chair which my mother subtly pushes back whilst still talking to Uncle J about the all different kinds of putty there exist these days and just as I am wondering whether I can tell her that in her enthusiasm she is holding the little spit hoover so it sets off my gag-reflex…the job is done.
I get off the chair and look at myself in the mirror. Amazing. Within the hour I have gained a set of straight teeth. You cannot tell the difference between the fake one and the real ones. Amazing.
After another intervention by Aunty M who says that Uncle J has to make the back a little lower: my teeth are perfect. Uncle J is positively glowing with pride. Excellent job. We are offered tea and cake and I cannot describe how grateful I am or how lucky I feel.
My parents are great, they drive me back to Antwerp. All the way I cannot stop looking at my new smile.
Perfectly straight teeth: who needs braces when you can kiss a glass door.