For those whose natural teeth have received a rejection slip from the tooth fairy, plastic choppers are somewhat better than the alternative of being a toothless old geezer. The thrill of being able to flash beautiful, white, plastic, pearly teeth when you smile is unknown to those who still have their own natural choppers.
Assuming you have already been in the torture chamber and experienced the bloody, bone-cracking process of having your personal ivory collection extracted, you know about the waiting period between the chain saw massacre and the time when you can cancel the call to the blood bank and look forward to being a medical student’s next assignment.
“Don’t remove them,” you are told, “or your gums will swell and you will not be able to put them back in. “So, you endure the burning, throbbing pain, like demons from hell having a camp-a-roo and wiener roast in your mouth.
Eventually, the swelling subsides and the dentures begin flopping around in your mouth like the tongue of a duck. You then get to have your floppies re-lined and begin looking over the selection of powders, pastes, amazing goop, and super glue so the teeth will stay in your mouth and not fly across the room at the next church ladies’ social.
Like the legendary wooden teeth of George Washington, commercially produced nibblers never seem to fit properly, and relief only comes when a corner cracks off and it is time to have a new denture made.
You were under the influence of Novocain and laughing gas the first time, and believed that artificial teeth are made by magic elves that left the shoemaking business for better working conditions in a hollow tree.
It won’t be that bad the second time around you decide. So, you go back to the dentist where a concrete truck is backed up to the dental chair and your mouth filled with plaster of Paris. After the plaster has dried and is jack hammered from your mouth, a second mold is made from Silly Putty and you try not to gag, vomit, or kick holes in the ceiling while the dentist molds it to fit your mouth.
Bite,” says the dentist. “Ouch! Wait until my finger is out of the way.” (Biting the dentist is the most pleasurable part of the process.)
At last, “done,” you think. But no, you must return to the dentist for a fitting in which a denture the size of Hoover Dam is shoved into your mouth. Adjustments are made and the set is chipped down to the size of a mortal mouth.
“Next time we will have the real denture,” proclaims the dentist, very pleased with the torture sessions so far and with the down payment you are making on his vacation home in Bermuda.
Next time arrives and you are presented with a denture only twice the size of your mouth. While the dental assistant tells you how great you look, the dentist climbs into your mouth with a pick and digs for gold.
At long last the final fitting. After all the torture you have endured, you just want to get the thing done and get out of there. But something spears you in the roof of your mouth like Captain Ahab has mistaken you for the Great White Whale.
“It hurts!” you scream.
The doctor takes the denture to the back room and mysterious grinding sounds are heard that vibrate the dental insurance card in your pocket. Done at last, you go home and your new oral meat grinders begin the process of rubbing blisters and carving ulcers in your mouth like the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. You pray that you will be lucky and the blisters will become calluses before they become cancer.
And that is all there is to having pearly white false teeth so that you can eat without worry – at least for a few years until they wear out and crack again.