Princess: If the crown fits … |

Princess: If the crown fits …

Alison Berkley Margo
Princesses’ Palate

So I got my first root canal last week, and by the time all is said and done, my little dental disaster is going to cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,500.

For that amount of money, it almost would make more sense to book a vacation to Mexico or Costa Rica and have the work done there. At least that way I’d get something fun out of it.

I don’t get how it’s come to the point where you have to be wealthy to take care of a fairly routine but super necessary procedure to avoid having to have your teeth pulled. Here we are in this supposedly modern, progressive society, yet I’m going to have to start stripping or hooking in my free time to pay for my choppers.

It all started a few months ago when I was at the dentist’s office thinking I was just getting my teeth cleaned, and all of a sudden the hygienist chick starts going off on me.

“The way you drool, you’re going to need to come back in three months instead of six,” she said while both her fists were jammed down my throat so I wasn’t able to defend myself. “You salivate like crazy, in case you haven’t noticed. And your tongue is huge.”

Silly me, all this time I’ve been worried about my weight. It didn’t even occur to me that I’m like a monster, shuffling down the street sideways with my tongue hanging out of my mouth, dripping a trail of saliva behind me.

She wanted me to come in and get my teeth cleaned every three months, but our insurance only pays for two cleanings a year. Always being one to push a deadline, I figured I’d ride it out. What was the worst that could happen? Plus, like I said, I could think of a lot better things to do with my 300 bucks, like maybe get a Brazilian Blowout or a microdermabrasion facial. When it comes to my vanity, I’m totally willing to blow that kind of coin.

So I let it go a little longer than I should have, I’ll admit. And I didn’t floss every day like I was supposed to on account of swollen gums that were actually getting kind of sore, now that I think about it. And then my tooth started to ache, and I thought maybe it was TMJ from clenching my jaw at night since my life is so stressful, what with, having to raise a pug puppy and all. She has needs!

I bit the bullet and went to see the dentist. She told me my gums were so bad they’d eroded my skull and were probably going to leave a hole that my brain would leak out of — or something along those lines.

Suddenly I find myself in the chair of an endodontist — see, even my spellcheck doesn’t know what an endondontist is. This guy was awesome. He had these intense blue eyes and a buzz cut and was more like a personal trainer with his enthusiasm and stoke when it came to ripping my mouth apart.

“We’re going to go through this together, OK? We’re going to breathe through it and take it one step at a time.”

When I asked him what kind of drugs he could give me, he kept right on cheerleading. “It’s like life, you know? You don’t need to be one of these people who can’t handle life and has to be stumbling around on six Xanax. You can do this!”

“OK!” I cheered. “I can do this!”

His speech worked. I definitely took it on like some kind of challenge, and I started jogging in place and doing jumping jacks to get ready for battle.

I’m pretty sure we weren’t “going through this together” when he stuck a needle into the roof of my mouth while counting down just the way my trainer Bernadette used to. “For the last five, four, three, two, and one … ” he said.

You would think I’d welcome the numbness considering the amount of pain the serrated blade he wielded was going to cause. But when I could no longer feel my eyeball, I started to panic. My palms sweated, my hands shook, and I was pretty sure I was going to have a heart attack and die right there on the spot.

“I’m kind of freaking out,” I told his assistant.

She flapped her hand at me. “Oh, that’s normal. It’s just the epinephrine. It kind of makes your heart race a little bit.” She told me to go outside and “walk it off” like everything was fine and I didn’t feel like I’d just taken a hit off a crack pipe.

There I was, walking around downtown Glenwood like a crazy person, my fingers on my neck to make sure my pulse wasn’t so high that I might collapse right here on the side of 82 and have to be rescued by someone on their way to the hot springs. Once I calmed down, I laid back down in that chair while this guy pried my lips open with grilling tongs and crocheted the nerves attached to my roots into Christmas stockings. I stumbled out of there an hour later looking like a stroke victim, half my face drooping to the side as I drooled on myself.

I thought that was the worst of it, but no. Now I have to get a crown, which is going to cost another two grand (although I did find someone who would do it for $1,600 downvalley, Dr. Aspen DDS).

For that kind of money I could have bought a first-class plane ticket or liposuction for my inner thighs or another pug (or two). I guess I should be careful what I wish for. All this talk of being a Princess well, I guess I finally got my crown.

The Princess is going to floss 10 times a day from now on. Email your love to

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