I’ve started looking after my teeth, now only. Like, really looking after my teeth and by that, I don’t mean soaking dentures in a glass of water on my bedside table overnight. That could very easily have been the case though, given that much of my childhood was spent chewing on toffee apples, Wilson’s blocks and candy floss (or “Goema Hare”) as it was fondly referred to on the Cape Flats. Goema Hare is an Afrikaans term, very loosely meaning crazy hair. (I’m in no way linking my infatuation with candy floss back then, to my current sexy fro.  There is no connection as far as I know).

The point is, I don’t remember much emphasis being placed on dental care during the primary and high school years. In fact, by the time I was 15 years old, some teenagers with street cred were encouraging me to have my front teeth extracted. My healthy front teeth, it was the cool thing to do. To this day still there are various riveting reasons as to why the “passion gap” was trending at the time. Be that as it may, my parents threatened to kill me if I came home minus the canines and that was that.

The dental gods have obviously been smiling down on me over all my carefree years of no flossing and zero visits to the dentist.  And then for a cheek, my very wide smile has become my trademark. Now at some point I noticed a gap at the back of my mouth. At the bottom. On the right hand side. And being a sensitive human being just like you, I would zoom in on that gap whenever I spotted it in a pic. (Short rewind quickly. I’ve also now started visiting the Dentist more regularly like every adult should). I asked cute Doctor Jason to have a look at the gap that never gets shown on instagram. He referred me to Doctor Allie who this week very successfully inserted the screw into the gum, setting me on my journey to eventually have the tooth attached that will guarantee me more social media followers. Can I just at this point say that ALL of my friends have told me that they have no idea what gap I’m obsessing about. Whatever. I know there’s a gap. Jesus knows there’s a gap. That’s all that matters.

I will never really understand how Medical Aids actually work but I do know that my medical aid would not cover the procedure unless I got into a hospital bed. So I obviously exercised that option.

I check in at Harbour Bay Hospital in Simonstown. It’s lovely, I think to myself. Until I see that it’s right next door to a busy cemetery. Ok Marc, be strong. It’s not a feeder hospital, it’s just a co-incidence.

The nurses are friendly and efficient. One Nurse accompanies me to the Ward. I’m the only one in my Ward, it’s just her and I.  Her hair is pulled back into a medical ponytail as she asks me to hand over my earring, my wedding ring, and my cellphone. I oblige, with one eye on the cemetery. Into a little plastic bag they go, like evidence at a crime scene after they find the body. I’m suddenly realising that I had never heard of this hospital before, what if it’s not real!  What if Doctor Jason and Doctor Allie are both in on this and are being paid by the Gupta’s and I’m being trafficked minus all my organs! Where is Devi from Carte Blanche when I need her!

As the Nurse hands me the sexy strappy blue gown, she mentions that I will be heavily drugged and won’t remember a thing. She now instructs me to strip and change into the gown and pee in a cup in the bathroom. Oh my lawd. They are going to take my DNA from my pee and make another me, but it won’t really be me and nobody will know and everybody will just assume that I’ve become a really kak comedian. It’s just like in that movie Get Out!

I come out of the bathroom, get into the bed and two nurses wheel me away to the operating theatre. There’s now a hairnet thingie on my head. No earring. No wedding ring. No phone. Just the blue gown, with the straps at the back. That only the nurse has access to. All because of that one little gap at the back of my mouth that none of my friends have ever seen.

Handsome Doctor Allie says hello to me before I pass out. But I’m not sure if he’s saying “hello”, or “I’m sorry”.  The Anaesthetist says ‘that’s a lovely vein” or maybe she said “ek is lekke vol wyn”. Not sure.

I wake up in the “wake-up room”. The operation was an award winning success, I’m told. I feel zero pain, with the right side of the mouth numb. I get wheeled back into my ward to chill. The Nurse says that before I’m allowed to leave, I have to eat custard, jelly or ice cream. And pee again. Only once those things are done, can I legally be discharged.

She also looks into my eyes tells me that she lives alone and puts her everything into her job. Everything. OK I made that up. But still, you’ve never seen anyone slurp custard over a numb bottom lip as fast as I did in Simonstown this week. I then pee’d like a racehorse, fumbled my way out of that Mc Steamy gown, took all the necessary selfies and planted myself at reception, ready for collection, screw firmly placed in gum.

I checked out, armed with the best painkillers everrr. I’m happy to report that I have had zero discomfort and am looking forward to having said tooth attached weeks from now.

Nothing like a good screw.