Shane MacGowan has shown off his new smile after undergoing what his dental surgeon described as “the Everest of dentistry”.
The Pogues‘ frontman lost his last natural tooth in 2008 after years of drink and drug abuse. However, he decided to get a new set of dentures after being inspired by the work dentists had managed to do to his girlfriend. The work was documented by Sky Arts for a programme titled Shane MacGowan: A Wreck Reborn which airs tonight (December 20).
Darragh Mulrooney, the Irish dental surgeon who operated on MacGowan, described the job as being among his most challenging. Extending his Everest metaphor, he told the Independent: “There was a whole team required to get to the summit.”
— Paddy Quinn (@PQMiramichi) December 20, 2015
MacGowan had 28 dentures fitted alongside one gold tooth in a procedure which took nine hours. The work has already begun to affect the musician’s diet, as his surgeon explains, and should also improve his singing ability: “There was a moving moment when someone gave Shane an apple to eat … something he hadn’t done in 20 years.”
“Shane recorded most of his great works when he had some teeth to work with,” Mulrooney added. “The question on everyone’s lips is how it will affect his voice. The tongue is a finely attuned muscle and it makes precise movements. We’ve effectively retuned his instrument and that will be an ongoing process.”
The dental work caps an eventful year for MacGowan. He was rushed to hospital in August after reportedly breaking his pelvis while dancing. The news followed that of MacGowan falling asleep after joining The Libertines onstage in Dublin at a gig in July.