Friday, June 11, 2010

Needles and Pins

I'm catching up on all my medical appointments now that I have a few days with my dad to help out. The eye appointment went just fine. My dental appointment today? I thought it was going great, until the dentist walked in and cheerfully announced I had a cavity.

No matter how grown up you think you are, there are certain sights and smells that take you back to that really awful childhood place. The dentist of my childhood was a very nice man. I would have loved him except for the fact that he pulled my teeth. Nearly all of them. For some ungodly reason, when my adult teeth started coming in my baby teeth hung on like some kind of bad joke. They wouldn't even get loose. I'd have two sets of teeth, and so off to the dentist I went and out came the teeth. Over and over again. At one point, because I was getting ready for braces, they pulled six of my teeth to "make room" for the adult teeth. I had gaps for year, with not even a hint of a new tooth in sight.

I know pain technology has gotten better, but as my dentist blathered on and on about fixing my cavity the tears just leaked from the corners of my eyes. I hated it, and I just couldn't stop. The hygienist finally noticed and chided the dentist for making me cry. Then he got upset because I was upset and he hates to make people cry. It was rather comical save for how humiliated I felt over not being able to control my tears.

Just the smell and taste of the numbing gel brought a fresh onslaught, and when it was time for the shot, the taste and smell of the Novocain was awful. But my dentist was right, he said he'd numb me up and he did. After hearing about my experience with not enough Novocain when my wisdom teeth came out, he gave me a double dose. When he said I wouldn't be able to feel my face until after 8pm, the dude was no bullshitter.

I am mostly recovered now, and I kept my story as simplistic as possible for my kids once I got home. They didn't notice that half of my face was paralyzed. Instead, they gave me hugs when they found out I had two shots. They were horrified to learn that my dentist didn't give me a prize. Not even a sticker. And you know what? Now I feel kind of cheated.

11 comments:

Joe @ IrrationalDad said...

I had all four wisdom teeth pulled at once. In hindsight, I wonder why he didn't knock me out. I just had 6 numbing shots and lay awake for the whole thing.

Hope your mouth is on the mend.

Titanium said...

You were totally robbed. The kids had it right- you deserved at least two stickers and your choice of toys from the toy basket. Yep.

Chamuca said...

Ug, this post made me have an anxiety attack. I just got home from the dentist about 20 minutes ago, and I have to go back on Monday to get not 1, but 3 cavities filled.

I always hate how condescending some of the hygienists are too. Sorry, my gums are bleeding, that's not because I don't floss, it's because you're jabbing them with a metal scraper, bitch.

Patois said...

I hate that I can totally relate. I'm a military brat, so it was off to Air Force dentists for much of my childhood. I hear military medical personnel are fine nowadays. Back in my day? Not so much.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

I never had wisdom teeth, one of those rare people who never grew any, but I remember having many teeth pulled because my mouth was too small for the usual number of adult teeth. I had adult teeth coming in behind adult teeth. Eight teeth in all were pulled and I distinctly remember the Novocaine not always working. I'm right there with you, hon.

A Free Man said...

I hate the dentist, but I've got to admit they're getting pretty good at making it painless. Doesn't mean they're not sadists a la Little Shop of Horrors.

Blues said...

It's weird because the dentist is the only kind of doctor that I'm not deathly afraid of. My childhood dentist must have been really damn nice for me to develop such a nice association.

Mirth said...

I'd rather climb into the stirrups a dozen times than lean back in the dental chair once. One bad dentist ruined me for life. Almost dying tends to do that to me.

Here In Franklin said...

I have a brand new, $900 crown. My dentist (I like him) drilled for what seemed like days. He had to stop in the middle to give me another shot of the magic deadening potient.

Mouthy One said...

OMG. Yes. Dentist hell. I will now go public with the fact that I haven't seen a regular dentist since I was 13. I went once when I was in college for impacted wisdom teeth. (He lovingly knocked my ass out with a stupendous IV!) I went again right out of college for a mouthpiece because I grind my teeth like a bastard.

I had to go earlier this summer when I cracked a tooth on an olive pit. He found 1 cavity. The cracked tooth had lost its filling. That's 1 new cavity since I was 13. I was so smug and so numb. Shots galore. Sweaty hands. Shaking legs. I HATE the dentist.

Arabelle McCuen said...

So, how are your teeth now? Good thing you have a good dentist who took care of those cavities. Sometimes we have to consider if we are comfortable enough with the dentist so we won't feel any worse when we go under treatment and procedures.