I'm very proud of the fact that I have lived my entire life (the whole 31 + years) without a single cavity. Well, after a recent visit to my dentist, my "cavity-free" streak has come to an end. Yes, my back molar has a small cavity. Yikes!
I hate going to the dentist. I always have, and I think I always will. I'm not sure why though, as I've never had a bad experience. When I was 17 and had my wisdom teeth pulled, there were no complications – I didn't even swell up like you hear from most people. Thoughts of drills and needles and teeth being pulled – it's what I think about when I hear "dentist."
Before I left work to go to the dreaded appointment, I'm getting advice from my 13 year old niece. She tells me she's a wimp when it comes to needles (NEEDLES!?) and if she can do it, I'll be fine…..
So, my filling appointment was scheduled for yesterday. I got there early – almost ½ hour early! (Secretly I was hoping they would tell me they over-booked and had to re-schedule my appointment!) I'm in the waiting area, reading an old National Geographic magazine. There were 3 little kids waiting for their mom, who was getting a filling. She comes out and the kids ask her how she feels – she says lopsided…. Uh, what???? What does that mean??
It's my turn now. I'm told to go in station 3. I decide that I don't want to go through with this, and go out the front door. (Well, that's what I WANTED to do at least) The hygienist follows me in to Station 3 with my file. "Oh, you're getting your first filling today? Congratulations!" (Woo Hoo! My first filling!!!! Was that supposed to make me feel better???)
The dentist comes in - asks about my husband and daughter. I always liked that about him. I sit back in the chair and the hygienist sticks a swab in my mouth and leaves. (Uh, is this the ONLY anesthesia I'm getting???) After a couple of minutes they come back in together. So, he and the hygienist are chatting back and forth....blah blah blah...apparently the hygienist is getting married and she's frightened....occasionally they ask for my opinion. "Ok, open up." he says to me in the middle of an explanation to the hygienist about how she should tell her soon to be husband to take up golf if she's worried about losing her "me time". (I know what they are trying to do, they are trying to distract me from the 6" needle the doctor is about to stick in my mouth!) It didn't work.
I try not to look at the thing as he pokes and prods my lower jaw. I'm keeping complete eye contact with the hygienist, kind of begging her with my eyes to not let the doctor forget he's got this 8" needle in my mouth. After what seemed like 10 minutes of needle sticking, the doctor gets his drill. My eyes shoot open, and dart back and forth between the two. I'm not sure at this point if I want them to stop talking (I'm afraid she'll distract the dentist and cause him to drill the wrong tooth) or to keep them engaged so I don't think about the drill. I grip the sides of the chair, and turn my eyes to the poor hygienist. She wants to get married, but.....
Out come the drill and now a new instrument. "You're almost done, now we will just fill it. Do you want the enamel color of the silver?" I replied, Enamel, definitely. She then goes on to tell me that if I get the enamel, I may need to come in more often to get it replaced. Silver I say, with half of my mouth.
She laughed. I was done. "You can rinse she says" and hands me the cup. Uh, where are my lips? Do I have water in my mouth? I thought I just spat, is there spit on my face? Oh god, I feel like an idiot! Do I look weird? I feel like it's all swollen. I feel like Popeye! HELP! I CAN'T FEEL MY FACE!
I say thanks and leave the office very quickly. I hope I wasn't supposed to talk to reception or anything.....
I'm tired now, after my panic attack. I just want to go home and go to bed. Wait; is it safe to go to sleep if half your head is missing???? How long until this crap wears off? I hate this feeling. (I at this point felt terrible for telling Alyssa to "toughen up" every time she had a tooth pulled. I remind myself to give her a big hug when I see her) I get home, finally. Everyone is telling me this and that about their experience. But, this is me! I just want to be normal again!!
Well, after 5 hours of not being able to feel the left side of my jaw, I finally went to bed.
I don't think I'll be going back to the dentist for a long time.