Monday, May 19, 2008


I just got home from the sadist...errr...I mean dentist.
I had a tiny cavity, just needed a small filling, so why does the whole side of my face hurt?

I started going to a new dentist 6 months ago because the one I had was too far away and while he was a great dentist and a friendly guy, his Hygienist and Receptionist reminded me of the nuns I had in Catholic school - frowny/nasty with the potential to snap at any moment.
I was a-scared of them.

So I found a new dentist, five minutes away with a friendly it's the dentist I'm afraid of.
Her finished work is acceptable (1 crown and 2 fillings so far) but I always come out of there feeling as if I was in a prize fight. On my first visit 6 months ago she nicked my tongue with the drill, her hygienist accidentally scraped the inside of my cheek with some pointy sharp instrument thing, and she hit the wrong spot in my gums with the Novocaine needle and had to do it twice, all of which had my mouth hurting for 3 days after my visit.

....and the Hygienist, like all hygienists, sharply admonished me for not flossing between every tooth every night, and for waiting too long between cleanings.
Let's cleanings are barbarically painful, I had to take time off work to be there, and I have no dental insurance...why, I can't for the life of me understand why I waited so long!

This past Friday, back to the dentist I went for a filling in a back tooth and the painfest began once again. The dental assistant used that little hooked air sucky thing to yank my mouth wide open for easy access and it felt like she had an anvil attached to it with all the force she was using, and it was relentless - even when the doctor pulled the drill out to tend to something else Miss Assistant kept pulling the corner of my mouth with a jerking force as if she was trying to reel in a big mouth bass.

When the filling was finally in place the doctor had me bite down about 25 times before she got the hight right, and in the process I managed to bite my tongue without even realizing it. She told me to be more if I could, my mouth was so numb I couldn't tell whether I was biting down on the cotton swabbing or my own flesh.

(oh, and while this was going on the dentist's conversation with the assistant went something like this:
A: How was your day yesterday?
D: Not good, I wound up in the emergency room.
A: Oh dear, what for?
D: My back went out.
A: How do you feel now?
D: Ok I guess, I'm on muscle relaxants.

Just what I wanted to hear as she waved a high-powered drill in my face.)

When I got home it took 4 1/2 hours for the Novocain to wear off, so when I went back this morning for a second much smaller filling she told me she'd give me a different type of shot that wouldn't have me talking like Elmer Fudd for most of the day.

Now, I remember getting Novocain shots in the past where the doctor would leave the room for 15 minutes until I was sufficiently numb to begin the procedure.
This doctor waited all of 30 seconds after the shot before asking "how numb are you?"
She then proceeded to ask the same question every 2 minutes until I finally relented under the guilt of holding her up, and told her I thought I was ready.
I wasn't.

She hit me with the drill and I levitated 3" out of the chair.
With my eyes still watering, she made the decision to give me a second shot (rather than just wait for the first shot to fully take effect, as it occurred to me afterward was the more logical thing to do.)

So here I sit 5 hours after leaving the doctor's office, the Novocaine has finally worn off and my jaw is killing me from that second jab she gave me.

I just tried to eat a mini muffin and I couldn't open my mouth wide enough to accommodate it without screaming "OW!"

Perhaps the next time I go to the dentist I'll wear something more appropriate for the experience...something made out of latex rubber or leather with lots of zippers and tiny padlocks.
...and my 'safe word' will be "Sister Mary Magdala."

1 comment:

eileen the uppity woman said...

Your dentist, and my dentist must bowl together..

And I had to see mine for a LOT of work, over a two year period.