Monday, February 06, 2006

At the dentist

I just got back from the dentist. I am in Utah now and figured i probably ought to schedule an appointment while i was here because a) it's been over 2 years since i've been and b) i don't know any dentists in NY and c) NY is shifty and i'm afraid of people doing things in my mouth, let alone shifty people. So they were able to squeeze me in at 8:30 where i got a cleaning and, come to find out (undoubtably), had to have 3 cavities filled. It could be worse. I had visions of root canals haunting my dreams. I seriously think getting a root canal would pretty much be the worst thing that could ever happen to me. My dentist, who's been my dentist since i was small, always used to instill such fear in me. "Now... brush your teeth every day or else you'll have to get a ROOT CANAL!" and i'm pretty sure the room darkened and there was a red glow in his eyes when he said that. He's a nice guy, but I grew up thinking that root canals could be synonymous with hell, basically.

So I went this morning. The cleaning went relatively well. They didn't make me swish around the flouride for that eternal 1 minute. They used to set a timer next to you for 1 minute and you'd watch it while trying to swish but not gag and I swear, that is the longest minute EVER. And they'd be like, "Whatever you do, DON'T SWALLOW IT!" Same fear. See? No wonder i'm scared of the dentist. I go to this friendly office to walk the fine line between life and death. Oh, and see you in 6 months.

Anyway, so that was fine. They had some new high-tech contraptions with which i was impressed. THen, sure enough, 3 cavities. All on the top row of teeth. One on one side of the molars, one in front, and one at the other side of the molars. Fortunately(?) they were able to being filling immediately and i wisely chose to opt NOT for the gas. Why in the good heck do people use this stuff? Why does it exist? And more importantly, why do people LIKE it? Insanity! I used to get it thinking it somehow numbed me but really all it did was make me crazy and feel like i was floating and feel so confused and frightened like a small child when they'd start working. This magnified the yuckiness times 1000. Then i'd get out of the chair in a daze, and stumble as i walked down the hall, smacking into the wall here and there. Then i drove home, leaving mine and others' lives to the mere chance that i'm somehow able to drive in a straight line and stop when i'm supposed to.

This time i was able to watch tv on the ceiling--nice, and as it turned out, see my reflection quite well in the glass of the tv. This might sound unpleasant but I actually found it to be helpful. I could see exactly what they were doing and the whole process of filling in cavities wasn't left entirely to my imagination, which has no limits might i add. They gave me numbing stuff to prep for the shots. I don't recall them ever doing this before and teased the Doc that he had wanted to keep me in pain as much as possible before. I think i have a high sensitivity to pain. I remember getting one measley wisdom tooth out. One.. and i needed, count them- SIX shots to not feel like i was being tortured. And the Doc was always surprised. "Another?? You're STILL in pain??" This time they pumped me full of something that i can't remember but was a higher level of anesthetic. Beautiful. They hurt but shots always do, and more importantly, this time they numbed the drilling.

The drilling, as it turned out, wasn't so bad. I usually sit in the chair in a full-body cringe for the duration of the process, with my claw-like hands gripping the armrests. I can never really relax while they're drilling (who can? Masochists) but it didn't hurt so i was a little less tense. However, ok. So the sound of the drill is pretty much what evil sounds like right? Of all the things they can do these days, can they not at least have drills play a merry little tune or something? Come on. Hook it up to something like an old-school music box and play Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Better yet--have it silent, but I don't think the laws of physics would allow this. Unless my teeth were made of fluff. So he's goin' along, drillin' here and there and whatnot. Suddenly I am overcome by the loudest most deafening sound ever to consume me. It was like a diesel truck was honking its horn for about 15 seconds--on the INSIDE OF MY MOUTH. Aaaahhh! What the craaaaap!!!? If you want to know what this was like for me, go stand in front of a diesel truck and have someone honk the horn for 15 seconds.

Alright, so finally it's over and i'm feeling fine although i can't move my top lip at all. It also totally numbed a side of my nose, weirdly. I love how they need to talk to you afterwards and you're like, please just let me leave and save myself looking like a huge fool. But i had to talk to the billing girl about insurance and whatnot. I tried to be normal but it's impossible. I'm sure they're used to it but still.

I'm home now and i'm fine, although I am currently experiencing a strange sensation. The numbness is wearing off and, in my nose, is creating the weirdest feeling. It's making me feel like i have to sneeze--really bad, really hard. You know how, when you have to sneeze and it doesn't happen, it momentarily leaves you feeling tingley and your eyes wince and water and you're like, buhh. Yeah. You know, right? Well it's like that times 12. I sit here with a frozen expression on my face. Mouth agape, eyes squinted. I'm sure i look cool. But what a weird side effect. Hey, my mouth itches where i couldn't feel before. Hurrah!

UPDATE: i just sneezed. Ahhhh...


Rob said...

How could I not make a comment on this post? What the heck was the diesel horn in your mouth? Maybe we haven't covered that but I can't figure it out. Also, drug addicts usually need extra anesthetic to get numb because their body is so adept at breaking it down. Just thought I would hang that out there.

Anonymous said...

You know I have some things to say about this topic. My tragic tooth is acting up again and I have seen the dentist TWICE this week. In exchange for me giving him thousands of dollars in cash, he gave me a "Joseph Rahabi DDS" ceramic mug. Isn't that sweet?
a) root canals would not be so bad if dentists weren't idiots and manage to infect them while doing them.
b) do you remember "swish" in elementary school? You know, on tuesdays, when half the class goes to the back of the room to swish the liquid fluorde. It seems like everyone else always got cherry flavor, while I was stuck with the original fluoride flavor. "Sorry Kelli, the pale green one is for you"
c)My friend's dad is a dentist and according to her, the gas is totally old school. But when I had an appointment with him, he gave it to me anyway. At first it was okay, then I felt like I was having a panic attack and wanted desperately to jump out of my skin. Then it was okay again, only without control of my limbs. Never again.
d) I've gotten over the sound of drilling. Its the SMELL of drilling that really gets to me...

)en said...

Ooohhh the smell. What, the scent of ground metal and tooth isn't pleasant to you? Blaah, you are so right about that.

Man! Tooth strugs again?? THat sucks. But hey, that mug does sound pretty cool. Actually, really cool. In fact, i'm now thinking of punching myself in the face or something just so i can get one too.

I don't think i ever swished in elementary school. If we had, i think i'd have been "sick" that day.

Anonymous said...

You made my day. When are you coming home so we can make wisecracks together?