Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dr. Teeth the Third

I've been putting something off for years....

I just didn't want to get crowns. It sounded expensive. And painful. And expensive.

After THIS joker told me to get crowns, I promptly forgot to go to the dentist for four years, and thought I might pull one on a new dentist.

Dr. Teeth the Second took one look in my mouth and started crying.

"It's okay!" I said, patting him awkwardly on the shoulder. "I'm not in any pain!"

He shook his head and wiped his face, and looked at me with still-teary eyes.

"No," he said. "It's not that...It's just that you will single-handedly put my eight children through college. Bless you!"

He then informed me that I *DU DU DUUUUHHH* needed to replace my silver fillings with, you got it, crowns.

Sounded fancy and fun, so I only put it off because Jeremy wasn't sure if he was going to have a job what with all the crazy lay offs going on.

Time passed, and I had several more visits with Dr. Teeth the Second, each time filled with reminders that I needed to get those teeth worked on.

In the mean time, my mother-in-law was having work done at some natural dentist's office. It was then that I got the scoop on the hazards of having silver fillings.

Basically, for those who don't want the long story, they are little pieces of sinister evil stuck to your teeth that will slowly poison you to death.

I decided to was time to part with them, even though they have been with me, helping me chew my food, these last 25 years.

So, I reluctantly set up an appointment with the receptionist to put crowns on my two naughty teeth.

I felt immense trepidation at the idea of having these mysterious crowns put on.

My mother-in-law then piped up (since she sits on my shoulder like a parrot during the day...she's rather odd), and asked if I knew what crowns were.

I replied no, since I didn't know. Obviously.

She then informed me that they file down the guilty tooth to a nub, and then pop a fake tooth on top, gluing it there for all eternity.

That sounded terrible.

And wrong.

So, I looked up what other things could go wrong with crowns, and I found out all sorts of horrible things that can happen UNDER the crown, and decided that wasn't for me.

Again, my perching mother-in-law spoke up.

"My dentist saves as much tooth as he can when he removes the silver fillings! You should go to him!"

Since I didn't want her pooping down my back, I agreed.

"He also is very careful when he removes the fillings so that you don't ingest it, and you don't DIE," she added cheerfully, and began preening her feathers, tossing the unwanted, sad feathers into my hair.

I set up the appointment to see Dr. Teeth the Third, and was starting to feel super paranoid about my teeth. Suddenly, my silver feelings made me feel like a leper, and I didn't feel right being within proximity of "clean" people.

The techs and hygienists made me feel very comfortable, however, and I relaxed a little. Instead of being stiff and holding onto the sides of the reclined chair, I lightly placed my interlaced hands onto my tummy, and tried to breath normally.

The dentist came in and looked at my leprous teeth, and informed me, that yes, indeedy, he could remove them AND keep most of my teeth intact.

Woo hoo!

So we scheduled it out. I would need two appointments to do the whole removal and overlay cementing.

The day arrived, and I sat rigid in the dentist chair. I would be getting both silver fillings removed: one on top, one on bottom.

And I'd be sitting in that chair for two hours, watching a movie projected from the ceiling.
The tech attempted to prop open my mouth with a plastic tooth thingy, shoving it in as far as it could go, but when her back was turned, I rebelled and shifted it forward, allowing my mouth to close a little. She looked at me, perplexed, and asked (as if I could answer) "Can you open your mouth any further?" I shook my head innocently, and smiled to myself. She then put a whole bunch of stuff into my mouth and on my face, and as if given the cue, the dentist walked in. They asked if I needed a blanket, since the room was so cold, and I said no. The tech then made some comment about how frigid it was, and the dentist replied that it was so cold because what he was doing was stressful. Both dentist and tech had on gas masks (I kid you not), which wasn't helping my paranoia about dying since all I had on my face were some flimsy plastic glasses. They DID put a vacuum on my chest to suck up all the mercury dust, but I wondered how much I was going to die that day since I was still probably breathing it...

And then they began to work.

And work.

And work.

At one point I was so fed up I was tempted several times to punch the dentist in the face, and just walk out. It didn't help that the batteries ran out on my head phones and I had to listen to the dentist and his tech chit-chat halfway through the never-ending tooth torture. I could't say anything until they had finished one tooth, and pulled out all the junk they had managed to cram into my mouth. Once that problem was fixed, they dove right in again, and I sighed, resigning myself to another unknown period of time alternately staring up the dentist's nose and the movie screen.

Long story short, THREE hours later, I was done, had about half of each tooth, was super, drooly numb, and besmattered with mould material. The dentist, stretched, and said, "Okay! Be careful with those teeth. They're sharp!"

I left the office feeling sorry for myself. They promised that the numbing stuff would wear off an hour after it was administered. SIX hours later, I was finally able to feel my mouth again, and could eat. I bit myself several times, and my mercury-free teeth were, indeed, sharp.

Two weeks later (today), I went back. I was not looking forward to it at all.

Their bald-faced lie about two hours made me wonder if the one hour today was going to BE one hour. I was seriously doubting it.

I sat in the chair, and waited patiently as the tech put the chained paper towel around my neck. She fitted the overlays, and commented cheerfully to herself how nicely they fit and how they were the right color.

I just sat there, wondering how long I would have to sit and how much it would hurt.

The dentist popped in and said, right away, that it wouldn't hurt, and everything should be fine.

So, I laid back, and opened my mouth.

Now I pride myself on my dentistry manners. I don't bit my dentists, or put my tongue in the way, or scream, or any of those things you hear about. I just sit there, and cry quietly when things hurt, being very careful not to move, even if I feel like dying (or punching the dentist). But for some reason, my tongue decided that after 33 years on earth, and after 25 years of going to the dentist, it was time to just be itself.

The dentist was sand blasting my teeth, and my tongue was like licklicklicklick.

STOP IT! I cried inside. But it just kept doing it.

licklicklick

It was like my tongue was a curious puppy and was super excited that somebody had come into my mouth to play.

licklicklick

I didn't know what to do. This had never happened before, and I tried desperately to pull my tongue back, but it just kept doing it.

I was starting to panic since the dentist was trying to cement my teeth, and I didn't want my tongue to become a part of my permanent bite.

Luckily, the dentist got tired of me licking his glove, and pulled my tongue back with one of those tiny mirrors on a stick (the kids' dentists likes to call it the "princess mirror.").

And then I was done. He was right. It didn't hurt.

Whew.

But, it did taste terrible. But he never promised it wouldn't.

And I don't have sharp teeth anymore.

Dr. Teeth the Third is an okay dentist.

I think I'll be going back.


1 comment:

Katscratchme said...

You know that smell of a dentist office?

Antiseptic and fear...

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