9/14/2007

GNASHING MY TEETH

So, I was at the dentist's yesterday. I don't know about you, but I loathe dentistry and I am not super fond of the masochists working in this field. So I am high strung (to say the least) when I arrive. I'm getting some very old fillings replaced. Which is super sucky because this is clearly OPTIONAL. I don't have new cavities, these are the same cavities that I had to suffer through having filled as a child. Which is clearly the root of all of my unreasonable hatred for dentistry. I guarantee you that bastard dentist of my childhood didn't mention that I would have to REDO the fillings he was putting into my head. Fucking asshole.

So, I want nitrous oxide. That way, I won't want to die and take others with me in a blaze of semi-automatic glory. Not that I brought the semi, I'm just saying. Anyway, I request the pig nose. So the assistant fidgets around (obviously irritated) and gets it strapped to my head. Only after I have been breathing this joyous cocktail of loveliness for about 5 minutes does the receptionist come in and let me know that my insurance does not cover the nitrous, so I'll have to pay $35 dollars for the first hour, but the doctor assures her that it won't take longer than an hour.

Did you notice what I noticed? That she asked me while I was high. Like I could give legal consent at that point. WTF?

So, I inform her that the insurance won't be paying one red cent if I haul my ass out of the chair that very minute and go to my car. We agree to continue the conversation later.

Shortly thereafter the doctor leans me back in the chair pumps me full of novocain and he and the assistant come at me with the dental dam. Now, I've never seen a dental dam at the dentist's office. I've seen it at health fairs in SF and on websites for adult toys. And the suggested use had nothing to do with what I was about to experience. And strangely, I am not excited by either use.

While attaching this bright purple dental dam to my head, the assistant decides to chat me up. Luckily she wasn't starting a conversation about my favorite author or the celebrity sighting she had with that gorgeous actor that will be starring in the new show on NBC this season.

Nope, nothing like that.

Here is how our chat went:

Her: You have a lot of saliva.

Me: Uhhh.

Her: Boy do you have a lot of saliva.

Me: Uhh rhh.

Her: You sure do have a lot of saliva.

Me: Ohh ruhh.

Her: I'll have to leave the suction in your mouth because you have so much saliva.

Me: Uhhh!

Her: Wow. You're still drooling a lot. I don't think I've ever seen this much.

This is the cliff notes version. Cause that lady can talk a blue streak when she finds a subject that interests her, let me tell you. I heard more about my own slobber and my hyperactive saliva glands in that hour than I will hear about ALL OTHER SPIT ON THE PLANET for the entirety of the rest of my life. Including every mention of dribble before this day. I surpassed my lifetime maximum for spittle chatting. So there's that.

During all of this she was shoving her hands in and out of the accessible half of my mouth (remember the dam?). At one point she came at me with a gun kind of thingie and pointed it at my teeth and pulled the trigger.

Me: Uhhs haa?

Her: What?

Me: UHHS HAA?

Her: Oh, this? This is the UV light gun.

Me: Uhh hho?

Her: What for? Oh, to set the composite. So your teeth will be pretty. Wow, listen to that suction. That is so loud. You sure have a lot of saliva.

Composite? What is that? Um, OK. Whatever. I'm still high and I want to go back to breathing in my champagne.

FINALLY they finish. Actually I figured it out a few minutes before that cause she had reached over me to turn down the nitrous. Bitch.

So, after she pulls out the dam, wipes off my face ("My goodness, you have a lot-" "YES, I know. I understand. I have more spit than anyone you have ever seen before, lady. I get it." Except I don't say it that clearly because only 1/4 of my muscles in my mouth work so my droopy lips attempt to put her in her place, but do not succeed) she says to me, "So, you new filling is composite and this may make your teeth really sensitive so you should avoid hot and cold foods."

"For how long? Today? A week?" again, not very clearly. Novocain and drool mopping and all.

"Oh, no. Forever. Some peoples' teeth are very sensitive forever after getting composite fillings. Hot and cold foods can cause them a great deal of pain."

Oh no. She did not. Did she just say that I can't eat hot OR cold food forever? Because of this stupid fucking OPTIONAL filling? Cause if that really is what she said, I'm officially going to lose my shit. All those fantasies about choking the crap out of some useless human being are going to be realised in this exam room, here and now.

I suspect my dentist saw the massacre unfolding in my eyes because Dr. Quiet finally spoke up.

"Actually, you shouldn't have any problems. Your fillings are very shallow. The dentist who filled them the first time did a great job of not drilling too deep and there was minimal decay so the composite isn't anywhere near the nerve. I think you'll be very happy with the look of the composite rather than the metal and you needn't worry about sensitivity to temperature unless you already have that issue."

Thank god for the voice of reason in the midst of buckets of my drool and my murderous intentions.

And really, the teeth look and feel great now. And my lips are moving where I want them to. And my drooling has returned to a manageable level.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello, my name is MrsBoo.
I am a dentaphobe.
It's been 5 years 8 months since my last dental visit.
Hahahaha
Seriously though, despite that fact, my kids have never missed a visit.
Have I ever had a bad dental experience? Um, no..... but still, I just KNOW it's going to happen someday. I'm a dental virgin for the most part... so my fears are purely irrational.
My husband says that I am a hypocrite because I take the kids twice yearly to a pediatric dentist. What he doesn't understand is that it's my duty to prevent our offspring from becoming second-generation dentaphobes like their wussy mom. I think its a noble cause.
Well... it helps that the kids' dentist lets his patients play video games during treatments. Of course, there's the booty bag too- stickers, toys, sugar-free treats, toothbrushes, floss, and rinsing tablets. We don't celebrate Halloween, but thats okay because going to the dentist is the next best thing.
I've asked Dr. H if he sees moms too, but he just laughs at my cleverness. I've yet to have the courage to admit I'm serious.
Oh, but I digress...
It's empowering to know that I'm on a one-woman crusade to end the false perceptions of oral terrorism that persist in our family line. The dental bigotry stops here!
so, maybe I'll think about finally making that long overdue appointment.....
You've inspired me to “get'er done!”
Put my money where my mouth is....
well, the co-pay amount anyways... as long as I remember to get Erica's 35 dollar upgrade for premium gas. without the dental assistant chitchat, thank you... I've always wanted to try nitrous- heard lots of fun things about it. But, what I really want is to play video games during my exam and go home with a bag of dentaltopia.....
ok, enough of my silly ramblings.
I'm so glad to have found you!
Great Blog, Erica.
I've bookmarked ya!
Yes, you know me.... think, think, think....

Erica said...

Missy? I that you?

MrsBoo said...

Dang...
what did you do, dust your blog for fingerprints??
hehehee

Erica said...

I conducted a full internet search for MrsBoo. As soon as I saw the www.OurLosBanos.com community forums profile for a Homeschool Mom - the search was over!

I am so happy to be hearing from you! Please email me! Send me an update on your big beautiful brood. Cause, if I correctly recall, Ben is in first or second grade. And I think you have a high schooler and a middle schooler. Are you teaching all of these different grades? Fewsh -that's a full day!

Anyway, my email is ericazamora@comcast.net. Drop me a line! Bring me up to speed! Start a blog! And then I can read about your every crazy thought like you now can mine!

PS - I stayed away from the dentist for a number of years as well. Fully covered insurance-wise. I just couldn't bring myself to go. My dentist is totally tolerable with nitrous. And nitrous isn't really "fun" as much as it is a tiny bit tipsy. So much better worrying about everything that is being done to me. I was actually thinking about blogging about the drool police.

Zoe said...

I too hate the dentist...when I read your blog I was consumed with laughter and a wave of total nausea. I forwarded it to my sister in law who for some totally perverse reason wants to be a dentist. Hopefully this will teach her a lesson.

Erica said...

I think the world needs more awesome dentists, so don't discourage her too much! Thanks for stopping by!

YerMaMa said...

Just reading that made me damn near frozen with fear for 30 minutes.
I was going to go in and do dome same type optional work, but I was right.
My instincts said "No damn way, call me when I need dentures" And you've confirmed that.

Now I feel the need to eat pain pills and sleep this off.