I was a dental diva this morning. I got to go to the dentist. I like to say “got” because it makes it seem like a special treat. Which, of course, it isn’t. But if I say it maybe that will make it true.
To be brief about the circumstances, part of one of my teeth chipped off…or rotted and a piece fell out…whichever way you want to spin it, it ended me up in the chair at 8am. The former makes me sound like less of a hillbilly.
What he had to do was remove the old filling that had been in place since somewhere in the mid 70’s, fandangle some new overlay made out of some space-age material, and bond the overlay on what’s left of my original tooth. I didn’t think it would be all that bad – until I saw the needle.
Could someone explain to me, please, why he needs an 8 inch needle to numb what can’t be more than a few millimeters of gum tissue? And why does he need to stick it into my mouth in three different places and wiggle it around as he shoots the drug in there.
In no time at all the entire right side of my face is numb. They pull out a plastic mouthpiece attached to a giant tube and tell me to open wide, which I do. At which point I’m told to open wider. I opened as wide as I could the first time, buddy.
When they get this contraption wedged into my mouth and turn on the machine which causes the tube to suck every ounce of moisture out of my mouth, Dr. Joe starts picking around at the tooth with his sharp little pick. He decides this is a good time to catch up. “What have you been up to?” He asks me.
How he expects me to answer is beyond me since I have my mouth full of his dental impelements. I make the so-so sound with my throat as best I can.
Then, he tries to be funny. “Here comes the fun part,” he says as he whips out the drill, weilding it like Jason weilds his sickle.
I shut my eyes during this “drill and pull” process. I can hear the high pitched whine of the drill and feel the pressure bearing down on what’s left of my tooth. Then I smell something burning. He asks, “How are ya doin?” Well, Dr. Joe, I think to myself (of course I think it to myself because I still can’t speak) I’m a little concerned that my tooth is on fire. What can you tell me about that? At the moment I’m having second thoughts about this whole thing, so let’s just forget it, shall we? I’d rather be in a classroom with 30 teenagers. I will even volunteer for lunch duty. Middle school lunch duty, if only you let me go.
Instead I stick up my left thumb. I would smile, but that’s a hard thing to do with your lips stretched the diameter of your face. He continued to work, calling out to his assistant for tools like a surgeon. Forceps. scalers…spoon. Spoon? Is he having a yogurt right now?
In what seemed like no time at all (that is if you consider eternal time), he had finished yanking out my filling (Wow, that one was in there good. Your parents really got their money’s worth), made the new overlay and bonded it in place with a funky blue light that I’m sure was some kind of laser or gamma ray gun.
He finished in time for me to make it back to school in time for lunch. And lunch duty.
Secondly, that’s a stupid questions considering my position. I’ve been better is an understatement.