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Horror stories from a visit to the dentist
June 26, 2008 - Brian Ferry
So, when I went to the dentist a month ago he informed me I had to come right back. I had two cavities. Unlike some folks, I don't carry a dread fear of dentists, but still, this was not good news. The day came. I went. I was even early. It turned out better than I expected. At all of my previous dentist visits, the worst part has always been trying to swallow without disrupting the sharp and sometimes high rotational velocity objects sticking in my mouth. I've never had a truly bad experience with any of those objects, but it's unpleasant every time. This time, I expected worse. Drills, needles, duck-head tools and curing lights were added to the usual hooks and brushes. The topical anasthetic was not tasty, but otherwise pretty innocuous. The needle wasn't bad at all after the topical. The drill was mostly noise after the drugs. The duck-head tool was only memorable because of its name. The curing light beeped. Pretty low-impact. Contrary to the content of my favorite Bill Cosby skit, there was no smoke, no fire, and my bottom lip wasn't hanging on the floor. I don't think I even drooled, though I couldn't say for certain. So, the procedure wasn't bad at all. In fact, I entertained myself by exploring the exact limits of the "dead zone" caused by the Novocain. That zone extended along my bottom lip from just left of center down to the point of my chin and along my jaw line, in a fairly small triangle, to a point some two inches right of center. Despite boring the dental assistant with quotes from Cosby and questions about the drugs, the tools and the even the neighbors, she was professional and pleasant. She said the office had satellite radio and offered me my choice of music while I waited for my entire face to slide off my skull. I wasn't bored enough to worry about the music, still having a growing dead zone to explore. After 10 more minutes or so, I asked for some Calypso - anything tropical. Then the drilling began and I didn't really notice the music. After all the work, another sound took precedence. My stomach was telling me, emphatically, that I should eat, emphatically. I asked if eating with new portions of teeth was OK and was assured the teeth could take it. I was warned to take care not to bite too hard because I might take a chunk out of my tongue or cheek. The Novocain may help me right away, but I would notice such damage later. So, I left, on the lookout for some food, but trying to resist. After about an hour, I couldn't take it any more. Here begins the worst part of my dental repair experience. I got some food that I like to eat. I began eating it. I couldn't taste anything in the right half my mouth. Ack. And I had to be careful while eating. I'm not a careful eater. And I couldn't tell if the Code Red I was trying to imbibe was all getting to its destination. Now I know why some folks don't want to go to the dentist.
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