What most people need to learn in life is how to love people and use things instead of using people and loving things.

~ Author Unknown ~

Dentist Distress

December 18th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 3 mins, 3 secs

How do find going to the dentist?

Yes, I admit it: I dread going to the dentist. I do. It all started back when I was a small boy. The dentist my parents took me to obviously got his jollies from ripping, drilling, and yanking as many teeth as he could, but I wasn’t ready for that kind of tooth abuse.

By the time I was nine, I had enough mercury amalgam fillings to give   temperature readings. “Look! Feegs’ head is turning red. It must be getting hot.” But that wasn’t the problem. It was the elephant gun needle, the jackhammer, pliers, and various other scary appliances our dentist madly brandished that set the few teeth I had left on edge.

At 14, when I had a toothache, I recall my father saying, “No problem. You can go to a dentist I know across town. He’ll sort you out.” So I went and he did.

Climbing the narrow flight of creaking stairs up to his little waiting room, I had no idea what I was in for. But minutes later, in I went and literally within seconds the dentist who meant to sort me out whipped out a heavy gauge metal-barreled injector. Terrified as I was, being 14 meant I at least had to look brave. So, clenching the armrests, in he went with no assistant in sight.

That’s how I found out needles can go in further than you think. Five minutes later, my newly discovered dentist nemesis rattled wildly around a tray before grabbing a big pair of pliers. As I recoiled, he assured me it wouldn’t hurt a bit. Then, with one knee on the seat, he braced himself over my chest and started yanking at my deep-rooted tooth.

I let out a loud howl and he hissed at me for scaring the patients next door.  Picking up another huge needle, he squirted it into the air and offered me another injection. That terrified me too. So, I passed up his needle and braced myself.

What followed were several minutes of gouging as this dentist from hell yanked with all his might, pulling my miserable tooth out. Crushing it to bits in the process, it finally came out in an assortment of jagged, bloodied pieces.

Feeling dizzy but relieved that the dentist had done the deed, I got up teetering, muttered “fanx vewy mush”, and shook his hand. Then I staggered out the door to the landing with my head spinning and promptly tumbled down the entire flight of stairs.

Never mind screaming high-speed drills skipping onto my tongue, and gagging and gasping for breath (both during a procedure and after receiving the dentist’s bill), this dental lark is hardly a laugh.

For these reasons, I have to use every bit of mental discipline to steel myself. Like so many, I find open mouth surgery terrifying.  Even though these days I confess I’ve met the odd friendly dentist (I even have a friend who admits to being one). Yet, overall, I have to confess a dentist’s chair remains a less than happy place to be on a sunny afternoon anytime this lifetime.

Posters in dentists‘ rooms of elephants with their trunks embracing, and happy smiling kids cuddling with flowers don’t fool me. Where else do you go to sit wide-awake while someone operates on you?  “Total hip replacement? Sure. Come and sit down. I’ll get my hammer, chisel, and saws while you make yourself comfortable. Now just relax…”

Despite all the reassurances, it’s still traumatic having some masked dentist shove power tools in your mouth while their ever helpful dental assistant sucks all the build up from your mouth to stop you drowning in your own saliva.

I long for the day when you merely need to open your mouth to allow some benign dental guy shine a light inside and its done. Or, with a stick or two of gum, all your caries are taken care of completely. Wouldn’t that be great? I guess a lot of the more vicious dentists would be out of a job if that were the case. Such a shame…. Not!

Still, tomorrow’s another day and, wouldn’t you know it, I’ve got an appointment in the morning to see another dentist for more drilling and cementing. Sigh! Time for some deep breathing, I think.

Be Happy…  Or Face The Firing Squad!

Happy Though Miserable

The Happy Ending That Nearly Killed Me






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