Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Dental Phobia

Last week my tooth was bugging me. I had eaten something with a seed in it, and the seed got wedged up between my teeth.

Wiggle, wiggle.

I dug around in the cupboards for some floss, and thinking I snagged the little sucker and my teeth were safe, I went about my week.

A few days later I could still feel it. Every time I ate something, it felt like that seed was being driven into my gums. What, a phantom seed? I thought I got it! What's going on?

At work on Thursday I couldn't stand it anymore and scoring some floss from a co-worker, I holed up in the bathroom and tried once again to floss that sucker outta there. Which seemed to go okay until...


"What the heck goes clink?" I wondered. Picking up the piece that fell in the sink, I carefully turned it over in my hand. It was hard and looked suspiciously like a piece of....tooth?

Na. Can't be.

Then I checked with my tongue and there was a hole where before, there wasn't one.

OMFG. I just flossed out a hunk of my tooth.

No. Don't make me go to the dentist. I am terrified of the dentist. All that grinding, and water sprays, uncomfortable gaping your mouth open while they poke around with those pick things and scold you, gross sucky things that they vacuum up the spit with, not to mention the PAIN. And needles. And the PAIN.

Pain. Did I mention the pain?


Two hours later I found myself in the dentist's chair. When I phoned I admitted that I was terrified, hadn't been to the dentist in years (seriously, I don't even remember the last time), and to please please PLEASE be nice.

Then I almost cried.

I know what you're thinking. Come on, grow up, it's just the DENTIST after all. What is your problem? I'm not sure what it is about the dentist that sends me into complete panic attack mode. The fact that when I was a kid, I had some nasty experiences? That I just hate people touching my teeth? Or that I'm afraid that something will be seriously wrong in there, requiring something major that will mean a lot of pain?

Because people, I've had the lots of pain thing happen before and it's not fun.

My dentist turned out to be a soft spoken, older gentleman who obviously had been warned of my fear because he guided me to the chair, speaking softly like one would if they had to calm a small frightened animal. He and the assistant were so gentle, and so kind, that I momentarily forgot that they had to fix my um...broken tooth.

Turns out that my filling had cracked awhile ago and my tooth started to decay, which caused the piece to break off. The tooth was absolutely fixable-all I needed was a new filling. The experience wasn't pleasant, but it wasn't that bad, either. They were efficient and gentle, and by the end my tooth was good as new.

"You know, this wasn't bad at all. You really should get the others looked at, just in case so you know what's going on in there and they can be fixed." He looked over his glasses at me kindly, almost fatherly, really.

I nodded. Time to grow up already and get my teeth taken care of, despite my fears. This guy wasn't bad at all. He froze me up solid, was gentle and fast, and didn't scold. There is this other tooth that was bugging me...

...but I don't have time to go back until July.

I think I can wait that long, right?

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