April 26, 2006

Dental Disaster

I was supposed to babysit my friend Jill's kids yesterday morning but accidentally slept through the doorbell and missed her. Of course, I called her 1/2 hour later apologizing profusely offering to babysit any other time she needed. So she asked if I could come over at 3 which I quickly said yes to.

I had a dentist appointment at 1:00 for a filling, and thought I would surely be done in time to get to Jill's house by 3:00. I got to the dentist on time but 45 minutes later I was still sitting in the waiting room. I told the receptionist about my schedule and was eventually called into the examination room at 2:00 with assurances that they would be done in time.

My dentist told me that it was a minor cavity and wouldn't take long to fill. She gave me a small novocaine shot. The drilling started and she found that the cavity was in fact much larger than she expected. I was told to raise my hand if I felt any pain as she would have to drill deeper than anticipated. In goes the drill and up shoots my hand. I expected the dentist to give me more pain medicine, but she instead just took a break for a few minutes then came back with a different kind of drill. The drilling commenced afresh and the pain was awful.

At this point, I realized that if I want to get out of the dentist's office in time to keep my 3:00 babysitting appointment, I would have to keep my cool no matter what and just let them get it over with. I gave birth with no drugs last year and thought that minor dental drilling pain couldn't be much worse. WRONG. It turns out, that the pain of dental work is MUCH worse than natural childbirth. First of all, you can't see what is going on in childbirth. And there is somebody you love holding your hand and cheering you on. And maternity wards usually don't shine interrogation spotlights in your face. The tiny white room I was laid out in seemed like a North Korean iterrogation facility complete with masked figures behind bright lights, electric contraptions inside my mouth and a tray of torture tools laid out next to me.

I tried to keep my cool during the rest of the drilling. Luckily, I had initially been given a small shot for the pain although it wasn't working very well. I tried to emulate my heroine, Sydney Bristow from the show Alias, under the ruthless arm of her torturer, trying to maintain her cool and feign indifference to pain - refusing to crack. If Sydney can do it, so can I I thought. That idea kept me going for a few minutes before I remembered that she's actually getting paid thousands of dollars to shoot scenes where the drills are made out of plastic and she has a mug of peppermint tea waiting for her as soon as the shot is over.

They finally finished and I barely made it in time to babysit. I have a nice new filling and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I consider ever getting a cavity filled again. I'll be flossing tonight!


Stephanie said...

Gives me shivers just reading about it. Floss! I need floss! You poor thing--I hope you feel better soon!

Silly Marie said...

You've got to be kidding me! Last year I had 5 cavities filled in one day and I had both the gas and novacain. I couldn't feel a thing, but when I started coming out of my drugged state, I felt horribly sick and I was crying for some reason unknown to me.

Dentist trips are fun if your teeth are in good shape. You get little prizes, a new toothbrush and floss. But, man, it can be traumatizing otherwise!

Catherine said...

My kids love getting cavities filled! After a visit in which they both got one done, Grace said, "mom, I want the bubble gum nose again, it makes my brain happy". They didn't even get pain shots.

Now, why can we adults get a bubble gum flavored nose that delivers wonderful mind altering gas directly to our nervous system?

Maybe its the floss industry that keeps gas out of dentist offices.

angela said...

I'm so sorry. You seem to have the worst luck with dentists! You know what the dentist says- you don't have to floss all your teeth, only the ones you want to keep. :)

Annie said...

Someone should have told me that going into my chosen profession was like choosing to be the Big Bad Wolf in Fairy Tale Land!