Friday, July 27, 2012

The dentist was right, it did hurt a little bit

It is never a good thing when someone says, “OK, this may hurt a little bit.”
Especially when it is a doctor who says that while he is breaking out the rubber gloves.
But in this instance it was a dentist who uttered the words of terror.
I had been to see the man to have a tooth removed. I was not using it anyway and all it was doing was sitting there so it was either hundreds of dollars and God knows how many hours in the Chair of Doom to have a root canal done, have posts installed, have a crown put on and then have it buffed, waxed and ready for the showroom floor.
Or, I could have it pulled. It was at the back of my mouth, no one would see I am missing the tooth and if I were to loose a couple more teeth I could officially become a redneck.
I admit to some dread at seeing the dentist, and by some I mean I want to run away and hide under my bed while weeping softly. I have long had a fear of dentists, but the older I get the less the fear there is.
Well, maybe not less fear, but the older I get the tougher I get.
Well, maybe not tougher, but the older I get the better I am at handling such situations. Yea, let’s go with that one.
Anyway my date with destiny had been written in my day planner for several weeks and was in the back of my mind like a black shadow lurking in the darkness ready to pounce like a pitbull on a blind kitten.
Every time I looked at that page I was reminded of my impending interaction with the tooth doctor. Don’t get me wrong, I have an excellent dentist and he makes things as painless as modern science will allow, but still those memories of my youth haunt my adulthood and any trip to the dentist office is met with trepidation.
Even taking my kids there stirs up some bad memories. The smell that every dentist office in North America has is the trigger. Kind of like Pavlov’s dog only I don’t drag my butt across the carpet.
I went to my doom, er, I mean dentist appointment to have the offending tooth banished from my mouth. I bravely climbed into the chair, putting on my best big boy face so as not give a clue of how I was feeling inside.
As they always do, the first thing the dentist did was take out one of those sharp, pointy devices that should be against the Geneva Convention and poked around for a few seconds.
Once the cursory examination was done he focussed on the tooth and injected the freezing stuff that makes half your face numb. As he approached me with the needle that was roughly three feet long, he said the words I knew were coming.
“This is going to sting a little.”
And sting it did, proving the good dentist right. The freezing soon took effect and the tooth was pulled in an astonishing four minutes. My total time in the Chair of Doom was less than 20 minutes – awesome.
A few days later the area where the tooth used to be began to hurt – a lot – so it was back to my see my good friend.
It would seem I had developed a thing called dry socket. This is where the blood clot that is supposed to cover and protect the nerve and bone fell out or was washed away or something causing a lot of pain.
The dentist took some goop and prepared to press it into the hole left by the now-absent tooth.
“OK, this may hurt a little.”
Bingo, those are the words I had been waiting for.
Fortunately he added, “But it should start to feel better in a matter of minutes.
He was right on both counts. Putting the horrible-tasting goop in the opening did hurt, but within 20 minutes it felt a lot better.
Thanks Mr. Dentist. I never doubted you for a second.

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