My tooth fell out in the middle of church. I know. How embarrassing. What was worse is that it decided to jump out of my mouth during fellowship time. Fellowship time, for those of you who don’t know, is the part of the service where you are supposed to shake hands, give each other a hug and welcome guests. I was supposed to smiling at people, but you couldn’t have paid me to open my mouth because I thought I had lost one of my front teeth. I wanted to stand up, run in a circle and then scream “ahhh… my tooth just fell out!” But instead I sat quietly and gave anyone who came near me a closed lip grin.
All of that to say I have to go to the dentist again. I won’t lie, I hate going to the dentist. Last time I was there, I sat in the waiting room just thinking about all the ways I could get out of my appointment. I stared at the coffee bar standing in the waiting room, which, in my opinion, is a little weird to have in a dentist’s office. I think they should hand out complimentary tooth paste or give away free tooth brushes to all the people who walk through the door. That would make more sense.
As I looked at the coffee bar, I contemplated gulping down three cups of coffee, because surely they wouldn’t allow me to have an appointment after just drinking coffee.
I told myself to knock it off and be mature and read a magazine or something. About the time I had my nose buried in People magazine, I started to think about getting a shot in my mouth. If you’ve read my previous posts you know how I feel about shots. As my heart began to race, I looked at the door. I thought to myself, “I could make a mad dash for it right now and they would think I had simply forgotten my appointment.” By the time I was half way out the door, a nurse smirked as if she has caught me and called my name.
Slumping I followed a nurse into a back room which I have named the torture chamber. I sank into a chair as she put a bib-looking thing around my neck.
“Are you having a good day?” the nurse genuinely asked. My mind ran wild, “I am at the dentist. I am about to get a shot in my mouth. Something is wrong with my tooth and you are wondering if I am having a good day.” I wanted to scream an obvious “No!” but, “Yes, I am having a good day” spilled sweetly off of my lips. As I guiltily looked at her, she smiled and said, “The doctor will be right in.” “Ok” I squeaked as my voice faded off.
While she was gone, I again thought about running away. Unfortunately I got distracted by my tooth chart. It seriously looked like a secret code. I knew one thing–my teeth weren’t doing so good. There were letters and numbers by almost every tooth.
After I got bored with the chart, I heard the doctor coming. It was too late to escape, so I thought about pretending to be dead. I’m serious. I was so worked up about getting a shot in my mouth that I contemplated shutting my eyes and not moving a muscle. But when I thought about the fact that they would call an ambulance, I figured I couldn’t afford it and should just take the shot like a woman.
The doctor came. Smiling I wanted to engage in small talk so the doctor wouldn’t numb my mouth. He didn’t buy it. He started spouting off codes and kept on requesting for “mass weapons of dental destruction.”
“Lean your head back” was his first instruction. I willingly complied and tilted my head. When I was tempted to tightly press my lips together and refuse to open them, he said, “Open your mouth” Not wanting to be a wimp, I opened my mouth just in time for him to insert a metal tip of a needle into my upper lip. My eyes instantly began to water as I felt a big pinch. “I’m not crying!” I wanted to blurt out, but it would have been pointless because he was already handing me a kleenex.
As I felt the anesthesia soar through my mouth, it went farther than normal. It ascended up my cheek and soon reached the bottom of my eye. I seriously looked like I had been punched in the face and then drug behind a car. The whole right side of my face was sagging.
My eye was only the first of my problems that day. During my procedure, the doctor blurts out, “There is your root.” Panicking I was thinking “We are not doing a root canal today… this is just a filling.”
My appointment ended with the dentist telling me that I would have dental problems for the rest of my life. That is always comforting!
Anyway, I just have a few questions for you about the dentist office, since I have to go back Monday.
- Where are you supposed to look when the doctor is working on your teeth? If I look up, I keep making weird eye contact with the dentist. If I stare past him the water he squirts in my mouth splashes into my eye. Help!
- How am I supposed to answer small talk questions if I have ten metal objects in my mouth, or if he is gagging me with that suction thing?
- What do I do if I need to cough while I’m at the dentist?
- What do I do if I hear the doctor say to a nurse, “Scalpel, drill, sledge-hammer?”
- Is it ever ok to bite the dentist?