Who out there loves going to the dentist?

Me neither. And I never get to go just for a cleaning. Or even a whitening treatment, though goodness knows I could use one. Coffee and wine aren’t kind to teeth that have been exposed to the elements for four decades. If I’m not careful, I might get poached for my ivory.

No, when I do go it is because I’m forced into it. This last time was because a filling came out. It just dropped. It would have rolled away had it been more marble than shard. One minute I had a front tooth, the next a fang. In the words of my friend, Sarah, “That’s pretty.” (Except she was referring to an awkward typo I’d inadvertently created in an email, not my uneven teeth.)

I went to the dentist. He is a great dentist. The best I have ever gone to. And cute. He’s in his seventies, has a full head of white hair, and amazing skills with drills. I still remember with fondness how he dropped one of my crowns before it could be attached, got a coat hanger, and whacked it out from under the sink. It was great comic relief at a time I really needed it. Laughing, though, was hard. I was still full of local anesthetic and couldn’t feel my head. I think I smiled and drooled a bit, but he wiped my face with my bib before it could drip.

My dentist repaired my fang and sent me home. On the way my husband and I stopped by the liquor store (for obvious reasons) and got a bottle of red wine.  As I was browsing the French section I felt my tooth shift. I shrugged it off. Sometimes teeth loosen a bit while they’re being worked on. It would firm up. I was wrong.

The next day filling #2 fell out. I was fanged once again. It was the weekend. I was going to have to wait until Monday to make another appointment. I wasn’t happy. But at least I had a bottle of wine.

Then tragedy struck. Not real tragedy. But one of those minor tooth tragedies. A whole different tooth fell out. Not a filling. Not a cap. But the whole root canal minus the gutta percha. I had roots. I had canals. But I didn’t have a tooth. I had what looked like a corn-nut.

Nothing hurt. No nerves had been exposed. Nothing needed an antibiotic. But in the words of my husband, I was rotting on the hoof.

The dentist got me in the next day. I envisioned several visits. One to assess the damage. Another to prepare the fang for capping. Another to cap the fang. Another to fix the root canal. Maybe even surgery to remove the corn nut. Or my right jaw.

Not so. He did both teeth in one visit.

I told you he was good.

First he numbed my right side from the waist up. I couldn’t even hear with my right ear. I envisioned my earhole puckered shut like a cat’s sphincter, but didn’t ask for a mirror. Or my cell phone to take a picture.

Then he set to work. First the corn-nut.

Did you know that to reattach a crown that had broken off at the gum-line, one used a drill, a spike, and bonding resin that smells like burning tea kettles? I got two spikes drilled in. It felt like a two-seater was taking off in my head. My nose vibrated like a buzz saw. But no pain.

Next was my fang. By then my anesthetic was wearing off. No pain, but if he didn’t work quickly, I knew I was soon going to feel every prod and pick.

He knew that as well. And that’s when he starting slinging drill. He was like the fastest gun in the West. He filled, cured, shaped, and polished in a matter of minutes – the drill, grit, and liquid flying. I kept expecting him to slip and shoot the drill into my eye. But no, he was focused, careful, and very, very good. His assistant was hard pressed to keep up, but she did.

But all that meant that there was no time (nor room) for swallowing. Or for blinking. Or for breathing. Or, for that matter, unclenching my butt. It was going to take the Jaws of Life to get me out of that chair. Either that, or I would have to drag it home behind me until I could get in the Jacuzzi.

It felt like twenty miners on meth were in my mouth looking for ore. At times I could have sworn that there were more than twenty fingers under my tongue. But no pain. He beat the time limit on the Novacain. And fixed my teeth. Perfectly. In ONE VISIT.

That man deserves a medal. Dr. W. D. Harris in Springdale. Or, at the very least, a sheriff’s badge.

Of course, now, I’m scared of food. Nothing crunchy. Nothing hard. Nothing chewy. That leaves me with water and yellow Spam jelly. No problem.  I can do that. Maybe I’ll loose weight.

I would love it if you left a comment or observation in the ‘leave a comment’ section under this.

Have fun!

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4 Responses to SAY CHEESE!!

  1. Snuffygump says:

    I’m tellin’ ya, you were living, in real time, my worst nightmare! In my reaccuring dream, the teeth have come out, one after another, through the years. Each fresh dream, it moves on to the next tooth or teeth that will come out as I am enjoying some fine meal or am in the presence of everyone I ever went to school with. Sometimes it is a double feature and I am also naked. but, you…..YOU lived the dream! That really puts the fear in me now. I am totally creeped out and probably will not be able to sleep tonight. Thanks, Thea! By the way, my favorite visual in this blog: You dipping your toes into the swirling jacuzzi with the dentist chair attached to your behinder. I wouldn’t mind having that as a wallpaper for my monitor.

  2. Thea says:

    Well Randy would be in that photo, Snuffygump. Trying to help me heave it all over the edge and into the water.

    I have never had the teeth dream. I’ve had the naked one. I even had a dream that I had to kill a plumber because he came into the bathroom while I was in the bath and had seen me naked. then I couldn’t figure out how to hide his body. No, I have never had the teeth dream. I just live it.

  3. Alissa says:

    My poor husband keeps having the same dream that all of his teeth explode out of his mouth like a bunch of popcorn! He has been losing them one at a time in the back for a while now and only has 2 that fit together to chew with, the others have become rather superfluous without a match. And you can guess which one is now acting up and going to have to be removed. I’m wondering just how many flavors jello comes in.

  4. Loretta Woods says:

    I feel your pain!! Every bit of it!! My teeth due to no care while I had a mouth full of metal did not help my already poor enamel. The worst part is not going to the dentist for me… i always ask for everything they have to make me enjoy the nap time… what I HATE is the sweet little receptionist telling me I basically have to sell my car to walk out the door!

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