So… in case anyone thinks I am a wussy… let me tell you a little story.
I go to the dentist yesterday… and lets be real.. NO ONE likes dentists. Not unless he is a drug dealer and you are into Novocaine.
So I get in the chair and I am absorbing the environment. Very fancy. Very clean. Very shiny. Then I see the assistant. Very… fragile looking. But that’s okay, right? I mean all she has to do is hand the dentist things and suck all the gob out of my face while he works. She doesn’t have to be strong for that.
Then I see the dentist. Now, indulge me for a minute… imagine, if you will, you are standing in the middle of an intersection and you have just witnessed four cars hit each other at the same time. There is broken glass, blood, body parts, rolling cars on fire hurtling towards you…. and you can do nothing.
THAT is the facial expression my dentist had when he walked in. This inspired great comfort in me. NOT.
So? What’s the problem? He asks. So explain upcoming surgery and how the CT scan picked up infection somewhere (and I show him the tooth) and so I need to fix that before I can go ahead with surgery. I also explain that I KNOW I have a hole in a tooth on the other side… but that’s not the problem.
Okay. So we have to do an x-ray. No problem. I just showed you where the problem is.. but by all means.. let’s waste some money and do an x-ray.
He positions my face on a chin rest thing and tries to get me to bite down ‘in the groove’ of a plastic thing that I can’t see… because he is holding my chin. So.. he just pushes it. No problem. If he breaks any of my front teeth by force, the upcoming x-ray unnecessary will at least confirm it.
He takes a step back and says ‘The machine will go around you, it won’t touch you’.
Which TOTALLY explains why it rammed into my shoulder a few times on its way around.
So the x-ray prints. He sticks it on that light box and then goes REALLY quiet. So I am standing next to him…. Looking at his face, thinking…. ‘Is that man right in the head?’ So I ask. Soooo. What do you see?
So, he points to the infected tooth that I already showed him, and the hole on the other side that I already showed him and says: THESE are the problem.
Awesome. I am SO HAPPY we agree now. Let’s do this.
So back in the chair. And out comes a syringe that looks more like a nuclear weapon from a Transformers movie. He doesn’t tell me what he is doing – he just points it at my mouth and then he did another one of his black out deer in head lights faces before injecting my gum. So as is normal practice, I am guessing – he went off to have some alone time or something, while the anesthetic kicked in. So I regularly touch my face and my gum, and my tongue, and my cheeks to check if I can feel. I can. I can definitely feel EVERYTHING.
But before I could point that out he is picking at something in my mouth…. And repeatedly touching the nerves that are supposed to be having a nap. Then I did what no patient should ever do… apparently. I grabbed his arm and asked him if he had Parkinson’s. I wasn’t joking either, I was dead serious. Because it was evident that he had very little control of his hand.
His assistant looked horrified, and to be quite honest I don’t even think he heard me because he didn’t stop.
Then, for those of you that know me well – you will know that it was at this point that I stopped thinking like a rational human being. Now all I cared about was the fact that some crazy man with a face mask with access to drills was about to perform some sort of surgery when he wasn’t even completely aware of his own surroundings never mind mine.
Then true as bloody bananas… out comes the drill. By this point my legs were on either side of the chair and no longer on it. I had one arm up trying to get in the way of actual drilling and the other one was white knuckling the edge of the seat.
I felt the drill.
He ignored me.
I felt the second drill… he ignored me but the assistant could tell by my face that I was about to break his nose or her fingers… so she said something and he stopped.
His solution: The slower drill.
Makes total sense? Right?
It hurts MORE. It just SOUNDS different. So I YELL, because wide eyes and kicking legs didn’t get me anywhere. I CAN FEEL THAT!!! (It wasn’t as clear as that because I had a drill, a tube and some other shiny thing in my mouth at the time)
So he stops calmly, like I have just announced my birth date, and says: Your teeth aren’t that bad actually. We will just finish this filling, and we will send you to a specialist for the other tooth.
Then, again, without my face being numb, proceeds to give me a filling – which in case anyone is wondering – I don’t think I needed. Because there is still a hole in my tooth so I don’t know where that filling went except that it hurt like a …. And I kept still for the whole thing. I realised that moving wasn’t going to get me anywhere. But plotting his death in my head while he hurt me made me feel much better.
So R1540.00 later, I have a filling that I know I did not need, I still have a hole in the tooth that should have been looked at, and I have been referred to a specialist – because THIS dentist can’t help me with what the original problem is.
So. I am not a wussy… J But I now have a healthy fear of dentists – AND- a fascination for how many torture type tools can be handed to you by an assistant.
4 thoughts on “Pulling Teeth – With Mercy, Part One”
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I like the photo. Well, I don’t, but you know what I mean.
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I do. 🙂