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In other news...

...yesterday I made an appointment to see the dentist. Unfortunately, I was able to get in on Monday. I was expecting to work up to this for a couple of weeks, but no, they got me in right away.

For those of you who don't know my history with dentists... well, it began in my high-school years with an amateur serial killer. The short story of one telling experience: He removed a wisdom tooth without functional pain-killers, despite the tooth breaking; he kneeled on my chest as he hammered away at my jaw with some kind of medieval torture device; when I used to much laughing gas, he turned it off; said procedure lasted about an hour. This history was furthered upon a visit to a dentist a few years later, who replaced a filling without pain-killers, saying, "Oh, it's not very deep" before realizing he had to work in there for a while. And so forth.

I can count my positive dental experiences on two fingers of one hand, and negative ones on a couple of hands. I mean, have you had dental hygienists give you pain-pills (because novocaine doesn't do much for me) and then leave you alone in the little room as panic mounts and heart races, even though you hadn't really been worrying before that? And just as you're about ready to walk out, she returns and says, "Oh, I forgot to mention that a side-effect of those pills is heightened anxiety." Nice. Or dentists who screw up a filling so that it hurts all the time? And, when you go to get it fixed, he uses one of those horrific screamy-grindy tools to relieve the tension... without giving you pain-killers (again) because "You won't feel anything - I'm just grinding the filling," when in fact doing so causes a great deal of heat... and of course requires more work than he had expected, but doesn't give you anthing at that point because "I'm almost done." And so forth.

My favorite experience with the dentist took place in Seattle. I went in for a regular checkup - by "regular," I mean that my friends pushed me to go because it had been five years or so since my last experience in dental torture. Anyhow, and the dentist decided that the top wisdom tooth that stood opposite the bottom one (removed; see above) should come out. He sensed my resistance (or my cold sweat), so invited me to chat in his office, where I admired photos of him with Bruce Lee. He told me stories about what it was like to study under Lee, we talked martial arts, and after a while said, "Ready for that tooth to come out?" I couldn't well leave at that point, and after a shot or two of pain-killer that actually worked and some very careful work, he removed the tooth in one piece (unlike the one that my high-school dentist shrapneled). "Huh," he said, admiring the curved roots, "I see why your teeth are so difficult to remove. Mind if I keep this to train students? If they can do a root canal on this puppy, they can do a root canal on anyone."

Anyhow. So I get to see the dentist on Monday. It's been a few years, but I don't expect anything untoward to happen... then again, I never do. Wish me luck.

Chris

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( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
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holyoutlaw
Dec. 20th, 2009 08:36 am (UTC)
Good luck!
tammy_moore
Dec. 20th, 2009 09:34 am (UTC)
It always starts with the wisdom teeth doesn't it? My dentist has to have two dental nurses in, one to do the dentistry and the other to hold my hands down.

I will keep my fingers crossed that your proceedure is as bearable as the dentist can be.
mckitterick
Dec. 21st, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)
Yikes! Did you ever go back after such an event? Or is this mere hyperbole? I ask because my high-school dentist knelt on my chest and held down my head as he tore chunks of tooth out of my jaw, so it seems completely possible.
(no title) - tammy_moore - Dec. 21st, 2009 08:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Dec. 21st, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
bammba_m
Dec. 20th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
Good gravy.

I shall be thinking good thoughts for you.
(Deleted comment)
mckitterick
Dec. 21st, 2009 03:43 am (UTC)
I wonder how many are like us. Lidocaine seems to work for me, but I also have an issue with needles, yay! A clever nurse once asked me if I got dizzy from punctures, and I told her about how that's very much the case. Apparently it's not uncommon, something about how some people's veins relax all crazy-like when pricked, and I'm one of the lucky ones. I imagine I'd bleed out if I were stabbed through the thigh.

And if it takes six positive visits per bad one, I don't imagine I'll ever end up even. Unless I start going twice a year like normal people.
saycestsay
Dec. 20th, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC)
Good luck. Perhaps you could ask for pain pills up front? I know a lot of folks who take prerscribed valium the day before for just this kind of issue.
mckitterick
Dec. 21st, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
They've promised me laughing gas, which I hear helps. We'll see!
(Deleted comment)
mckitterick
Dec. 21st, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
Drinks is a good idea. Maybe I'll just plan to hang out on that end of town for a bit afterward; take a shot of something just before entering the place - it's antibiotic, too, right? Viola!
(Deleted comment)
jjschwabach
Dec. 20th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
Good luck.
clevermanka
Dec. 20th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
<3

*pat*pat*
astein142
Dec. 20th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
You have had absolute terribly luck in choosing dentists. Let's hope this one is a good one who will give you all the right things to ease your anxiety and ward off pain.
weaselmom
Dec. 20th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
You know I sympathize! Do you know anything about this dentist? Been there before? I hope you have as an experience as possible. I go to Shawn's dentist because they are so wonderful - lots of drugs, a blankie, and they let Shawn sit at the end of the chair and help soothe me. Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. ::fingers crossed::
mckitterick
Dec. 21st, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
I've heard good things, so I'm hesitantly hopeful. I think kalimeg's suggestion re: booze beforehand is not a bad idea.
(no title) - weaselmom - Dec. 21st, 2009 06:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Dec. 21st, 2009 07:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - silverfae - Dec. 21st, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
klingonguy
Dec. 20th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
Why are you not flying back to Seattle for your next dental appointment?
mckitterick
Dec. 21st, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
I hadn't even thought of that. Geez. I should see if he's still around; if so, I'm so going to see him if I need any real work done.
queenmomcat
Dec. 20th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
Good luck; stephe and I have dental issues that make experienced dentists blanch, though thank deity we respond to novocaine in the usual manner.
j_cheney
Dec. 20th, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
Good luck! (WHen they pulled my wisdom teeth, they couldn't deaden my lower gum....so they pulled them anyway. My father said he heard me scream in the foyer. I sympathise.)
mckitterick
Dec. 21st, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
Good lord. How do these people get their practices?
(no title) - j_cheney - Dec. 21st, 2009 12:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
anerys
Dec. 20th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
how horrible...good luck!
ericreynolds
Dec. 20th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
Good luck dude. I hope it'll all be fine this time. I'm sure it will. And you're getting it out of the way.
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( 37 comments — Leave a comment )

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