Normally, I don’t mind the dentist. My dentist always applauds me for taking good care of my teeth. I brush and floss regularly and rarely need fillings. But every so often, the annual xrays will reveal a spot that I missed in my daily rituals.
There is something about getting a filling that makes my stomach do flips. If it were just a shot, a “little pinch” as the doctors like to say, it would be ok. If it were just a numb sensation creeping up my face until I can’t feel my lower eyelid, it would be ok. If I could sleep through the whole thing, it would be ok.
But it isn’t just those things.
There is the tray with the dental tools laid out like modern day implements of torture. There is the noise, the high pitched whine of the drill that vibrates all the other fillings in my head. There is the terrible invasive feeling of hands in your mouth that are not your own. There is the drilling, that horrible grinding sensation that indicates a part of my tooth, a part of me is being ground to dust. Worst of all, there is the anticipation of the moment when you realize that the numbness is not numb enough.
Forty five endless minutes later, my filling is done and the receptionist jokes that she didn’t hear me scream, not once. I hand her my payment, smiling a lopsided grin with one side of my face and hoping I’m not drooling out of the other. She asks if I’d like to make my six month appointment. What I’d like to do is run hell bent for my car, but I politely lisp at her “Yeth, pleathe.” She hands me a business card with my appointment date on it, wishes me a good day, and I’m gone.
Thank God that’s over.