Tuesday, February 2, 2016

under pressure

going up

Well I have emerged from the dentist with most of my mental faculties in tact. I lost a few during the numbing procedure and then a few more while the chunks of old filling were flying around as the drill jackhammered into my tooth. The dentist described the numbing process as this amazing thing that I should love because it would be even more localized than the traditional method, but he said the words "place the need in the hole between your tooth and gum" and my elbows started sweating. The verdict? I'd rather not be able to feel half of my face than have that kind of injection again. Well really it was 3 "injections" that lasted over the course of 4 minutes rather than the quick one or two usual jabs that render your entire check numb. I suppose this holey method might be more effective because I usually have trouble with the numbing agent not working very well, and there was very little physical discomfort during the actual procedure. Just all that mental horror as the instruments went over my face from the assistant to the dentist and then into my mouth for who knows what purpose. I can never decide whether it's better to close my eyes the whole time or to see the tool and try to guess its purpose in order to steel myself against whatever it might feel like. And the pressure. Dear god the pressure and the drilling noise make me sick to my stomach. While I was waiting for the doctor, I actually worked out a puking plan in the event that I lost my shit (use the paper bib because there was no sink within reach). I don't know why I did this because I'm not a puker, but it passed the time.

I'm sure if you asked the dentist about my anxiety level he would have said 3 or 4 out of 10 because that's about how I seem most of the time. In reality it hovered around an 8. I'm basing this guess on the fact that he was poised with drill in hand without having asked me if I wanted the laughing gas or noise-cancelling headphones we spoke about the week before. So I had to ask about them myself, which required him to take out the bits of cotton he had put in my mouth and leave the room to get the necessary supplies. I ended up not getting the laughing gas, partially because I felt like too much of a weenie to ask for it. My default "don't let them see you sweat" setting overrode the whole reason I went to this dentist in the first place: the drugs. Maybe next time. Now for the short version:

felt like a toolbox
sticking out of my mouth while
my knuckles turned white


fought the urge to slap
his hands away from my mouth
and head for the hills

picture: where I would rather have been this afternoon - the Blue Ridge Parkway, somewhere between Boone, NC and the Virginia border (I think), July 2014, film, Canon Tlb 

1 comment:

Steve Reed said...

Ugh. Never a fun experience. At least it's over.

I've never had laughing gas -- I've never had a dentist who offered it, as far as I know. Maybe I should ask for it one of these days?