Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Paying the Piper

Hey, remember when I had that wisdom tooth pulled out last month?  Yah, good times.  Well yesterday was the inevitable follow up.  The pressing issue of a decaying half tooth had been resolved and now it was time to evaluate what state 15 years of dental neglect had left the rest of my mouth.

So there I am, back in the chair.  And it starts out casual enough.  Just some x-rays.  Fantastic.  Maybe that's all they need to do for the evaluation?  Just some x-rays and a frank talk about how 15 years is too long between dentist visits.

The hygienist comes back and puts the developed x-rays on a back-lit board beside my chair.  I analyze them while waiting for the dentist to put in his appearance.  Hey, they don't look too shabby!  I have a lot more fillings than I remembered having but everything else looks like a pretty consistent shade of grey.  No obvious dark spots to my admittedly untrained eye.  I'm still clinging to the hope that the people touching my mouth phase is over for this visit.

The dentist finally shows up and steps on the neck of that notion and puts a bullet in its head when he whips out the sharp pokey sticks.  After some chit chat about the healing around the wisdom tooth extraction, he proceeds to stabbing me repeatedly along my entire gum line with that cursed fucking dentist pick.  Guess what!?!  My gums started bleeding!  He explained this to me.  That my gums were bleeding.  Obviously a result of my negligence and NO correlation to the fact that he had just jabbed a sharp pointy implement into that soft tissue a hundred times.  No, no.  GOOD gums, HEALTHY gums are impervious to such assaults.

Eventually he finished turning my gums into hamburger meat.  Please god let this be over.  But no, we now move from jabbing the gums to jabbing the teeth.  I am wigging out just remembering this event.  I hate, HATE, the feeling of metal on my teeth.  So I gripped the fuck out of those armrests and tried my damndest to stay in my happy place.

Eventually, he stopped.  The total damage was three cavities, one bad filling to be replaced, a shit load of cleaning, and the small matter of removing those last three wisdom teeth.

Yes, after 15 years of dentist-free joy, the bill has come due.  I am going to be intimately familiar with that dentist chair over the next couple months.  There's no question, this is going to suck.  So was it worth it?  Was 15 years without some weirdo's hands in my mouth, stabbing my gums with a sharp stick, and giving me shit when they bleed, worth these next 3 months of compressed dental activity?  Yup.  I'll suck it up and deal with this now and going forward but those were a sweet 15 years.

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