Sunday, January 17, 2010

Can you feel it now??

I had a dentist's appointment on Wednesday, the 13th. I suppose that alone should have made me leery. A sign perhaps? But this was the last thing left to be done on my dental list from last year. Dead tooth - check. 2 replacement fillings -check. More cleanings that I have had in longer than I can remember - double check. And with that I had reached the max of my dental benefits for the year. So I had to leave the last 2 fillings - replacements for some really old silver fillings I had until this year.

So, as usual I arrived, and after the briefest of waits was ushered back into the torture chamber. A place where I would spend the next 3 hours with a numb tongue having my poor little cheeks stretched to the limit. It started off pretty typical - an x-ray or ten (think I glow in the dark?). And then some numbing gel before the shots. For the record I hate shots. They always hurt numbing gel or not. Today was no exception. The first three knee jerking shots down he readied another round. Only to be surprised at the depth of herky jerky response as I practically bolted upright on the 2nd one because previous shot or not, that really, really hurt. 10 shots later and one more for good measure (just to be sure...) he got started.

First with a picture. This little camera was wheeled over, it's wand tip placed over the tooth, some incantations said, a small dance or two, and presto a topographical representation of my tooth appeared. The "before" picture. Then the drilling commenced - removing the old filling. Before long despite a nicely tingly tongue we discovered that I could still feel that and we moved right on to ligament numbing. And here I thought I had tried it all, but it was new even for me. The taste of stray drop was awfully bitter, but it's instantaneous numbing made up for it. After drilling half way to China removing the old filling, taking off a little decay under the filling, and taking care of a hairline crack the magic wand was back. Calculating just how much tooth I used to have and telling some magic machine hidden off-set how to recreate it we were on to side two. After a bit of deja vu with the shots, though more liberally applied the first time around - you can't say we don't learn from our past mistakes - side two was numb and tooth 2 followed the same script as before because I am clearly nothing if not a glutton for punishment.

After a short break in which we all got quite a good chuckle out of me trying to talk with an entirely numb tongue we attempted to get started putting the porcelain fillings in place. And all was going fairly well, until I realized that I could feel quite clearly the waft of the airgun not on the side he was working on, but on the opposite side. After another round of numbing which I am fairly certain even an elephant would have succumbed to the work was finished. Finally. Three.hours.later.

I was sent on my way with a strong recommendation that I pop some hospital grade pain relief from a bottle before the numbness wore off. And that it might be a "little sore" for a few days from all the shots. Wow. What an understatement. Luckily the drugs knocked me out and I spent the next 6 hours sleeping blissfully despite not having even a morsel of food all day long.

It's been 4 days and my gums are still incredibly sore. I have alternately sworn off tooth brushing (which coincidentally is not what got me in this predicament in the first place - at least according to the dentist - I just have bad enamel that never hardened) and eating all together. Neither is particularly practical so I chew carefully, and brush more so.

Let's just hope that the boys have better luck with their teeth than their mother...

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