For the past couple of weeks I had been going to the dentist as my teeth were giving me some trouble. This is a clinic I had been going to over the past few years as it is close to my home, have a lot of young dentists, is spotlessly clean and hygienic and is meticulous in its dealings. So I called it and made an appointment with a new dentist as my old one had left.
When I got there I found it to be still the same, keeping to its high standards and following excellent procedures. When I met my young dentist and after he took a look at what was bothering me, he referred me to take a full x-ray of all my teeth. He reassured me that they have my record on file, brought it up on the computer, but needed to see what has happened since then, which was over 4 years ago.
I was taken to a small room, told to place my head in what looked like a vice, a torture instrument, and not to move! Two seconds later I was released. So there it was, a full in-depth picture of all my teeth.
Going back to my dentist he told me that I had a large cavity in the molar that was giving me problems and recommended we start work on that in a few days as he was going on vacation and we should start in a week’s time after his return.
The following week we started. The best thing about going to the dentist is that they give you anaesthesia. They even dab your gum with it before the shot that numbs that side of your face they will be working on. Great feeling. It is as though all the noise of drilling and banging and scratching is happening at your next-door neighbour’s. You are just going through the inconvenience of the noise! Until later….! Yes. Later it does catch up with you and the effect of all that far-off noise translates into something very near and very real. Thank God for good, strong pain-killers.
So I needed a root canal, a good thorough grinding of the affected molar, and a cap. Three gruelling sessions where I felt nothing much during the procedure but where all hell broke loose later. Except for the last session.
It seemed that as this was the last session of putting in the cap, there was not going to be much pain, so the anaesthesia was weaker, so I was more aware of what was going on in my mouth. It felt as though my dentist and his assistant were both sitting inside my mouth, pulling with their arms and pushing with their feet one opposite the other. Then the assistant jumped out, brought in a huge sucking hook that she threw into my mouth and left it dangling out of the left side while the dentist was working on the right side. But this did not seem enough to suck my mouth dry, in comes the assistant with another contraption that felt like an industrial vacuum cleaner that started sucking the life out of my tongue which felt like a tired old rag by the end of the session. This time I did not have the grace period of the wearing off of the anaesthesia, but jumped right into the stage of swallowing the pain killer.
I still have one more session for filling a cavity, then I would be done for the next six months till my next teeth cleaning session.
The dentist’s office is the one place you go to voluntarily, though reluctantly, where you are tortured under sedation and where you pay through the nose for that privilege!