Monday, July 1, 2013

Say Agh

I have bad teeth. I've had issues with them forever. Back in my day, we didn't visit the dentist to get baby teeth pulled. My dad literally tied a string around it and yanked the sucker out. My brothers always seemed to manage to make it look easy, but I was the queen of hysterics. Pull-her-tooth-out night turned into hours of entertainment for everyone else in the family. After the first few were unceremoniously extracted, I wised up and kept the looseness of my teeth on a need-to-know basis. This is how we learned that I had some kooky tooth issues. If a tooth was not pulled within a very short window, the new tooth would emerge and simply push the formerly-loose tooth to the side. This made it indescribably more difficult to remove, and my histrionics increased exponentially. It also gave me a maw full of janky teeth. The worst was when my canine teeth came in way above the gum line, like fangs. It was awful. Needless to say, I spent 3 years in braces. Anyone who has had braces can attest to the fact that it is agonizing. And rubber bands are the modern incarnation of the medieval rack. I had to hook bands up and over my fangs to pull them down since every time you opened your mouth, the bands exert downward pressure. And I talk. A lot. The day they were removed was one of the happiest days of my high school life.

I wish I could say that my issues with dentist-type persons have abated over the years, but they haven't. And my dental adventures have taken me on a tour of various providers in a 100-mile radius. I seem to exhibit a pattern. The first major event was to a dentist in my hometown. I had gotten my first real job after college, and opted for the dental insurance. I needed six cavities. It was torture. So I didn't go back for years. Literally. It was 12 years before I went to another one. He was a little shocked with the condition of my teeth, and that I still had mercury fillings. He asked why it had been so long since I've been seen and I told him, "No offense, but I hate you people." He said he got that a lot. So we made an appointment to remove the old fillings, and put in an additional eight. Yes. That is fourteen total for my math-challenged friends. I also needed a crown. And I'm not talking the "Long live the Queen!" type of crown.  Even with insurance, I ended up spending an amount that I would normally only justify for shoes. And then it was determined I needed a root canal. This is when my other major dental issue became a road block. I never get completely numb with novocain. All of the work that had been done up to this point had a large amount of white-knuckling involved. I've been told this is more common that you would originally think. I visited 2 different providers who had to stop the root canal because I was in too much pain. Then I found the miracle that is sedation dentistry. And it was my brother's old band geek friend! Go Lancers! That whole ordeal sent me into another hiatus. I returned last week and needed 3 new fillings and some maintenance on ones I already had. I don't know if I'll ever go back.

I think my last relationship was with someone who was dealing with his love life the way I deal with the dentist. He had been married for several years, and been divorced for about two. I was hoping that he was ready to head back into the chair and be able to handle the high-pitched whir of the drill, but that wasn't the case. And I was under the mistaken impression that if I could make this go-round a decent experience, that he would actually like being at the dentist. Yeah. I know. I can hear your eyes rolling from here. As it turned out, it was a sedation visit. I did all of the work, and he just sat there in a fog, drooling on himself. And he played the I'm-going-to-keep-this-up-until-she-dumps-me-so-I-can-still-be-the-good-guy game. It still pisses me off that it worked. So, I'm back in the clearance aisle and avoiding the dentist.

The hygienist always sends me home with a bag full of goodies since she never knows when she's going to see me again. I'm surprised I don't get care packages in the mail.

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