Archive for October, 2011

This post won’t have any photos, it won’t be warm and fuzzy, and it sure won’t be PC, but it will be honest. And maybe a little graphic.

So my dental history is something that I’ve kept quiet because of the Shame. My teeth are like rotting bones in the grave of my mouth that opens up once or twice a year to scare dental professionals. I guess it’s appropriate that my most recent visit to the lucky Edmond dentist was in October.

A brief history:

-One of my front incisors (a baby tooth) was brown, so my parents had it removed.  During that visit to Dr. Joel, he put some citrus flavored toothpicks in my mouth and I barfed all over the dental chair.

-I’ve never gone to the dentist without them declaring loudly and proudly that I have a cavity. They caught another one. Yay!

-I hallucinated when I had my wisdom teeth pulled and cried for my mother.

-I went on a flossing kick my freshman year in college and when I returned to the dentist over Christmas break, I had EIGHT cavities.

-I then stopped getting my teeth cleaned until I got married in 2006. The hub’s incessant flossing and Sonic-caring almost drove me to drink. Finally, I broke down and went to the best dentist of all time- Dr. Richardson. He made me feel like a real person, not a leper.

-Unfortunately for my teeth, we moved to Oklahoma in 2010 and I had to find another dentist. Cue the crazy looks, gasps, and the donning of the surgical masks when I open my mouth. It’s not contagious people!

So here I am at 31, in a dead-sweat at the dentist and hoping that it will be over soon. After the first dentist mysteriously no longer took my insurance anymore, the second dentist agreed to fill two cavities for me after seeing my x-rays. I went in on Tuesday and the nightmare began.

First, I asked for the gas, because I thought this might help my anxiety. But alas, it’s just like watching the surgery totally drunk. About half way through, I went back to plain oxygen. The dentist kept saying, “Oh, more decay.” “Wow, more decay.” “Just a little more decay.” Then, (God knows why she did this) but she showed me her work with the smoking drill; she let me take a look with a hand mirror. After I almost had a cardiac arrest and I kept myself from throwing up, she explained that my shell-of-a-tooth, soon to be filled, would probably need a crown in a year or two. Then, eventually a root-canal.

A few things about this bothered me- 1. Why just leave a shell of a tooth? If it’s that bad, why not pull it? 2. And why, if I will need a crown in a year or two, why not just go ahead and crown it now? 3. The irony was just too thick to ignore. Such a Royal Name: a Crown. Why not call it what it really is: a permanent patch over that cesspool of bacteria in my mouth.

After an hour an a half of drilling and filling and bite-blocking and gassing and nausea and panic, It was all over. But, hooray! “The decay was so bad, I’m afraid you will need to have two other molars refilled next week.” Oh, and to add insult to injury: “No sodas, not even diet.”

Right, asking me to give up Diet Dr. Pepper is like asking an Oreo to give up the creme filling. It’s like telling Romeo: “No Juliet.” It was just more than I could take.

I left there defeated and feeling disgusting. Never mind that I brush twice a day, floss at least weekly, and get my teeth cleaned (almost) every six months. I’m destined for dentures at 45.

I head back to the dentist on Tuesday for two more fillings; I’m sure they won’t be my last. I guess I’d rather my teeth be terrible than my eyes, my back, or my brain. But it sure would make me feel better if someone else out there felt as awful as I do when leaving the dentist. A shared confession might provide a little relief- the kind of relief I felt when Christina Aguilera finally put on a few pounds too.

Oh gosh, anxiety attack- what if I pass this on to my child? Tiger Lilies to those of you who have “never had a cavity.” (Said in a snotty, I’m so great, high-pitched voice.) Don’t feel so proud, you jerks- I’m convinced it’s all genetic.


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