Dentist visits terrify me. I seriously go into heart pounding traumatic flashback fear territory! So, I haven't been to the dentist in quite some time. Like maybe ... 4 or 5 years. I figured all August that I'd wait for the insurance to switch over Sept 1, and then make an appointment, cause my teeth hurt vaguely all over. Chose the fanciest sounding dentist off Yelp, not the aromatherapy cosmetic one but the calm sounding geek one. I got a phone call this morning that my Friday appointment could be moved up to TODAY.
SCORE... was actually geek dentist. With digital xrays. Digital xrays are much better!
As soon as they put that xray thing in my mouth I always start to retch and cry. Fuck! The digital one was definitely smaller and I think because it's the same re-usable piece there was less of the person being mad at me for ruining a film when I gag and spit the thing out.
Things i hate about dentist visits
Retching and sometimes barfing from the xray film thing
Crying from above
Crying more from vague terror
Trying to control that terror
Dental assistants who are pissed off and hate me for being a wuss
Thinly veiled hostility from someone about to hurt me
Dentists who are falsely jovial or hearty
Dentists who clearly despise their clients
Bad touch dentists (During a root canal is a bad time to have feminist objections)
Dentists who hurt you and then get mad when you say it hurt
Dentists who say they already numbed you and it can't possibly hurt
The smell of weird chemicals and lysol
The actual pain
Dentists who are all clumsy so that they actually tear your lips
Male dentists at all
Being used-car sold some bullshit expensive shit
Being told I need to straighten my teeth or whiten them or something
Despite all that...
I actually liked this dentist! He was the bomb! He was calm and also was like a regular person. Well, a regular person who was about to put his hands in my mouth. It helped that we talked a decently long time before he began to fist my molars while clutching an ice pick.
He did a gum exam which I have only ever had one other time. So they measure the depth of, i don't know, how far they can poke a fucking sharp stick down in there next to the tooth. OH FINE. That I can take. There was a little lecturing not unpleasant about flossing and gums.
To pass the time while my gums were probed and measured I imagined cracking my dentist's passwords and riffling through all his files for the office and his personal stuff. Like sorting them by size or date, or seeing there there were suspicious things likely to be embarrassing. I imagined giving him a big lecture about picking less crackable passwords. It was a very soothing image. The measurements, 6 on each tooth, went into a rather keen looking program which then was projected on a flat screen which they pulled down where I could see it. Most of my gums are 2 3 2 which is decent. There were some 4 and 5 mm ones though. His verdict was regular cleaning, FLOSS MORE, come back in 4 months not 6 for another regular cleaning. If any bits get worse then deep clean just that tooth or two, not everything. That sounded ... sane!
He stuck a wireless digital tooth-probing microscope camera in my mouth and so then I got to see each bad tooth. There's a small cavity and a bigger one. And, there's a big fat hole right in the center of my oldest crown. it's like someone drilled straight up. That's where I kept the microfilm of course.
The showing and explaining of tooth data and pictures took a while and was controlled by a nifty handheld wireless mouse called a Gyration. It was like Wii Dentist Hero.
I'm very comforted by a doctor or dentist using some piece of technology like a normal competent person of my generation. Instant elevation of trust level. There is nothing that says assy doctor like some bullshit scribbled in a "chart" full of folders of charts that no one will ever look at again. He is *emailing me the data*. Rad. I get to have my own tooth data! I'm going to floss and like, cozy up my gums like a motherfucking video game!
Thursday: cleaning. I cry uncontrollably and quietly during these things. It is just like water rolling out of my face without stopping and isn't histrionic or anything. But not a lot of control over it.
Friday: they pop the crown off. Oh, god, terror. I wonder if someone will drive me and i can take some calming valium or vicodin? It's close enough I could wheel there and back.
Later someday: They deliver a shiny new gold tooth and cement it the fuck onto whatever macabre little bone-peg is left sticking up out of my jaw. and they do the 2 cavities. This may be a mistake to do them all together.
I'm glad no more root canals and that all my other work held up so well (the fancy stuff i got under sedation in santa fe after I got insurance for the first time in years)
Gold is supposed to last better than porcelain so I'm sticking with the witch teeth for any replacements.
If my teeth go to hell some day I'll get a titanium screw in my jaw like zond-7. That thing is cool.
I was so brave! Fuck! I went to the dentist! Fuck, fuck, fuck! It was scary!
So glad it came out normal and not some freakish nightmare thing!
Estimated costs are $1700 which they estimate I would need to pay like 600 of. We'll see.