i have a long and not so illustrious history with the field of dentistry. the first dentist would drill through the pain. The second believed in shame based dentistry. The third was my only saving grace. The fourth ripped the dental damn out of my mouth with the look of frustration on his face because i was unable communicate through the damn with a partial numb tongue.
1 for 4, that barely keeps me in the big leagues. hopefully, that explains while it has been twenty years since i last saw a dentist.
about a month ago, i knew i’d either spend the rest of my life popping acetaminophen or see a dentist as i had a raging tooth ache. something had to be done.
a week ago wednesday, i had my root canal. Mary came in support. the process turned out better that expected but it still wasn’t pleasant with the mouth open for an hour with a bunch of instruments and hands fitting between my lips.
thursday, i had the dental work done. 45 minutes into the drilling i was freaking out thinking he had only worked on the easy tooth and there were still two teeth to go. i had my mind put at ease a few minutes later, finding out two teeth were done and the third mostly done. what a relief.
the dentist was approachable and we even had a few conversations. he mills the caps in house, so i got to watch and ask questions as he designed my new teeth. i found that to be pretty cool as my first job was in cadd, computer aided drafting and design.
i finished the procedure. again, it was better than expected, but i think is would be find it hard to find anyone who would find three hours in a dental chair enjoyable. though it’s a start, it’s hard to completely eliminate a lifetime of dentistry anxiety and phobia with one good trip to the chair. in the end the biggest discomfort was the sensation that one cheek felt stretched out with an extra inch or so.
the next day, it felt relieved to have on the work behind. i tried to be productive and it just wouldn’t work. then, is dawned on me; a near month of build up and anxiety, as much as i tried to minimalize it and even the face of somewhat good dental experiences, it all had taken toll. i had crashed. the day would be a waste. I couldn’t find a once of energy.
so, i survived the last month. if feels good not to have the throbbing jaw behind me, have three teeth restored. perhaps the somewhat good processes have moved me from the deathly anxious and fearful about dentistry to partly anxious and fearful. it’ll take a lot more good to right the wrongs on this normally anxious and fearful person.