January 20, 2007

The Agony and -- Well, the Agony

Numb me -- drill me --
floss me -- bill me.

-- Weird Al Yankovic, “Cavity Search”

IF GOD HAD WANTED MAN to have perfectly straight, whiter-than-white teeth, He would have put immense amounts of naturally-occurring fluoride into the lakes and streams which feed the world's municipal water systems. Then again, given the events of Genesis, perhaps having wretched dental issues is all simply part of the burden associated with original sin. In fact, given what I went through Friday, I’d say that sounds about right.

On Friday, you see, I went for the second part of a Not Fun Dental Procedure known as root scaling and planing. (The first part had taken place the previous Friday, and it also proved to be Not Fun. In fact, when I submitted a claim form for the work, I put down “Not Fun Dental Work” to describe the procedure). The reason this procedure is not fun is because it is a deep-cleaning of the teeth and gums, which flushes out all the plaque and other unpleasantness in there. Since the work is done around the roots of the teeth, it requires several shots of novocaine to get to the point where work can proceed.

Just for the record, you know the procedure isn’t fun when your dentist fully admits that the shots are going to hurt, and actually somewhat commiserates throughout the process. It’s one thing to get a shot in the back of the mouth, which hurts a little but is fully bearable, and another thing entirely to get a shot in the palate, which hurts to the point where I shouted in discomfort. Fortunately, it was by far the worst part of the procedure, but it was a just wretched few moments there.

That said, the combination of adrenaline and numbness was something else – I got out of the chair an hour later in a cold sweat and feeling as if I’d nearly gotten hit by a train. But the good news is that several hours later, my mouth felt better and I was able to go out and have a nice dinner. Well, that and I don’t have to go back to the dentist until May.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at January 20, 2007 01:13 AM | TrackBack
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