I don't like dentists. Let me say that again. I don't like dentists. It's not that they're evil people, it's just that, well, they're dentists.
What brought this on today is that I have a front tooth with a chip in it. The chip has been repaired and replaced several times but I could feel it starting to pull away again. Gathering up my false courage, I made an appointment to have it fixed.
As the good dentist (who probably tortured cats as a kid) looked into my mouth, he started the usual poking and prodding with an ice pick, hammer and chisel. Satisfied that I did actually have a problem and that he could fix it, he left the room. A few minutes later, a young assistant came in with a giant Q-tip and swabbed my mouth with a topical numbing agent. I hate being numb but I hate pain even more. Besides, it's minty.
Damn, I know what this means, he's planning on giving me a shot of novocaine. Sure enough, here he comes with a three foot needle and a gleam in his eye. “Open wide”, he says gleefully. He proceeds to shove the needle directly into my brain and then move it from side to side. “I'll just give you a few minutes to numb up and then I'll be back.” Yeah, I'll hold my breath.
In comes the assistant again and she starts laying out his implements of torture on the tray right in front of me. I think it's unfair that they let you see what they might use on you to cause you pain and discomfort. My imagination is starting to run away with me and my right leg is twitching. She starts holding up fake teeth to my teeth to try and match the color since it's one of the big teeth right in the front. She calls in another woman and they debate whether or not I'm really a C-2 or a C-3. She hands me a mirror and asks what I think and I tell her that I'm color blind and will just go with whatever they decide. They seem satisfied with that and out they go.
Finally, the dentist comes back in and I've so far been sitting in the chair for an hour with nothing happening. First comes the high speed drill that sounds suspiciously like one of my Dremel tools. When he's done playing with that one, he starts in with a vibrating drill that you could use if you were fracking for oil. After spraying water all over me to clean the site, the assistant sticks a tube in my mouth and tells me to close my lips so they can suck out all the debris. I do exactly that and, if I still had my tonsils, I think they would have been sucked right out.
Next comes another syringe with the stuff that's harder than your own teeth and he starts building the new tooth. A little orange light to make the stuff harden like fiberglass and then he sets to grinding and shaping to get the tooth just right. A bit of sandpaper for the final polish and now I have to clench my teeth and grind to see if it's hitting anywhere it shouldn't. It's not, so a final rinse and spit and the dentist rushes out the door to torture the next patient.
It really wasn't that bad and the tooth looks great. “Got to kiss myself, I'm so pretty”. Thank you Bruno Mars.
I'm just about to leave when they want me to make an appointment for a cleaning and a full set of x-rays. You know the cleaning? That's when they take sharp instruments and thrust them into your gums so you can drown in your own blood. Then they take a rat tail file and file all of your teeth into points so that bacteria has nowhere left to hide. Yeah, I'll make an appointment. Not a bloody chance in hell.
In any event, I survived and the rebuilt tooth really does look great. Now I just have to wait for the novocaine to wear off so I can drink something without it ending up all down my front.