OK, so I was eating something soft and felt something similar to a bone in it. I take it out of my mouth and look at it. Well I’ll be…looks like a piece of "HOLY CRAP!!It’s my TOOTH!" I run to the bathroom to look and sure enough, a piece of one of my lower molars chipped off along the filling. No pain, just a piece of tooth. Crap, lemme go to the dentist and see what they are going to do.
<STOP READING HERE IF YOU ARE A DENTIST OR HAVE A LOVED ONE THAT IS A DENTIST, BECAUSE I AM GOING TO TALK BAD ABOUT THEM AND THEIR FIELD..YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!>
I go to the dentist office and they look at it. They are just this much above frickin’ car mechanics. "hmmmm…ohhhh…ahhhh..mmmm…yeah, we’re gonna have to ….mmm…oooh" . "Do you have any discomfort?"
"No", I say. At this point he takes out what is called an "Explorer".
Let’s stop for a second here. The "Explorer" is a metal instrument that is needle sharp on both ends and is hooked like a sickle. It is used to poke, prick, and SCRAPE your teeth and gums.
So he takes out the explorer and sticks it in the cavity repeatedly and says, "Does this hurt?"
"No", I say (and he’s damn lucky ‘cuz had it hurt I’d be in jail for battery.)
"That’s good, " he says. "It looks like the filling caused your tooth to cleave. We’ll put a crown on it and that’ll be it.
"OK", I say thinking…hmmm..doesn’t sound too bad. I’ll be out of here in a few minutes. Uh-huh….
"We will pre-authorize you and have you come back at a time that is convenient for you. That will be for the temporary crown and then you’ll return for the second appointment for the permanent crown. How’s that sound?"
"Great! Go see Stacey and set something up." I go see the pretty girl up front (I’ve seen …. "average" looking women in doctor’s offices, but it seems dentists are much more vain. The front office girls are almost always HOT). Stacey says…ok…your insurance will pay X% and that leaves your responsibility to be Y.
"Dang…that’s expensive." I mumble.
"hee hee hee…" giggles Stacey.
<Fast forward to the day of appointment>
I put on my Zune with my favorite Playlist called "SMOOTH". I sit in the chair and the dentist gets right to business. The first thing that catches my eye is the stainless steel tray to my right with a slender aluminum-looking syringe poorly covered with terry cloth. Great…Novocain….I hate Novocain. He sticks a cotton swab into my mouth and he swabs along my gum line and my cheek. Uh-oh…I know what this is. This is a topical anesthetic so I don’t feel the NEEDLE going into my gum and cheek. I turn the Zune WAY UP.
And then it happens…the dentist takes the syringe and starts injecting a needle into my inner cheek tissue which isn’t *too* bad until the aluminum (or steel) casing touches my bottom front teeth. Some electrical circuit is completed and send a shock that shoots up to my skull and goes down my spine. He had to see that it hurt. He HAD to…my body jerked when it happened. He kept sticking me with the needle as if nothing happened. Zune was ALL THE WAY UP. I guess he probably thought the louder my Zune was the less I felt the pain.
After he was done with the Novocain injecting, he said, "We’ll let that work for a few minutes". There are tears in my eyes from the pain. It didn’t hurt but a few seconds, but it was enough to cause my eyes to water. A few minutes later he comes back and grabs the explorer. "Can you feel that?" I don’t know what he’s doing, but I am assuming it should have hurt and it didn’t.
"No", I try to say with about three tubes in my mouth and the right side of my head feeling like a slab of whale blubber.
"Goooooood"….all right, he said that with a little too much glee.
Then came the tool that the "modern" dentist is known for: The drill. I think every dentist must have a latent desire to drive fast as they seem to love to step on the pedal that makes the drill go fast. The high shrill pitch was just *that* much more annoying that someone scratching their fingernails on a blackboard. Oh, and then the humming while he’s drilling. This is someone who takes "whistling while you work" a little too seriously. 30 minutes later and my jaw is aching. This is just too much. I’m ready to go. My mouth feels like a South African diamond mine and the dentist and company are de Beers.
I get up from the chair of pain and walk to Stacey to, what I thought was settling up. She said, "The doctor would like to reschedule for your permanent crown." Crap…I forgot..this was the FIRST appointment…I have to go through all of this AGAIN! I start wondering if they just pull the damn thing if I would be better off. hmmmm