Thursday, August 28, 2008

The wisdom in teeth

Eric's posts about teeth remind me how much I hate going to the dentist. I visited the dentist two years ago, and that was the first time in 5 years. Yes, I had a lot of cavities, and yes, I still haven't had all of them filled. I moved to Seattle after my dentist did half of my mouth, and the other half is still waiting. I have a feeling my teeth will start rotting and falling out before I visit the dentist, that excrutiating pain from an eaten nerve will force me to pick up the phone.

I don't mind going to the doctor, but the dentist is another story. Something about having my mouth stretched so wide that my lips crack while someone saws floss between my teeth is just unbearable. Then after my gums are hacked to bits by the hygienist, the dentist comes in with that pokey stick and jabs it in all the crevices in my mouth. Sometimes, when I have a cavity, it hurts. I also have a horrible gag reflex so all the while, I am gagging on the dentist's latex-sheathed hand, trying not to breathe in his face, and feeling my lips peel apart. Then I walk out with all this nasty grainy stuff all over my teeth from the flouride. Yeah, bad, bad experience.

Now, I'm afraid I may have to go back to the dentist, and he'll tell me that yes, I have cavities, and yes, my wisdom teeth are rotting and need to be pulled. Another thing I hate is having teeth pulled. I've had 7 pulled in my life, and remember being 14 years old and gargling hydrogen peroxide and stuffing tissue in holes that never seem to heal. EWWW. YUCK. SICK!

Luckily, we have a family friend in Portland who is an artful oral surgeon. My sister just got her wisdom teeth pulled and said it wasn't that bad. He is the only one I trust to dig around in my gums and jaw bone, but before I let that happen I will tell him one thing.

"Please, Charlie, put me on laughing gas and give me enough Valium to last a year. Knock me out so I'm delirious for a week."

I'll need all the pain-killers I can get if I don't get those cavities filled. Ahhh I'm not looking forward to all this.


Travis said...

i hate my current dentist (think Mr Magoo meets 'jaws' from James Bond) but I have actually loved going to the dentist for my whole life.

its oddly relaxing for long as they dont try to mindlessly chatter with me I can lay back and fall into a semi consious state while they take care of my teeth.

maybe if you go in and get everything done...and then go back every 6 months for cleanings and check ups things wont built up to be so bad and you wont hate it so much?

Lisa said...

Travis, I'm so glad you have great dental experiences.

I have to say, though, that Kristin's experience is more like my own. I do have a good (and very cute) dentist now, and that makes it much easier. Plus his associate is a BIG believer in LOTS of nitrus oxide gas. So, I'm high as a kite, floating through the atmosphere when the big stuff happens. And, it doesn't take that long to come down, so you can drive afterwards.

Hang in there, Kristin!

Kristin said...

Ohhhhh Lisa the dentist you recommended is CUTE? Now I definately have to make appointment. Floating through space on nitrus oxide, staring at a cute dentist doesn't seem that bad.

McJumpguez said...

I've never had a problem with going to the dentist. I don't mind it so much. Isaiah on the other hand, is terrified, and I think like you, has only gone a handful of times. We know he needs cleanings, we know he needs his wisdom teeth (then braces) out badly! But who can do that when you don't have health insurance and you're a student. Our health care sucks!

Dan-Eric Slocum said...

Do it now Kristin, while you're young.

I don't like it any more that you do and I'm there every week or so. I spend so freakin' money there because insurance covers so very little. But if I had it to do all over again, I'd have been meticulous about my dental care.

Go for it. Fillings beat root canals-- and root canals beat implants and implants beat dentures.

I'd go with fillings Love you!