Today I had my first dental filling. I managed to go 24 years without a cavity… Ok, that’s not entirely true but it’s kind of complicated. This particular cavity has been there for years and the couple of dentists I’d been to said it’s not really a cavity it’s just a soft spot, whatever the heck that means. It probably could have gone forever and not gotten filled. The keyword there though is probably so, when I went in for my dental exam the other day, my dentist suggested we just go ahead and fill it so I don’t have to worry about it.
I’m not sure where I developed my phobia of the dentist. As a kid I loved going. I’m weird about my teeth though. I’m also terrified of needles. Like hardcore. I’ve been known to pass out at the sight of my own blood so shots and needles freak me out. I kid you not, after I made the appointment for the filling, I literally had nightmares where the dentist was trying to stick a gigantic needle in my mouth and I was fighting her off. Ridiculous? Yes.
All morning I was fighting off tears and shaking. I felt so stupid for being so scared but I was. I had no idea what to expect and while Joel tried to comfort me I didn’t believe that he’d rather get a shot in the mouth than in his arm. Yeah. Right. I can’t think of anywhere I’d want a needle less than in my mouth. He was super sweet and calmed me down a lot. He even skipped staff lunch and took me to my appointment. Have I mentioned I have the best husband ever? Just checking.
My dentist is a lady and she is super nice. Dr. Nice* explained everything before it happened and the reason for it. She also could tell I was freaking terrified. My legs were visibly shaking in the chair. *facepalm* She thought, since my cavity/soft spot thingy was so small, she could fill it without even numbing me. That was good news to me since that equaled no needles coming anywhere near my mouth. Win! She started drilling which was… ok… for a few seconds but then, I definitely felt it. Ouch. She picked up on the flinch and stopped immediately.
“Looks like I’m going to have to numb you.”
And then I died.
The needle was just as giant as in my nightmares. Seriously? That thing is going in my mouth? I had flashbacks to my nightmare and pictured swatting it away. Of course in my dream that didn’t go well and the needle ended up in my leg so I decided against trying it in real life. As the needle went into my mouth I close my eyes and squeezed the chair for dear life… and… it wasn’t that bad.
Joel was right (but don’t tell him I said so)
After enough time passed to let my mouth go numb Dr. Nice returned and tried drilling again. It was so weird to be able to feel the drill but not feel it. Those of you that have had dental work will understand. Then she hit another spot. And I flinched. Because ow! Apparently one shot wasn’t going to cut it. Greaaaat. Luckily my mouth was numb enough that I couldn’t really feel the second dose.
This time after the ten minutes or so of waiting was up I could tell my mouth was really numb. Before it was just kind of tingly, like when your leg falls asleep. This time it didn’t feel like it was connected to my body anymore. I didn’t even know when the drill hit my tooth. That’s how it supposed to be. Dr. Nice finished up and sent me on my way. Paying the receptionist I felt like a drooling fool though. We also discussed my appointment for my wisdom teeth extraction. That’s a whole different set of stress for me that will go into another blog post I’m sure.
My mouth slowly went back to normal. At around 7:30pm my phone rang. It was Dr. Nice! She called me from her cell phone to make sure my tooth felt ok because she knew how scared and stressed I was about it. Maybe I’m just not up on dentistry but I definitely didn’t expect that. I felt like it was going way above and beyond. The conversation was short but she told me that I wasn’t crazy for being so scared (thanks, I know I am) and said I could call her cell if I ever had any questions.
Next Tuesday I’m having my wisdom teeth taken out which I’m sure is going to be a whole load of fun. Dr. Nice isn’t doing it so I hope I’m lucky and get a talented and understanding oral surgeon. I also hope that is the last dental work I’ll ever have to have, even if it is from Dr. Nice. As great as she is, I’d rather just have a cleaning.
*not her actual name