Wednesday, May 11, 2011


today i got fillings for the first time in about twelve years. i can't say that i wasn't nervous, because i was. i didn't really know what to expect! when i was ten i was unaware and unafraid of my teeth being drilled into, because i didn't know what the fuck they were doing in there. and, i knew now that i'm twenty-two, i definitely wouldn't get to pick three stickers from the sticker rolls on the wall afterwards. at my ripe old age i had to prepare myself. i ate a bunch of snacks before i left and put on my most comfortable clothes and my purple toque, as i planned to come home and nap off the numbing and possible yucky pain. i got into the chair and busied myself by staring at the pictures of eight very attractive men and women who i assume are my dentist's daughters, sons and "people-in-laws", all with perfect smiles and great airbrushing (i hope). i told the dental assistant that i was sort of nervous, and she passed this on to my new dentist, who has already begun to pronounce my first name incorrectly. thanks. really. i didn't even bother correcting him, and neither did the helper who actually asked me how to say it when i first came in.

she got me ready by clamping some sort of metal apparatus onto the teeth that were to be filled. then, she fit a stretchy purple sheet with holes onto the teeth, which she said was to prepare the area, but i'm pretty sure is for keeping rogue tongues down. (my overactive tongue was once made fun of at the dentist when i was a child, and i've been over aware of it ever since). then, she put some sort of "Y"-shaped metal thing onto my mouth, no doubt to hold it open. then my dentist came and started right away. he told me to close my eyes (the saint), and i knew that the needle was comin' right up. i was told later that they don't even like to use the word needle, and i wondered if i've freaked out any other crazy-ass patients. i felt only pinches, and his hands jabbing and shaking the needle in, but i still held on to the arm rests for good measure. even though my eyes are closed, my sense of touch was ready as ever, and i felt the thin piece of cool steel against my lip, which was not worse than seeing but was still kind of gross and unfortunate. my lip, tongue and teeth were increasing in size (in my head) and i was ready for action.

then came the drilling. i don't know if i remembered the noise from when i was a kid--it was quite loud and jarring. moreso than the sound of the crazy cleaner they use on those lesser anxiety-ridden dentist trips. there was a lot of pressure, and i visualized holes in my two back molars, but also unfortunately, i thought of his hand slipping and my gums or roots being terribly and horrifically STABBED. accidents happen, right? even to dentists, and beautiful, intelligent young women. he drilled and scraped for about a million years, and mentioned to whoever was listening (me? the assistant? the guy in the next room?) that he has to drill a lot because my cavities were quite bad, deep, brown, gross, et cetera. i also thought i heard something about a "crown bridge thingyouknowwhatimean", and i got really sad. i wished again that i had perfect teeth, and this was just getting worse by the second. then i guess he thought it was time to teach me a lesson, because he gave me a mirror, and made me LOOK AT MY GAPEY TEETH and SEE HOW MUCH I SUCK. it felt strange to look into those holes, like indiana jones-style caves. spooky, kinda i swear, he probably does this to everyone to make his patients brush better, or something. does he just want to "drill" it into us? okay, i'll brush for ten minutes instead of five minutes! i thought i was doing okay, but he has definitely crushed my dreams.

the rest went by in a rush. there was a ton of scraping and drilling, but then there was filling, i'm guessing, and some sort of light for a quick dry/to blind me. then, as the sun broke through the clouds, they snapped off the clampers, pulled off the mysterious purple stretchy cloth, and i was done. the assistant helped me wipe my mouth and was really nice to me. and she knew how to say my name. (ooh nah nah). i have some possible other problems, but they can wait. she told me to be careful, because some older dude bit his cheek really hard when he was still frozen, and was kinda fucked. oh shit! i thought.

my fillings are nice and white, and my face is basically back to normal from talking on the phone (because we think the two are related). and i'm going to brush better, i swear! i feel like this kick in the pants has given me a new lease on life. maybe i'll start with it once my teeth stop hurting. maybe i will be able to eat ice cream again one day without my filled teeth being crazy sensitive! maybe i will live to see another day.

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