Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Uneasy Lies the Tooth...

Unlike the rest of you yuck mouths, I've never had a cavity. My secret is a four-part plaque attack plan that anyone can emulate: (1) Plax Pre-Rinse (2) Crest Toothpaste (if you're out of college, more affordable Aim if you ain't) (3) floss (4) Listerine Cool Mint mouthwash.

Twice a day, every day and you, too, can have a smile just like me.

Unless, of course, you need a crown.

Two weeks ago, during a routine cleaning, I complained of some "on-again, off-again" pain in one of my molars. The dentist took out a thin metal rod and touched each of my back teeth until she(!) found the sensitive one. From that point on, my occasional toothache turned acute. And, for the equivalent of a car payment, they could fix the constant pain that they created.

My appointment was for 3:00 PM this past Monday. These were the highlights:

During my 30 minute wait to actually get into the dentist's chair, I was treated to the soothing sounds of several small children screaming absolute bloody f*ckin' murder from behind the walls. Now, I was sitting right next to my then one-year-old son when Mrs. Bootleg clipped off the tip of his index finger while trimming his nails. And, I was also there when my kid's forehead clanged off the bottom of an open garage door during an ill-advised piggy back ride. Those screams from my son were tough to stomach, but these screaming dental victims nearly turned my stomach. Pure uncut terror, right there.

When I finally got in the chair, I tensed up from head to toe. It's a good thing that dentistry isn't exactly a drug-free profession:

"Aaron, we gave you a higher dose of (unpronounceable anesthetic) because our records show you required more than most patients. But, we changed from (unpronounceable anesthetic) to (a different unpronounceable anesthetic) about six months ago, so you probably didn't need as much as we gave you. Could you sign this consent form?"

In minutes, the entire right side of my head went numb…not just the mouth…half of my damn 7 ¾ hat size head. My right ear was tingling. Half of my scalp was tingling. It was like one of those corny, old "Head & Shoulders" commercials.

The smell of burning enamel is something I could've gone without for the rest of my life.

The whole ordeal took over two hours. The chick dentists seemed to get frustrated with me because I wasn't opening/closing my mouth fast enough when they told me to. I wanted to tell them that my reflexes had been slowed 50-60% from their illicit Novocain cocktail. They should've talked into the ear on the side of my head that hadn't suffered a faux stroke.

24 hours later, my whole head hurts and my mouth tastes of cloves, for some reason.

The permanent crown is coming on October 9th.

And, that's the tooth!



sean in accounting said...

I hope the crown solves the problem (cracked tooth?) for you, Cam. Mine didn't and I needed a root canal before the permanent crown went on. If that's what you need, I'm guessing it'll be a longer blog entry than this one.

Anonymous said...

Not that we don't appreciate your stories of mouth mutilation, but how about sharing the stories of how you and the wife mutilated your child?

You can't spell child abuse without C.P.S.