Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Tooth of the Matter

I had to get some fillings at the dentist's yesterday.

A lot of people tell me that the sound of a dentist's drill fills them with dread.  Me, I'm okay with the drill; my issue is that I'm terrified - terrified - of needles.  Especially the idea of needles in my mouth.  Once that part's over and I'm totally numbed, I can usually pretty much fall asleep during the rest of the procedure.  As long as I can't feel anything, it's all good.

Yesterday they gave me nitrous oxide for the first time ever in an attempt to lessen my fear of the Novocaine syringe.  Either they didn't give me enough of it or the stress chemicals in my brain cancelled it out, because the injections went the same as always: I hyperventilated and gripped my hands together really hard and fought the urge to tell the dentist and his assistant "OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU YOU'RE SO GOOD TO ME I LOVE YOU SO MUCH" (I also get this urge with tattoo artists while they're tattooing me.  I think it's a form of Stockholm syndrome).

Then the dentist left the room for a minute while the Novocaine took hold, and I told the dental assistant "My face is numb!" and started cackling like a lunatic and had to use every ounce of my willpower to force myself to stop.  Why hello there, nitrous oxide, nice of you to finally join us.

The rest of the appointment was uneventful.

Oh, btw, I asked the dentist if I could be exempted from flossing forever and ever by getting all my teeth pulled out and replaced with implants (theoretically!).  Implants, after all, would be impervious to cavities.  It would be like having SuperTeeth!  But alas, after looking alarmed and then laughing a lot, the dentist said I'd still have to floss to maintain my gum health.  So in case you were wondering, flossing is pretty much non-negotiable as long as you have teeth of any kind.



  1. I have an extremely gentle dentist and a high pain threshold; I don't get Novocaine (because the face numbness is annoying) and I still fall asleep.

  2. I'm so jealous! I have a low pain threshold, I think. Or rather, I feel both pleasant and unpleasant sensations much more intensely than average. Generally I think the awesome aspects of this arrangement outweigh the horrible ones...but ask me again next time I'm in the dentist's chair. :P