Dental Avoidance

I think I mentioned last week sometime that I have this ungodly fear of the dentist.

So here’s the deal.  Back in ’87, I was stationed at xxx Air Force Base. (Ok, *I* wasn’t, but my ex was.)  I had a really sore tooth, and it turned out that it was an impacted wisdom tooth on the lower right side.  I went ahead, made the appointment and saw the base dentist. He recommended a course of antibiotics, and scheduled me to have said tooth pulled.

I showed up at the appointed date and time, and was told, “This shouldn’t take but 5-10 minutes.” Bzzzzzt. Wrong answer, but thank you for playing our game.  Forty-five minutes later, I was still in the chair, had not only safety glasses on, but a towel over my eyes to protect me from shrapnel, I imagine.  I wasn’t Novocain’d enough, so experienced quite a lot of pain.  The sounds that tooth made as it shattered after thirty or so minutes of being jerked around was unsettling. I also had the pleasure of hearing about who each dental assistant had the pleasure of sleeping with the previous weekend.  The whole thing took about an hour, and I walked out of there looking like that side of my face had been hit by a train.  Thinking about it makes my palms sweat.  Do you know the dentist actually had the audacity to tell me that the wisdom tooth on the upper right side was in, and he’d be happy to pull it, because it would only grow down into the gum where the abscessed/impacted tooth had been.  I looked him straight in the eye, and while drooling, told him, “No thank you. I will take my chances.” Do you know that tooth is right where it was all of those many years ago?

I started working at the hospital back in ’01, and went ahead and got medical and dental insurance. Not sure why the dental insurance, because I’d promised myself that unless I broke a tooth or got one knocked out I wouldn’t go to the dentist unless I was drugged and hog-tied.  All 10.5 years that I’ve been there, I’ve kept that insurance.

Glad that I did, tho, because I saw yesterday’s bill before insurance. Holy crap!

But, as I blogged last week, I did break a tooth, turned out there was a pretty impressive hidden cavity in that tooth that required a root canal. When I went to the dentist’s office, I told them straight up that I was the biggest chickensh*t EVER to cross their threshold, after my 1987 experience.  They assured me that if I would come Thursday afternoon before three, they would give me a sedative to take an hour before my appointment, if I could have someone drive me up and home. No problem. They also told me they would do the whole laughing gas-thing, and I told them I didn’t care WHAT they did, provided I didn’t care what they were doing.  They told me this would not be a problem.

So, my stomach in knots, only one cup of coffee and NO food in me (not much caffeine, and an empty stomach if I wanted the Halcyon tablet to work properly), I arrived at the day job. The girls knew I was spazzing, as I didn’t say much. Until I took that sedative. That stuff works FAST.  Within ten to fifteen minutes I was laughing over nothing.  A photographer friend of mine from the warehouse next door came to ask me something about a light cord for his flash, and I told him I was loopy, and probably wouldn’t give him a good answer. He asked what was up and I told him I was on a sedative for a root canal. And then…*sigh* I looked at him and stated, totally seriously, that there was about to be a party in my mouth within the hour.  It didn’t seem the wrong thing to say at the time, but then he burst out laughing.  I thought about it for a moment, and realized I had just put something professionally inappropriate into the universe and laughed until I almost peed my pants.

Needless to say, Johnny came to get me and delivered me to the dental office.  I don’t really remember a whole lot. I felt like I had been in the chair maybe 30 minutes, when it was really over three hours. I think I slept pretty well.  I also found out later, that I had “drunk texted” my administrative assistant with the following picture and interaction:

Me to my Admin. Assistant: Ong! Blah aha (translated, I assume meant OMG, Bwahahahah!)

Admin. Assistant: Laughing with u not at u.  R U finished?

Me: No but it’s ok. Not scared at all anymore.

Admin. Assistant: Good.

An hour later:

Me: Almost like a spa lol

Admin. Assistant: Still there?


Sedative and Laughing Gas - No laughing matter

Please take my cell phone next time, ok?

Me: Bwahaja. Is ok. U can laff

Admin. Assistant: How cute!!! and i did laugh.

So I got home sometime after 1:30 or two, and have a vague recollection of calling my Admin. to let her know I was home safe, and she was laughing about my texts.  I have NO recollection. Note to self: Give driver phone before getting in chair. *sigh*

I also learned this morning that I told them all I loved them as I was being helped out the door on my way to the Dentist.

Needless to say, I slept my tail off all afternoon, all evening, and like a baby all night.

I am no longer skeered of the Dentist. 🙂  Yay, Me!  I’ve overcome every fear I have pretty much had since 1987. 🙂


PS…They gave me this fluoride rinse afterward. I swished, and since the left side of my face was numb, I spewed fluoride rinse all over my sweet, purple bib. LOL….I was awake enough to be embarrassed, LOL. 🙂

About Julie the Workaholic

Mom of three (grown) sons and one (grown) step-daughter, wife of one, friend of many, and owned by seven 4-legged critters, writer, photographer, friend, huge fan of life, and most of all, lover of all things beautiful .….Getting healthy, and hoping to make a dent in the world in a most positive way! (And then there's my alter-ego, the Workaholic, who is me, just unfiltered.)
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9 Responses to Dental Avoidance

  1. Pingback: Never a Dull Moment… | Random Musings From a Type-A Workaholic

  2. joyful2bee says:

    Great story, Julie!! Dental medicine has come a long way, hasn’t it! Thank God!! What a terrible experience you had originally! There ought to be a law against dentistry like that! I have a great dentist too. Good for you. “I am woman hear me roar!!”

  3. Rea Ball says:

    It took me coming to Okinawa before I found a dentist that didn’t make me freak out. Of course it was after an abscessed tooth requiring a root canal during our road trip from Virginia to Miami with a 4-month old that this most beautiful man came into my life. The dentist for the root canal…he was a sadist, pure evil! No laughing gas or any drugs that made me profess my love to anyone. I’m pretty sure I did drop F-bombs on the way out of his office, because I hated life that day.

    Glad your experience was better than mine!

    • Argggggghhhhh! Now see? Your experience is the kind that make people shun the dentist.

      I am SOOOOOO thankful that I found mine…Took the fear right out of it. (Of course, being looped didn’t hurt, LOL…)

    • Bwahahaha! And if you had MY dentist there would be no pain. 🙂 I have some MAD love for my dentist’s office. 🙂 And my dental assistant will totally hold you up when you do your absolute best Weeble impression. AND affectionately refer to you as Dopey, LMAO!

    • OMG….Squirrel, you took the words right out of my mouth! I always referred to them as sadist prostitutes…you know, the ones that you PAY to HURT you? 🙂

      I’m ok, tho…I love my new dentist. Which is a good thing. I go back in three weeks for the real crown, and the results of my x-rays, which means I have a busted filling to fix, and more than likely a minimum of two more cavities to fill. They will give me gas for that, too. 🙂 Thank God for dental insurance!

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