Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ya Think?

We have a new dentist. I told him the first time I saw him that I was hard to numb. I've always been told this by past dentists, and notes have been made on my permanent record. Some dentists seemed to take my lack of numbness as a personal affront, like I was doing it on purpose. Anyway, I don't know why I'm hard to numb, it's just another thing that makes me quirkily charming.

So he "deep cleaned"(yes, just like carpets) three parts of my mouth last year. No problems - I numbed up just fine, listened to my iPod and thought, "Why am I so afraid of the dentist? This is a piece of cake." We postponed the left bottom row until today, and planned to do a filling replacement. No big deal.

If I ever again have any dental work on the bottom left molar, remind me that that particular tooth never completely numbs and it should only be touched if I am completely under.

One dentist (probably the last time this tooth was worked on) told me that he couldn't give me any more Novocain and if the last shot didn't work, I'd have to get a general. I only remembered that after this new guy had given me six shots of Novocain and my tongue wasn't numb yet. "That's weird, the tongue is usually the first to get numb," he kept saying, like I'd have an explanation for him. "Sorry," I said.

Meanwhile, my lip was drooping down to my chin because it was about 5 times its normal size. Or felt like that, anyway. (Yes, it's 6 hours later and I'm still drooling. The lip numbs just fine, thanks).

He shrugged, started drilling and I leaped out of the chair and through the ceiling.

"Now I remember," I told him. "Last time I got a filling in this tooth it never got completely numb. I just had to soldier through."

Soldier through? Right after I said it, I thought, "Where did I come up with that?" And I tried to distract myself by coming up with another way to say the same idea, and I couldn't think of anything. Bite the bullet? What am I, a WWII fighter pilot?

Anyway, I had to grip my shirt with both fists, clench my eyes shut and soldier through him doing his best Sir Lawrence Olivier impression by drilling directly on my tooth nerve. It was a little numb, but it still hurt. And you know how when the dentist starts drilling and you're afraid you're not numb yet and you're waiting for that stabbing pain? I kept anticipating it getting worse and sending me through the ceiling again, so I was a little tense.

As I unclenched every muscle of my body and staggered out of the office, a light bulb went on over his head and he said, "Hey! Maybe that's why you have a phobia of dentists!"


Deirdre said...

Oooh, ouch. Sorry.

I've had the hard-to-numb, chair-leaping experience. It's not fun.

Beastarzmom said...

Must run in the family. I always hear that "OK, now I see here I have to give you LOTS of anesthetic." And how they gave me enough to numb a 300# linebacker. and on and on. It gets tiring. But I don't have a tooth that doesn't numb at all. I'm sorry for you. That just isn't good.

Sarah O. said...

I also need lots of novacaine. That first shot serves only as a mild number for the second one.

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