Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Thursday, September 24, 2009

And then he grabbed the laser. . .

This post may not be for the weak of stomach. I spent four hours in the dentist's chair yesterday, and the only thing that got me through was composing the blogpost in my head. I lost a filling (shoddy thing. It's only been in there for fourty years. You'd think they would make things to last!)and when we got done with the x-rays, it turned out that the filling had fallen out because a seperate cavity had developed on the side of the tooth. Under the gum line, On the back of the last molar on the top right. So after prodding with steel picks into tender areas - "Does this hurt?" ("Unh-unh" is the only negative you can make with a mouthful of two hands, a dental mirror and a steel pick.)"How about - oh yes, I can see that it does."

What do you suppose could have indicated the pain? The strangled cry I made - something like a young moose with his cohones caught in blackberry brambles? Or the tears that squirted from my eyes? Or perhaps the fact that I levitated about three inches off the chair, stiff as a board and suddenly white as a sheet? Anyhow, the kindly dentist, who really is a sweet young man, decided to give me some pain killers at that point. He's very deft, for which I am profoundly grateful. And after that, of course, it got weird.

I could not have chosen a more inaccessible spot for a cavity. I wonder if dentists have to train by working inside a coffee mug with a mirror and drawing tiny little smiley faces with either hand? I was knitting as he worked and he remarked on my manual dexterity. Nothing, NOTHING compared to his!!

The cavity was clearly several millimeters below the gum line. How do you drill below the gum line? I was thinking it might be easier if they just pulled it out, fixed it up, and popped it back in. For them, it probably would have been. Instead, they fitted me up with a cheek shield, and a "dry-tab". Then he grabbed the laser. If you are squeamish, you should look away now. Lasers cauterize as they cut, so there was no bleeding, and the assistant was very deft with the water cooling system, so there was no sense of heat. But I smelled grilled steak, and my mouth started to water so hard it squirted. "Ah, the salivary glands are active," he remarked. I wanted to say, "I love a barbecue."

It's surprising how many muscles it takes to hold your mouth open. By the end of the fourth hour, as the Litocaine was wearing off, I realized I was clenching from my bunns up. When I finally got home, I was as weary as if I had worked all day, rather than just lying in a comfy chair for four hours. Litocaine, as it wears off, gives me the shakes. I was a pretty miserable looking creature by the time I got home. DH got home about two minutes after I did, took pity on me, fixed me noodle soup, and after my bath, rubbed my back with BenGay. I needed it.

This morning he asked how I was feeling. "Well, I held my mouth open for four hours yesterday and a had hole burned in my gum so they could build in a new filling. All things considered, I feel pretty good!" He laughed, hugged me, and we went off to work. Asprin is my friend today, and I remain fascinated by the fact that I smell like steak.


  • At 12:30 PM , Anonymous LindaG said...

    Poor babeeeeee!

  • At 4:40 PM , Blogger Rose Lefebvre said...

    Been there! I went in once with a toothache, found I had a cavity, and the dentist tried and tried to pull the tooth as he said it needed to come out.
    When it was obvious that it was not coming out (and I was crying in pain despite shots) he did a couple of xrays. It led to the discovery that 3 teeth had their roots entangled! So he had to gas me up and do oral surgery to remove all 3 teeth!! Since I could not afford any fake ones to go in on that side, I am toothless in that area of my mouth. Thank god it was not in the front, but on the left rear lower side.

  • At 9:36 AM , Blogger KnitTech said...

    It's funny how the doctor's and dentists are looking younger and younger.

    Hope you're feeling better. And yes Auntie, I'm working on his vest.

  • At 12:25 PM , Anonymous tlbwest said...

    Well, as Flanders and Swann tell us in "The Reluctant Cannibal", "if the Juju had meant us not to eat people he wouldn't have made us of meat."
    Of course I don't eat mammals (except when tempted beyond endurance by someone frying bacon), so it's all relative.
    Hope you feel better, poor baby.

  • At 7:59 PM , Blogger Julie said...

    AAAAH! Just read this. The combination of the title and the word 'dentist'. AAAH!

    Hope you're feeling better by now.


  • At 6:59 AM , Blogger Kate said...

    I have this paranoid fear of dentists, because I don't like the idea of someone being in one of my vulnerable, easily-injured parts fiddling around with drills and (ahh!) lasers if I can't see what they're doing. If they could just install a little camera or something and give me an explanation as they're working, I'd feel much better.
    Also, I don't like needles of the hypodermic kind, so getting novacaine and such are a panic attack in and of themselves.

  • At 4:05 PM , Blogger Alwen said...

    Mary Kingsley said the (cannibal) Fan tribesmen told her we were tasty.

  • At 8:13 PM , Blogger Amy Lane said...

    owie owie owie owie... OH BABY! That's AWFUL! But you're better than steak... you, darling probably smell like tasty, aged Prime Rib...


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