Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Trip to the Dentist

I have a dental appointment this morning to have the prep work done for my very first crown.  I had a root canal done in late March and I'm finally getting around to getting this part of the work done. I blame the delay on my ADD. Most of the day, my teeth are out of sight, out of mind. It's only in the very early morning and at bedtime as I'm brushing (and flossing!) that I remember.

And I shouldn't use ADD as the full excuse because, just like maybe 99% of non-dentists, non-dental hygienists and non-orthodontists, going to the dentist is not something I really look forward to.javascript:void(0)

or maybe I should blame it on painful childhood memories.

My childhood dentist was a gentleman named Dr. VonBerg. He was always old and I think his nurse was his wife. Up until the time I was about 12, I rarely had cavities (I credited it to the apple tree in our backyard - why? I have no idea). At age 13, I had to get braces put on and I had to have four teeth pulled prior to the installation. That was when my view of Dr VonBerg went from old, gentle guy to very scary guy with long needles. On the day of my first extraction and about 15 minutes after I got my first shot of novacaine, he realized that he had numbed the wrong side.

I was also the worst patient for my orthodontist. I got the braces on when I was 13 and didn't get them off until I was 18. I would always forget to wear my headgear! My monthly appointment was always the same - Dr. Sletten would ask me about the head gear and I would lie and say, "I wear it every night."

I think he tried reverse psychology on me the final year by telling me that I was so close and if I wore my headgear faithfully for the next month, he would take them off the next month.  Sorry, Dr. Sletten, reverse psychology doesn't work on ADD girl.

I finally got my braces off and was amazed at the feeling of my lips sliding down my teeth without get caught in the barb wire. My teeth were nice and straight (my parents were about $1200 poorer) and I've liked my smile ever since.

So, when I started having pain in one of my teeth, my current dentist said that there were two possible options - they could do a root canal and then I would get a crown OR they would have to pull the tooth and I would have to get a bridge.

Absolute mortification! The idea of losing a tooth and looking like a hillbilly with missing teeth was giving me nightmares. And it didn't help that my mom has bridges and when she's tired of having them in her mouth, she'll just pull them out and put them on the end table in her living room. (We always call in advance of bringing guests to visit her and tell her to make sure her teeth are in)

So, off I go to the dentist and hope it will be somewhat pain-free. I'm thinking the most painful part is paying the bill "at the time of service." 


Ruby Leigh said...

Hmm... forgetting to wear head gear reminds me why I use a once-monthly BC(instead of once-daily), and yes I have hard time remembering this too. Hopefully that isn't TMI.

Elizabeth Harty said...

Nah, that's not TMI. It's certainly a common issue.

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