Friday, October 10, 2008

Clean Teeth and Pig Noses

I am phobic—completely, totally, and absolutely AFRAID—of dentists. Periodically, my fear of losing my teeth dukes it out with my fear of the dentist and wins by a TKO.

I TiVO "The View" nearly every day. (Their political debates are great comedy/high drama.) Not long ago, Whoopi G. said she'd put off going to the dentist so long she had to have a root canal and is losing her two front teeth.

I'd been obsessing about my front teeth for weeks. Months, maybe. Every night when I settled down to sleep, the first five or ten minutes were a jumble of being aware of my front teeth in some strange, I-can-feel-them-and-you-shouldn't-feel-your-teeth way. Then my tooth/dentist fears sparred while I studied faces in the crowd.

So, when Whoopi looked into the camera and told me to get my chicken butt into that chair ASAP (maybe not her exact words), I did. Literally got up and drove to the dentist right that very moment. They gave me an appointment the next day.

Letting them clean my teeth required nitrus. I kid you not. And even that required serious survival meditation. After I explained my terror, they suggested the nitrus. I thought I'd try without but the first time the hygienist poked me with her little silver pick, I raised my hand like a kindergartner needing to pee.

"Can I have the drugs now, please?"

The dentist himself was summoned. (Only he is allowed to dispense courage in its gaseous form.) He strapped a large black rubber pig nose onto my face and disappeared into another torture chamber treatment room.

What with my pneumonia and all, breathing through the huge rubber pig nose was almost worse than doing the dentist naked a bit strange. I raised my hand again to protest but scratched my ear instead. Simply could not be the girl who's terrified of harmless hygienists AND black rubber pig noses.

By concentrating on slow, even breaths, I managed to deal. Pretty soon I didn't care about the enormous metal shiv she was sticking into my brain pain.

Turns out my front teeth are just fine but I have two cavities, my first since I was 15 years old. Going back next week for fillings.

Have mercy.


Carrie Wilson Link said...

ROFL! I vote for you to be a guest on "The View!"

Michelle O'Neil said...

Mercury free porcelin fillings, right brave girl?

kario said...

Thank God for nitrous!

My youngest loves it - she asks for it every time she goes to the dentist even though she's not the least bit afraid. She just loves the way it makes her giggle.

Deb said...

Only you could make abject terror this funny! So proud of you for your courage. I'd love to see you and Whoopi exchange stories!

Stacy said...

OMG! I am right there with you. I have had my cheek and lip drilled twice. The Novocaine does NOT work on me anymore and the nitrous gives me waking nightmares. Horrendous I tell you- brush with baking soda and peroxide only and you will most likely never have another cavity. I promise.

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