Friday, June 29, 2012

Catching Up...

I have so much catching up to do on this blog! Time just gets away from me, between work and trying to spend time with my kid and my husband, working on the gardens, working on my beadwork...

Did I ever really think that I'd have time to do the farmer's markets again this summer? Pshyeah.

Yesterday, I had to have a molar pulled. It was full of old fillings. My dentist originally thought I just needed a root canal and a crown on it, but then when it became infected, he took another look and decided that no, there were just too many fillings in this tooth for him to do a root canal. He was afraid that if he tried to do the root canal, what was left of the tooth would just crumble. So he recommended that I have it yanked out. Oh, joy.

Thankfully, it was a back molar, so no harm, no foul.

He sent me to a new oral surgeon in town, who just opened up an office right below theirs. I have to admit: I was nervous going into this when I met her. She was younger than me. Her bio said that she graduated med school in 2006 and dental school in 2009. So she's been practicing for a grand total of 3 years.

Ouch. I told her when I got there that getting numb was the worst part of any dental work for me, and I begged her to go slow and easy with the Novocain injection.

If her idea of "slow and easy" was to just JAM that needle into the soft, cushy tissue of my lower jaw, well, then I guess she did okay.

Honestly, I am not exaggerating. I have had a lot of dental work done in my life. I have had several root canals. And I have had two dentists who gave absolutely painless injections of Novocain - and I'm not kidding when I say "painless".

The first was an endodentist who happened to also be a client at the veterinary practice where I worked. She did the first root canal I ever needed when I was about 24, and when she gave me that injection, I didn't even know it until my lip went numb. Fantastic!

The second was my wonderful dentist in AuSable Forks who retired while I was pregnant with Colden. He was a former Navy dentist who worked with the guys in Viet Nam. These guys,  he said, were already suffering so much from head and facial wounds that he decided to learn how to give painless injections so that they would have minimal discomfort when he worked on them. I loved this dentist, and I was seriously ready to bribe him to come to my house to treat me when I heard that he had retired. When he gave me an injection, I never felt it. Ever.

This oral surgeon? Apparently, she was more interested in muscling through the procedure than my comfort, it seemed.

It was the first time I actually HEARD the Novocain being squirted into my face. And it hurt. It hurt like hell. Make no mistake - I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. The strongest painkillers I took after I had Colden were Ibuprofen and Tylenol. I can cope with a pretty high level of pain.

But this was just beyond anything I had ever experienced.

It took forty five freaking minutes for her to get me numb. At one point, I was gagging on the needle she had in my mouth, and when I begged her to stop for a second so I could catch my breath, she said, "No, uh-uh, sorry, hon, we gotta get through this."

I felt like saying, "Fuck you, *I* have to get through this!" I was in such discomfort, the dental assistant began to cry. Yeah. (My apologies for the f-bomb. But this was some serious pain.)

She finally got me numb enough to start working, and in less than three minutes, she had the offending tooth removed. That simple.

She was amazed at how easy it was to work on me once I was numb, and I repeated to her that getting me numb is ALWAYS the worst/hardest part of dental work for me. I said once I'm numb, everything is easy, but it's just those damn injections of Novocain that get me. She said to me, "Well, removing the tooth - there's a little bit of skill involved in that."

I felt like saying, "Yeah, and you need to work on your skills when it comes to injecting Novocain into your patients so that you don't have to scrape them off the ceiling before you even start working on them."

I paid my bill and left, went home to recuperate and rest. The good news is that the tooth came out clean, no stitches required. The bad news is that today, most of my pain is from where she jammed that freaking needle into my jaw over and over in an attempt to deaden the nerve.

I guess the other bit of good news is that now that I have this tooth taken care of, I need one more filling and two bridges done to have a set of healthy teeth again. Huzzah!

Now, where's my applesauce...?


Sig Wynne-Evans said...

oooooohhhhhhhh BRUTAL!!! YOU POOR THING!! My mouth hurts just reading about your experience.

I still travel 85 miles to see my dentist. Tried one here in town, but it was a nightmare (not as bad as yours by any shot). I told my dentist that if I should ever have the luck to move to the Greek Islands, I would still come to see him.

VanBeads said...

So you totally understand why I wanted to bribe that one guy to come out of retirement, just to treat me! Thankfully, my regular dentist, while he doesn't give painless injections, can tolerate my insanity in the chair, so I stick with him. But his injections certainly don't feel as bad as these did!