“We have nothing to fear but fear itself–and the dentist.” Someone other than Winston Churchill
THIS BLOG POST CONTAINS LARGE AMOUNTS OF SELF PITY
It says in the Bible that the sins of the father shall be visited even unto the seventh generation (or something like that) and I think it may be true. I have carefully avoided the dentist for most of my adult life, and now I’m paying for it. Sad part is, my daughter is apparently caught up in that whole seventh generation thing, too.
I’ve recently become more acquainted with the dentist than I ever wanted. A few grand later, I am now a great believer in the dentist. I’m a dental zealot. I will go to the dentist every six months until the day I die, even if my family has to roll me through the door in a hospital bed. I will never, ever, neglect my teeth again. My mouth, or my wallet, could not survive the trauma again. So, I’ve learned my lesson, right? End of story. Right? Right?!?
Evelyn’s feelings about the dentist transcend fear. She views the dentist office as some sort of torture chamber. She has to be held down, people are touching her head AND rooting around in her mouth. Now, since the routine cleaning thing isn’t traumatic enough, she is having some problems of an orthodontic nature. Her teeth are clean and healthy, and she has always gone to the dentist regularly, but they just aren’t where they should be. I won’t go into all of it–it’s too depressing. In short, she has a very small jaw (the medical term for that, folks, is micrognathia) and there just simply isn’t enough room for all of her teeth. So this time she had to have x-rays, which we never did before, and wasn’t that fun! She was already so royally pissed by the time the routine stuff started, the whole thing was a nightmare. We were all sweating, some of us (not naming names) were crying, and I was exhausted. Obviously, Evelyn won’t every be wearing braces, or an expander, or any of the various orthodontic equipment that would normally be used for someone with her dental problems. The best option for her will be to remove some teeth, but she has to have that surgically done (obviously), which means a trip to the hospital and general anesthesia.
Why of why must everything be so difficult for her? Look out, this is where the self-pity comes in–I don’t understand why she can’t ever get a break. Even dental procedures become an ordeal that involves the hospital, anesthesia risks, recovery, blah, blah, blah. Couldn’t one thing, just one damn little freaking thing be simple for her, and let’s be honest here, for me?
Okay, that’s all. I guess. I have no idea what the answer to any of those questions is, and I don’t think anyone else does, either, so there isn’t really a reason to ask them. I just have to look at the big picture, whatever the hell THAT means, and see that she will feel better when this is all over, and she will be happier if she’s asleep through the whole thing. Didn’t I have sedation through my extensive procedures? (Yes, I did.) What’s the difference? She won’t ever know a thing about any of it, and I’m sure that’s how she wants it.
Why are we all so afraid of the dentist? I have a healthy fear of the entire medical profession, but the dentist is in a class of his own. I have tattoos, I’ve had surgery, and still I sit in the dentist office waiting room with sweating palms, a pounding heart, and a racing mind. Beats me. Maybe because you’re awake for the actual stuff that’s happening, or maybe it’s something that’s just passed along from generation to generation. To be honest, I had little to no discomfort with all of the work I recently had done, and a toothache hurts WAY worse than anything the dentist has ever done, but still…….
There’s nothing for it, I guess. We’ll just have to be afraid. But do me (and yourself!) a favor and tough it out. I’m not much of an advice-giver, but I’ll give you some, and it’s a LOT cheaper than a visit to the dentist. Take care of your teeth. Really. Do it for me, or, if you don’t want to do that, do it for Evelyn. I guarantee she hates the dentist more than you do.