Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Upkeep and Molars and Their Relations

Everyone has something to say when it comes to teeth. Everyone. They talk about their wisdom teeth, braces, or knocking their teeth out as kids; there's always something. So there I was at my yearly dental check up, on the second floor looking at the vast Columbia River waiting for my name to be called. I amused myself by flipping through a shallow magazine.

Two months prior to this check up I had been flossing, when suddenly a tiny morsel of my tooth succumbed to the force of gravity. "Oh no!" I thought. "This is like one of those dreams where all your teeth start falling out." Only, this was different because it was actually happening but only a tiny morsel came out rather then a full tooth. This morsel of tooth falling out created a hole. I have spent the last two months sticking my tongue in that hole for fun, however, I knew I needed to get this taken care of as soon as possible or the tooth might decay. That could cause havoc, and who has time for havoc? One can’t go around with holes in their molars.

Most people despise these dental visits. Some people fear the noise of the drill; others hate the vacuum or that thing that squirts water. What I hate however, is that crude hook they use. They go about prodding at my teeth and I’m never quite sure why. I hate the sound it makes as they scrape your teeth. It’s like nails to a chalkboard. When the lovely assistant came upon the hole in my molar she told me a filling had fallen out. That was reassuring; at least it was a filling and not my tooth deciding to dispose of itself.

I was scheduled to come back in one hour to get the hole filled. My sister, my mom, and myself went off to the bakery for lunch, where we bumped into two relatives and enjoyed casual conversation over a vegetarian lunch. But time ran away and I had to be off to my doomed appointment.

It's at this point things get a bit more traumatic. I was lying down in the dentist chair, my body erect with anxiety. This massive needle was coming at my face. The dentist stuck the needle in my mouth and started pulling on my lips, the pain increased and then slowly decreased again, there was a bitter taste in my mouth. Then, the whole right side of my face was numb. The drilling began, my mouth started to get tired of being open and then I was done. The whole time whilst at the dentist it is helpful to remind oneself "This too shall pass." And, it did.