Friday, April 11, 2008

The Devil's Dentist

I had to go to the Dentist yesterday. Such a joyful experience. My Dentist is actually a very nice guy. He has a smiley face, glasses, looks like a mopheaded giant cherub. Until he gets you in the chair. And then he is possessed by Satan. The mild mannered Clark Kent disguise is just a facade. I believe he derives a sick satisfaction from watching me squirm frantically in his chair. I have finally deciphered his sick code.

It doesn't hurt means It's gonna really hurt
It might hurt means You are going to cry.
This will hurt means The pain is so bad it will give you diarrhea, possibly in your pants. This is why the chair is covered in plastic.

Last week I went in for a regular cleaning and was told that I needed a deep tissue gum cleaning in order to get rid of gum disease and keep all my teeth. When your dentist asks you if you want to keep all your teeth, you answer yes, right? Don't worry, he says, you're gonna thank me for this.

Here's the thing, you need to get 4 needles in your mouth to be able to withstand deep tissus gum cleaning. And it is so bad, they make you do it on two separate days, one side of the mouth at a time.

Wait a minute, if this is a cleaning, why do I need shots? Seriously I hate shots in my gums. I can take any needle in my body but a needle in my gum is the most horrendous thing. The only thing worse would be a needle in my eyeball as I watched.

We need to remove all the diseased gum and so we have to give you some anesthesia. Dr. Evil says, right as he jabs a 4 inch needle into the lower gum, jawline. HOld still, he says, you are making it worse.

I'M MAKING IT WORSE?!!!! IS HE (word censored) ME?!!! Not only has he jabbed a 4 inch needle in my mouth, but now he is moving it around WHILE IT IS STILL INSERTED IN MY MOUTH!!! as he squirts the medicine all over my gum line. The anesthesia works so quickly that my lip instantly sags to my chest and my eyeball is numb.

Dr? My eye is numb! I say. But what comes out is. Dorrer, mah ah zzzz umm.

I am fairly sure he doesn't understand what I am saying but he says, Don't worry, it's normal.

My eyeball is frozen in place and feels like someone took it out and replaced it with a large marble but apparently it is normal.

My mouth is filled with water and the incessant scraping of his dental cleaning instruments of torture fill my ears when suddenly I jump. Ow! Why isn't my anesthesia working?

"Oh did that hurt?" Why no! Of course not! I slid down half the length of the chair because it's more comfortable sitting with my butt hanging off the end of the chair.

"Imagine how bad it would have been without anesthesia!" Har har. I imagine I would be dead.

Gargle, gargle, mmmmphhh, spray gargle, blah blah, gargle.

Translation - perhaps we should wait for the anesthesia to kick in some more.

"It'll be fine! Open your mouth nice and wide. There you go, good girl," he says.

OWWWWWWWWWWWW! GRRRRR, spit bubble, dribble, gargle, mmmmphhp, spray, MMMMMMPPHPHHPHPH, ARGH!!! I am insistent.

"Are you sure that hurt? You should be quite numb by now. Hmm, let's suction your mouth."

He gives me the suction to suck out all the water and debris but doesn't give me a chance to respond before shoving his instruments and that damn water pick back in my mouth.

"Gosh that's disgusting. You can't believe the amount of diseased gum I am picking out right now! You will be thanking me when you are 70 and eating with all your teeth."

Thanks are just not what is coming to mind for me right now. And why is it that Dentists feel they must sustain a conversation with you during a dental procedure when they've got their hands down your throat?

When we are all done, he asks, "There, that wasn't so bad was it?"

I want to scream at him. I want to curse him for the horrible pain he has caused me. But all that comes out is a long stringy line of drool.

"Oh here, let me mop that up for you. You have quite a lot of drool there. Do you have a drooling problem while you sleep?"

Drool is the least of my problems. The whole right side of my face feels like it is melting off. My eye is still numb, I cannot move it. I now have a lazy eye. I need to stare to my left to compensate, otherwise I would walk in circles. My left eye has decided to twitch at this juncture. So now I have a twitchy left eye and a lazy right eye, I am drooling from a fat lip that hangs down past my chin and my right nostril has begun to drip, which I am only aware of because it is dripping onto my fat lip and I can taste something salty.

"You did great! Let's schedule an appointment to finish the whole procedure for next week!" he says with a great big jovial smile.

Maybe dentures wouldn't be such a bad thing.


Anonymous said...

Oh man! my mouth hurts just reading this...
My chin and lower jaw are still numb from when I had my wisdom teeth removed in the military in 1972 - us E-3's didn't get the nice anesthesia that civilians got...

Anonymous said...

I read your story in true HORROR. But this was when I started to laugh: But all that comes out is a long stringy line of drool.

Ello, this was brilliant.

And you conclusion hits me right on the nail. Or on the gums.

*still shivering*

Anonymous said...

Poor Ello: I laughed my way through your story, but something like this is only funny AFTER the fact. I had a root canal done the last year I was in Japan, but I didn't figure out that it was a root canal per se until it was almost done. Dental visits in Japan are dragged out for maximum financial gain (for the dentist, of course), and mine took about twelve visits in all. On the third to the last visit, it suddenly hit me. I asked the dentist if he was doing a root canal and he gave me the funniest look. "What did you think I was doing?" Boy, I'm glad I didn't know earlier.

I tell dentists and doctors to warn me when it's going to hurt; that if they tell me it won't and it does, I'll be pissed off. That usually does the trick, especially when I fix them with my eye (the one that doesn't work on kids seems to work okay on doctors and dentists).

Anonymous said...

Ello: My prof is a forensic dentist.. he goes into prisons all the time to take court ordered bite mark impressions... if the prisoner gives him a hard time... he's quite gleefully nasty in return... in a dentist-y torturesome kind of way.


Feel better.

I'm gonna go floss now.

Anonymous said...


You hit my one fear spot on! I absolutely hate dentists. I can feel your pain.

I've had wounds stitched without anesthesia and I'd rather do that than sit in a dentist chair!

If I were ever captured, all the enemy need do to interrogate me is sit me in a dentist chair. I'll tell them everything and even make some stuff up!


Anonymous said...

Oh God Ello - you have touched on a deep vein of fear there! Sorry I laughed but you are so good at telling a story!
When I was 9 I broke a molar and had to have an extraction. The roots of my teeth (to quote my late mother) are anchored to the Queen Mary. He waited the normal minute or two for the anaesthetic to take and then went to work pulling the tooth. I screamed and cried that it hurt but was told - "It can't possibly hurt" and he carried on. My mouth and face froze in the car on the way home. I have since found out that it takes quite a while and normally two injections to freeze my jaw. Now if I can manage, it I just use the gel.
I just had my teeth cleaned and she had to go up under the gum. It was deeply unpleasant but I'd rather do that than lose my teeth. Still!
June is my next appointment with pain!!

Anonymous said...

"Deep tissue gum cleaning" just reading that sounds not fun.

Good post. Funny but horrifying at the time I'm sure. I hope it feels better now and you have your real eyeball back, not that marble they put in :)


Anonymous said...

Now that's true horror.

Anonymous said...

I can sympathize with you. I had the same denist from age ten until 4 years ago. He ALWAYS hurt me. He could rarely make me go "numb" without a multitude of shots, and then I could still feel the drill. I had tears everytime I went, and high anxiety before every visit...not to mention the price I PAID for the torture.

Imagine my "fear" when I headed down to Mexico to get my mercury fillings removed and replaced. I made four visits to in the Tijuana denist in 6 days. The shots didn't hurt due to his technique. He used a fraction of the "numbing juice," and I could hardly tell he worked in my mouth...pain-wise. AND he charged $50 a tooth...period. No consultation fees. No extras.

I was amazed!

Anonymous said...

I wanted to laugh, but I'm curled in this fetal position and sucking my thumb.

This is why I go to the dentist once every seven years. That is what they recommend, right?


Anonymous said...

I just went to the dentist a few weeks ago and he told me I need two crowns. Can you say big bucks?

Of course, if I had gone to the dentist when I was supposed to, I probably wouldn't NEED the crowns...

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid to read all of this because I'm afraid if I go to the dentist he will want to do this to ME. I thought you were a humor writer but you sure have a knack for horror.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God! The whole time I was reading this I kept getting flashbacks to Dustin Hoffman in The Marathon Man --- am I a bad person if I say I was in horror, but cracking up at the same time?

Anonymous said...

Oh, this post is again hilarious!

I had a temporary crown put in last week, and also got four needles in my mouth. My ear went numb. I'm pretty sure I don't have teeth in my ear. In other words, I completely empathize with you on this.

And when I got out, I could barely speak well enough to make the appointment to get the permanent crown cemented in (that happens today). Thank goodness the receptionists have experience translating Drool-Flap Gibberish, a notoriously tricky language.

Anonymous said...

Oh man! I'm trying to tuck my teeth far behind my lips. This is gross and funny at the same time!
I've never heard of that procedure. It sounds like flossing gone bad. The marble eyeball thing too. Where do you come up with this stuff!

Anonymous said...

OUCH! I feel your pain, Ello.

Anonymous said...

i always call my dental visits the "Two times a year blood letting"

Anonymous said...

We should convalesce and eat pudding together.

Anonymous said...

I just rescheduled a dental visit for a cleaning. I'm dialing their number right now so I can cancel it indefinitely.

Hilarious, brilliant post.

Anonymous said...

ow ow ow ow ow ow hahahahaha ow ow ow ow ow ow ow

Feel better! And take REALLY GOOD CARE of your teeth so that bad man never does that to you again!

Anonymous said...

I know it probably makes us wicked to laugh at your pain...but, my god, that was sooo funny!!...I still break out in chuckles when I think of your numbed eye. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Ello, try going to a woman. It makes all the difference in the world.

Anonymous said...

you are making me twitch the dentist chair twitch...and i didn't have anything done. ~shiver~

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the warning. If my dentist (who I plan to see again in about 10 years) says the words "deep tissue gum cleaning" I will know to run for the hills! Cause this wouldn't be nearly so funny if it happened to me. ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh. My. God.

My toes are curling.

I'm now running off to floss.


Anonymous said...

Booking a dental appointment was on my list of 'to-do's for tomorrow.

It is going to be, now.

Great blog- just found you, and blogrolled you on my own to boot!

girlwiththemask x

Anonymous said...

eeew. ooow. Never heard of this and don't want it.

Anonymous said...

I vote for dentures, based on your description. Thanks for the tip. Gads... <:( *hug*

Anonymous said...

ROFLMAO!!! I cried laughing at the part about your lip and your eye. Then I cringed because I have to go for a routine cleaning next week... Eeeek! :*)

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