Fun with Dentistry on my day off (again)

Heaven from every side is closed.

–Mother Teresa

I thought it was going to be a routine dental check-up and was dead wrong. It was Deep-Tissue Cleaning Day and the festivities began with six (fucking SIX) Novocain shots. With fillings done over the past 3 visits I thought I was through with all that…I was more upset my eyeteeth had been blinded with an ugly surprise than the actual needles.

The needles, as always, were hot.

I didn’t see God, just a poster with idiot multicultural models smiling in support of a teeth-whitening procedure. In the Age of Photoshop how could anyone trust such a thing?

The most painful aspect was the dentist delivering the goods. He was younger than me and looked like a handsome pilot right out of Top Gun, the other Alpha-Hunk archetype that women fantasize about when the bare-chested, long-haired horse- and motorcycle-riding rebel is off being rebellious.

“Sorry about this,” Gun said sincerely as the needle plunged. A hot tear welled up in my right eye, not from pain but from imagining he was apologizing for life so far and not the endless wasp sting in the roof of my mouth.

Even remembering Bukoswki (“People’s mouths were even uglier than their assholes.”) didn’t help.

Top Gun left for good after the shots and I stopped feeling like a helpless 10-year-old with a go-nowhere paper route.

The pleasant Filipina who’d been my main girl did the cleaning. She worked free of judgment but I felt embarrassed all the same. How bad was the damage that my teeth had to be numbed to get to the problem areas?

An hour later I was at the front desk waiting to pay (this time with money, not pain) when the Filipina snapped to and with wide eyes said, “I forgot to do something!”

I had to go back to the chair, where she applied gel to my gums with a long Q-tip.
“This will ease the soreness when the numbness wears off.”
“Gimme two.”
“Don’t brush or floss tonight. Don’t eat anything hot, temperature-wise.”

At the supermark I bought a lottery ticket, shrimp and deviled eggs. It would be awhile till I smiled again, like 2011.


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