My husband knew what he was getting into. We were sitting waiting for a worship band rehearsal to start. I had had a tooth extracted and was sitting there bleeding with gauze in my mouth when he asked me if I would marry him. I always joke that I said yes because I couldn’t say no!
When I was young, we had a dentist who was an alcoholic. Of course, we didn’t know that at first. We knew that he was cheap, and for a passel of farm kids that was the most important criteria for my folks.
Who knows what might have been, but he drilled and extracted to his intoxicated heart’s content. He would tell me, “Oh, this is just a little one. We don’t need Novocain.” As I gripped the chair, turning my fingers blue, he inevitably would say, “Oh, it’s a little deeper than I thought, but we’re almost done.” (Imagine that with a slight slur.)
After that guy lost his license, we went to another dentist who, although sober, did not have the latest upgrades in equipment. I am not making this up: This elderly gent would pump his leg up and down on some kind of pedal (not as simple as it sounds at eighty) that put enough air in his pneumatic drill to get it going at less than break neck speed. (Think: No electricity. It would have been great for dental appointments in black outs!) Rather than the typical high-pitched “whine,” drilling on my cavity-prone teeth sounded more like a melancholy mild complaint with a hint of crunching. So my colorful history and low pain threshold set me up for a lifetime of dental fear and misgivings and credit card debt.
This morning, I had yet another trip to my favorite dentist. The only consolation in having more work done is that he talks with a British accent, which is entertaining. Once again I endured claustrophobic perils while watching The View with my eyes closed. (I must remember to vary my appointment times because that show is on every single appointment I endure, and there’s only so much of Whoopi I can handle with or without somebody in my mouth.)
They prepped me for a crown, which is not as royal as that sounds. There is a bright spot, though. Because I am a teacher, apparently my name was put in a drawing they have, and surprise surprise, I won! I won a ream of computer paper and 30 toothbrushes! Well, considering I teach independent study with 2-6 students at a time, I would have preferred at least one jewel for my crown!