This is an old post but I will revive and revise if for Irene’s Dental Memories Challenge.
Dental Memories: Times Pasts
Baby Boomer: USA
When I served in the military specifically the United States Army the Army dentist answer to my teeth problems was to pull them. So between November 1977 until I ETS’d in November 1981 I had several teeth pulled. One tooth located on my lower jaw was out of place and the Army dentist warned me that if I played any type sports and got hit in the face that tooth would rip a hole in my face. How nice! Just Lovely! Anyway after that visual I let him pull the tooth.
Before I let Uncle Sam’s Dental Demons get a hold of me my Dad used to take me to the Dentist. Probably because the experience was so traumatizing I blacked out much of it from my memory but I do recall one incident where my Mom had to take me to the local neighborhood dentist and this evil man did not believe in Novocaine. I believe he took some kind of sadistic pleasure in my cries and screams and had the nerve, gall and audacity to offer me a lollipop after the horrible experience!!
I am currently on vacation so yes I must once again visit that Torture Chamber known as the Dental Office. Ugh.
This is how I envision most dentists. This movie scene is not for the squeamish or faint of heart.
Marathon Man – Dustin Hoffman – Getting Grilled While Drilled – HD
Below is last year’s Dental Adventures.
Last Friday after I went to Stephen’s meeting at his training center I stopped by a nearby dentist office just to see if they took my DC 37 Dental insurance. I had not been to the dentist in three years and I wanted to get 2016 off to a good start health-wise. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.
Things started off very well. The receptionist was friendly and helpful. I told her that I wanted to make my appointment for next month Feb. when I go on vacation. She assured me that the dentist was free and I could get my cleaning that day. The receptionist was correct. There was only one lone guy sitting in the waiting area. I told her that I did not have my DC 37 card with me. No problem she says. All I need provide is my social security number, with that she makes a quick call to the DC 37 offices who confirm that I am a Union Member. Next thing I know I was filling out forms then a few minutes later found myself being ushered into the torture chamber.
Cue the Shark Music!
Jaws Theme Song
First the X-Rays. I hate when the technician says bite down. Sometimes my bite works other times it does not. I could tell she was getting exasperated with me. Finally she had me put my finger on the film to hold it in place.
Then into the dentist’s chair. The dentist was a friendly young man probably in his late 30s. He did his best to put me at ease.
At this point the X-rays were displayed on the screen and the dentist is going over with the hygienist a state of the teeth report. Most of us have 32 teeth or at least we are supposed to have 32 teeth. Dentist Number x missing, Number y missing, Number Z missing. He asked me why certain teeth were missing and I explained that when I was in the military the Army dentist pulled those teeth out. On he went Number # an occlusion, Number # an occlusion, Number # an occlusion. That word Occlusion set inside me an ominous foreboding. Finally he says to me that I have three cavities that need filling. I ask would it take long? Dentist: No only 30 minutes. Will it hurt? I’ll give you Novocaine. Me being a nervous high strung person who is terrified of dental drills I need NeverCaine!! Anyway he gives me a shot of Novocaine all the while keeping up his happy talk while waiting for me to get numb.
Next come those horrible devices they put in your mouth to suck up extra fluids and blow cold air which in and of itself is uncomfortable and painful as my teeth are sensitive.
Let the Drilling begin!! The teeth that need fillings are in the back of my mouth that makes for an awkward position for me and the dentist however he happily drills on. What I thought was going to be a quick replacement of old fillings past their prime and small cavity repair became an archaeological excavation!
During the deep mining process I was producing various unintelligible sounds akin to the adults on the Charlie Brown TV shows or the character Mushmouth from the Fat Albert cartoon series. Wah. Wah. Wah. Wah. Wah.
Except my hands were gripping the paper towels given to me to wipe the drool from my incapacitated mouth! My legs were flaying wildly! Dentist: Ms. Palmer are you in pain? Me: Muffled screams of pain and agony. After that the dentist gave me another injection of Novocaine. Finally after what seemed like hours instead of minutes he stopped drilling and began filling the two cavities with amalgam, all the while extolling the virtues of amalgam over tooth colored fillers. After that process ended he asked me if I wanted to have the 3rd tooth filled today and I said NO!!! One of the hygienists was highly disappointed probably hoping to see more of my prone pain two step gyrations.
Next came the cleaning. Not as gruesome as the fillings but equally uncomfortable with the flossing. She asked me if I flossed on a regular basis and I said No I did not have time and it was painful. Naturally she chastised me for that. After she finished cleaning she brought up a video about a very expensive flossing machine trying to convince me I needed to buy one. Something akin to the following:
The Philips Sonicare Airfloss
Now given the state of my finances I have no intention of investing in this machine. Just to afford one I’d have to work 80 hours of overtime. No Way!!
On the last Monday of this month January I will return to the torture chamber to resume my horizontal gymnastics and paranoia while getting the 3rd cavity filled. That visit reminded me why I let 3 years lapse before returning to the dentist to have my teeth checked. You go in for one thing, usually a cleaning and you wind up having all sorts of other nerve wracking procedures performed on your tender teeth and gums. Oh Yes for all my pain, agony and suffering they did give me a Swag bag containing a toothbrush, Sensodyne toothpaste, tiny bottle of mouthwash & the dreaded dental floss.
However one of my health goals for 2016 was to catch up on all the checkups I’ve been neglecting over the past three or four years. During my vacation month in Feb. I’ll be going to the GYN to get a Pap Smear. If you’re a woman you know what that entails. Ugh!!
Now let me leave you with these wonderful drilling sounds guaranteed to cause fear in hefty Sumo Wrestlers, American Football players and muscle bound boxers.