#4 – The Dentist

The dentist is on my mind because I have tooth decay. I can actually see it as a brown spot on one of my back molars, and feel a tiny pit with my tongue. This is too bad because historically I have had great teeth. My parents drug me to the dentist twice a year my whole life and got me into braces in high school. In my 20’s I continued to see the dentist and took great care of my teeth. Then around 27 I started to experience general medical-facility triggered anxiety, and also went off of COBRA around that time. When I got back on insurance with another job, making the appointment to see the dentist again was always somewhere in the back of my mind but I never pulled through and got it done. The dentist’s fate was sealed.

But now, after about 3 and a half years, the party is over and I need to go back. In fact, this coming Monday I will call. First will be the cleaning and exam, which won’t be bad really, but then they’ll schedule me for the filling, and I will have a couple of days or weeks to really think about it. Of course I could wait, and what should be solely a filling will probably turn into a root-canal.

My wife has said she would come with me if I want but it sucks feeling like such a wuss and I really don’t want to put her through the hassle. I also have no intention on taking “the gas” either. I hate drugs (well, except caffeine and alcohol, of course). The worst part is the novocain (i.e. needles) and that comes first and it is all downhill from there.

On a side note though, I need to mention what a marvel modern American denistry is these days. Between the bi-annual cleanings, which are generally still covered by insurance, white-plastic/polymer fillings, teeth straightening orthodonistry, and full on screw-new-teeth-into-your-head for hockey players and accident victims, all easily performed in simple, painless, out-patient procedures, is pretty awesome. Also, the Sonicare toothbrush is fairly awesome, and not too expensive at Costco. Hopefully this upcoming dentist visit will be my last for awhile that ends with “bad news.”

Anxiety Rating (out of 10): 8

Update – I’ve been flying around for work a little more. That rating is lowered to a 5.

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