It’s not that l am not excited, l am just not ecstatic ………
|Dental Appointment 1||21/06/21|
The nerves for today’s first dental appointment started to really kick in last night at around half seven in the evening. My appointment at 09.15am this morning l had not really given any serious thought to during the week – of course l had rung the dental practice earlier in the week and they had informed me that l would have five appointments, a total of 3 teeth extracted on the last appointment, a couple of fillings and an x-ray were booked for my first appointment today and of course, the first sitting for my denture impressions were to be taken.
Therefore, having had my terrors eased, the rest of the week sailed through easily …… except yesterday evening, l started to become quite apprehensive … l am terrified of dentists, have been since l was a youngster aged ten and that damn dentist extracted my tooth and then realised that ‘Oh dear and oopsy, he had accidentally pulled the wrong one!”
In 1973 l was in Australia and the dentist back then was an old boy in his sixties who was on his last year before retirement, he had been getting worse according to the younger dentists and making many mistakes with his patients, but no one had the heart or the ‘balls’ to suggest retiring early on account of his eyes becoming a little testy! They used to jokingly refer to him as the Driller Killer Dentist!!
However, l got through last night telling myself that l was an adult, not a boy of ten and that dentistry had evolved ……. l retired to bed earlier than normal … 11.30am – to get a good night’s sleep and be refreshed for today! Finally at 1.30am was l able to turn off the light – l was a tad restless. i awoke on the hour every hour till 5am, when l couldn’t take it anymore and accepted that my body and mind were in cahoots against me and so l watched a film on my iPad in bed until just after 7am. Suze would be collecting me and taking me over to the dental practice at 8.50am.
I made myself a vitamin shake and responded to some of the comments left from the previous day to my posts in blog. I didn’t risk having breakfast or a coffee on account of the Dental Practice explicitly explaining that the toilets in the building were out of bounds to patients – so make sure your bowel and bladder are empty before arriving or that you are able to hold it!!
Well when l am nervous my bladder can become a little ‘ansy’ so l have to make pretty damn sure that l am empty as empty can be ….. and yet WHY IS IT … that you always think you need a damn wee when you are sitting in the car outside the practice? It didn’t help that the beautiful weather of last week has indeed broken, and we have had non-stop heavy rainfall since Thursday of last week!! So l was sitting there watching the rain looking at Suze and wanting to burst into tears at the prospect of going to the dentist thinking l needed YET another bloody wee [having had five since the 150ml vitamin shake at 7.30am]!! yes, l know it’s all in my mind …… but that didn’t matter. I sat there watching the clock tick its way to 09.11am before l gathered my courage, told myself to grow the EFF up and get it all over and done with!!
09.15am, the receptionist came to the door [there is no waiting indoors] and shouted my name out down the imposing Victorian stairs in the pouring rain and l was allowed to enter the lion’s den! A drop of sanitiser, a quick covid test and asked if l had any last words, l was led down the staircase to the ………………….. room!! The dentist and her assistant were there waiting for me …… head to foot in PPE – smocks, triple masks, face shields, aprons and goggles – it was a bit like a sci-fi movie and made me instantly think back to not just the Driller Killer dentist of the early 70’s but that 1996 horror flick The Dentist!!
It was too late to turn back … l had to remind myself why l was there — 1] no more daily pain, 2] no more infections, 3] a smile again, 4] eating improved and 5] l had already paid in full!!
It all gets a bit blurry from this point onwards and not because l had any injections for pain ……. because l didn’t have ANY injections for pain!! None! Why? Well, apparently there are two reasons – 1] lower gum infection presence meant l couldn’t have an injection and 2] not enough gum to inject properly in?? Danged if l know what that means so please don’t ask! But according to the dentist l wouldn’t feel any pain …….
…………… I was also a bit low on my sugars on account that l hadn’t eaten, so l was a bit lightheaded and woozy.
In addition to that, l found l couldn’t actually understand much of what was being said because of the sheer volume of PPE being worn and triple masks covering mouths . so much of what l heard sounded like this ‘Wubber zhwubber dwubber, blur, blurb, bluh blah!?” For me to answer “I am sorry , but you do know that l can’t understand a single word you are saying …. right?? All l need to know is if there is to be NO injection for pain is … will this hurt .. much, a lot or not at all? “Mm, wubber zhwubber dwubber, blur, blurb, bluh blah —- shhwoodnt doozie!?“
Before it all started the dental nurse told me in a loud voice, “Okay Mr Matier, [she shouted on account of the overhead noisy fan that was needed to be on full blast jetting out colder air to keep them cool, never mind that l was slowly freezing in my short sleeved tee shirt!!] today you will have two fillings, one x-ray and your denture impressions will be taken, okay?”
“Okay …” was all l could answer with … l was thinking let’s just get this over with. I learned after my x-ray from the nurse that the dentist was going to then do the two fillings and at that point l said “BUT, l haven’t had an injection!! My mouth isn’t even numb!” To be informed to not worry, the tool they were using would be quite pain free…..
Now, the last time l had actually had a filling was back in 2008 and back then the whole approach was rather painful but at least l had received a painkiller – so whilst marginally painful, at least it wasn’t driller killer status … but this time around it was all very different and involved some kind of dental putty, a lot of prodding and poking with a pointy stick, a shiny mirror, a ping pong bat and a magic bulbous ended heating wand that shone blue! It turned out that the ping pong bat and the blue wand were there to seal the putty in and the bat was to prevent the ultraviolet light causing damage ….. apparently, the latest way of affixing fillings …. or so l thought.
In my reclined position and staring upwards and trying to not go cross-eyed and stare into the dentist’s eyes but look beyond her into the roof tile light, all l saw was a series of tools darting across my face. I had to tell my tongue to be a good little tongue and stay out of the dentist’s probing proddy stick’s way and keep widening my already widened mouth stuffed with tight rolls of cotton wool padding and remembering to not panic and swallow easily and ignore the sucky thing that was eager to fetch goodies out of the mouth like an over enthusiastic dog looking to play fetch!!
I was clueless as to the proceedings for most of the actions, even though l was being spoken to, l had no idea what was actually being said because everything sounded like – wubber zhwubber dwubber, blur, blurb, bluh blah – and trying to listen to that through countless layers of dental PPE, a huge overhead fan and the annoying tongue suckery thing – l just opted to zone out, but between takes, l tried to ask about the actual drill? Was a drill no longer used then l wondered. My hands would start to ask a question and my brain followed suit …
“Shzo, iszta no drillzzzzz anygemore thfen?” I asked gesticulating with my hands and swooping around making a buzzing noise for both dentist and dental assistant to look at me like was from another planet. “Wubber zhwubber dwubber, blur, blurb, bluh blah?” They asked and l answered with ” “Shzo, iszta no drillzzzzz anygemore thfen?” Bishzzzing bishzzzing?
It wasn’t long before they produced the tool of my fear which answered my question …. the bloody buzzing buzz buzz! So l had overhead fan swooshing, suckery thing sucking, buzzing buzz buzz and dental PPE talking! Just when l thought everything was finished, another strange tool was swung into action and then l felt some serious pain and discomfort .. the discomfort was so great l was almost hopping on the couch, my fingers looked like they were drumming a bizarre tattoo and l was making some odd gurgling curdling noises ………
Thankfully, after 25 minutes of discomfort – everything stopped and l was allowed to sit upright again. Relax for a couple of minutes …. then told to open wide whilst a blue dental cup filled with freezing cold moulding pliable sticky rubbery substance was shoved into my mouth and attached to my upper jaw and l was told to bit down hard on it, which was painful considering my fillings were my top left canine and my top right remaining molar. This was to start the impression casts …. once the top was done, the bottom was performed and then l was done.
As l got up in my dazed state from the chair l then proceeded to clunk my head on the overhead flexy light … l was then told that l would have an additional four appointments, that the original three teeth to be extracted had now increased to five, that the original two fillings had now increased to a further five and that considering l had an infection and had received no injection for the pain [which by the way the last bout of serious pain had been caused by the gum cleaning and teeth whitening actions], l had fared very well! I was then informed my gums would bleed for the next couple of days and to not be alarmed as this was normal and l simply answered with ….. they do that anyway, so that’s not new.
Although my first appointment was booked from 09.15am – 10.45am, l was done and dusted and out the dental surgery front door by 09.47am …..it seemed like longer admittedly. My next appointment is 15th July when oh goody l am to have five fillings and more x-rays ……. sooooo loooking forwards to it …………. uhuh.
For now, l have white teeth ……. and a strange sensation in my mouth. But at least l am now underway.
Thanks for reading catch up with you all again .