A Filling

I hate going to the dentist.  I hate anyone messing with my teeth.  I hate pain.  In fact, if you hurt my mouth, I tend to bite first and apologize later. 

Kay, 1963

In the 5th grade, my parents decided that I had Bugs Bunny front teeth and needed to go see an orthodontist.  I wore braces on my upper front teeth for the next 7 years.  I am convinced that the only reason I got them off was because I refused to wear them when I graduated from high school.  At one point after that, I had a case of TMJ.  The dentist ground down my teeth so they fit together and that relieved the symptoms but, of course, my teeth were then super-sensitive. 

Years later, after I was married, I got caps on my front top 4 teeth to cover up the decay that had occurred right above the braces back in high school.  Yes, I had distinct lines across my front teeth and I was very uncomfortable with that, along with having very sensitive teeth.  Those “lines” were very deep in the enamel.  I rarely smiled big, showing my teeth.  Oh, I smiled a lot, just not with my mouth wide open.

I went to the dentist regularly until my dad passed away but  I missed my regular appointment that year and finally went in about 6 months later.  The tech cleaning my teeth bitched at me for not coming in at my regular time and continued to gripe the entire time she had her hands in my mouth.  Did I ever mention that I do have a temper?  When aroused, it will smolder for a long time beneath the surface but watch out when I’ve had enough.  The dentist came in afterwards and said my teeth looked good but why had I not come in earlier.  At least he asked!  I told him my dad had died, that his tech had bitched at me the entire time and that I would not be back.  I didn’t go back.  Yes, I know, I’m stubborn.  I haven’t been back to a dentist since then.  That was early 1989 and my teeth have done just fine since then…

Kay, 2010

…at least until last month, when I had part of a back tooth break off.  It didn’t hurt but I was afraid that it would get worse over time so I sucked it up and made an appointment with Ed’s dentist.  Ever since elementary school, I have had this severe paranoia about seeing a dentist.  I freak out just walking in the door so I had a lot of trepidation about going this time. 

Well, guess what?  No one griped at me, much less bitched at me.  In fact, the dentist said my teeth looked great considering how long it had been.  It was not part of my tooth that had chipped off however.  It was an old filling from when I was a kid that had fallen out.  Well, let’s see, about 40 years?  Yeah, it might be time to get a new one.  After checking all my teeth and taking x-rays, they found that I had quite a few that needed replacing after all these years.  Oh, joy.

Today was my first appointment and they only worked on the right side thankfully.  I wasn’t as freaked out as I used to be.  He didn’t hurt me.  He was kind and gentle and, as unlikely as it seems, I actually fell asleep while he drilled out the holes and refilled them.  Asleep???  Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either.  I must’ve been ill and didn’t know it because I also spent most of the afternoon sleeping on the couch.  The gums are no longer deadened now but they don’t really hurt that much. 

I go back on the 17th for the left side.  I’m not that upset about going this time though.  I may even start going back regularly.  Of course, I don’t actually get them all formally cleaned until March 1st.  Ummm, wait a minute.  Just brushing my teeth has worked well so far.  Why would that change now???  I don’t wanna rush things.  Maybe I’ll wait for a while to decide if I want this to become a habit or not.   (big breath)  I’ll have to get back to you on that.

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One response to “A Filling

  1. You really have not changed over the years – still a beautiful smile. I agree – I hate going to the dentist. I have put if off since we moved to Ft. Worth – and dread my next visit.