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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

When will Dentistry Crawl out of the Dark Ages?

I tossed and turned in a hot lather of sweat on Monday night in anticipation of my ten am appointment at the dentist the next morning. 

I’d already postponed the appointment for two months in a row so there was no chance of piking AGAIN with my pitiful excuses.

The appointment was a biggy; it was a bone graft which the dentist had assured me was simple and routine and he’d ordered me not to look the procedure up on the Internet… so for once in my paranoid life, I didn’t.

Later, when I arrived home after my appointment, Scotto was finishing a computer job in his office, so I slithered into the bedroom quietly to avoid detection.

A short time later, he finished his job and came in to check on me.

“How did it go?” he asked with deep concern on his face.

“Great!” I enthused. “The dentist just manipulated a little tube which magically injected fake bone into my gum line and now it’s all over.”

I grinned widely to prove my well-being.

“Really?” Scotto sighed in relief. “That’s fantastic, Pinky. I bet that’s a weight off your mind.”

Crickets chirruped…

“I chickened out,” I whispered desperately. “I didn’t have it done.”

One hour earlier...

When I’d sat my trembling and shuddering body in the chair, the dentist had begun to explain what he was going to do in my mouth.

Firstly, he was going to inject ten or so needles into my teeth ridge, hard palate and in that bit under my top lip (where it feels as though the needle is piercing the sinus cavity and then further into the deep recesses of the brain).

Then he was going to slice all the gum and fold it back before placing the substance (possibly comprised of cadaver and plutonium) directly into my bone.

After that he was going to put ‘lots’ of stitches all around my front, three teeth.

The stitches would stay there for two/three weeks and naturally there would be significant swelling and pain.

After he’d finished his barbaric expose, there was a soundless moment as I considered this rather downbeat development in my expectations and, regarding the dentist with determined but frightened eyes, I shakily informed him I’d changed my fudging, goddamned mind thank you very much sir.

“But it’s a routine procedure, Pinky,” he reiterated in a disappointed tone.

“Nope,” I stood my ground. “I know I’ve booked an hour and a half appointment with you but I’ll happily pay for it and walk out of here a free woman. 

What will it be? A thousand dollars? I don’t care I’ll pay it.”

He let me off the hook but not without taking some impressions of my teeth. This involved ramming metal trays the size of hub caps in my mouth. The trays are filled with blue goo which breaks off and floats down the back of the victim’s throat causing reflexive and insistent gagging. 
You have to hold the tray in your mouth for two, hideously long minutes as the goo sets.

The first impression didn’t work out which was a shame. A real fudging shame as I’d only gagged three times and thought I’d executed a satisfactory demonstration of tolerance and normalcy.

I could see the dentist inspecting the failed attempt thoughtfully with his mini scraping thing.

“Please, for the love of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, don’t tell me you have to do it again?” I pleaded.

He examined the fudging thing for an agonising ten minutes as I lay there, my eyeballs bulging at the ceiling in terror.

The second time was not such a fine accomplishment of self-control on my behalf.

Within the two minutes I think I gagged thirty times.

There were tears streaming down my cheeks and I gripped on to the dentist’s hands struggling against the urge to raise my legs up and savagely shove him off me with two braced knees to his chest.

Thankfully, when I walked out to the waiting room afterwards, it was empty and there were no saucer-eyed children staring in fixated horror after hearing all that ferocious retching from the inner bowels of the echoing surgery.

“Sorry about all those horrible noises you had to listen to,” I apologised to the receptionist.

“That’s okay!” She purred. “Did you vomit?”

I shook my head in the negative.

“That’s good,” she carried on as she typed out my bill. “If you vomit you have to keep it all in your mouth until the impression has set.”

Thank the fudge for small mercies, I thought.

Now I know this is a scandalous thought, but are you wondering about the necessity for that second impression as well?