January 13, 2009

The Agony Of Da' Teeth

I dislike going to the dentist - who doesn't? (Well, my friend Rob, but he's weird.) I dunno if I'd say I hate going to the dentist, but it's pretty close to "hate"... right up there with other things I don't care for, like: banging my shin on the coffee table, getting a bad sunburn, discovering bug parts in my Chinese food, and waking up in Tijuana with only one kidney. But like death and taxidermy, the dentist is unavoidable... and today, my number was up.

Waiting for the doc to arrive.
In the meantime they gave me these "safety" glasses to wear...
um... what's about to happen?

As I'm discovering, all my previous dental work was done wrong. Well, not wrong for 10 to 15 years ago, but wrong for today. Current methods of dentistry are different, so all the work I had done previously is being overhauled.

The Doozers set up their tiny scaffold and got right to work on Betty!

The metal fillings I was given way back when are just "not how it's done" these days - or so I'm told. As it turns out metal fillings are the worst way to fill teeth for a variety of reasons, but back in my youth, that wasn't the case. At least that's the current "sales pitch" the dental industry has in an effort to re-do all the work I've already had done.

There's always something new!

So, I've had all my old fillings replaced with new porcelain fillings, however there are now newer NEW epoxies and resins that have replace the old porcelain...

It's all new, I swear...

But over the years with all the drilling and the damage caused by the old metal fillings several of my teeth have needed crowns... and that's what I'm here for today. An old porcelain filling has to go, the tooth has to be ground down, and I'll be getting a crown in its place.

It's good to be the king.

Not that type of crown, this:

So it's true, the molar caps are melting!

Oh joy.

I'm sure in another 5 to 10 years what the dental community today considers "the right approach" will be vilified as archaic. So the work I'm about to have done no doubt will land me right back in this chair. It's an on-going cycle, requiring a "treatment plan" or "program" that seems never-ending. Everyone I know seems to have the same issues with their dentist. Must be the business model they teach in dental school.

Thar's gold in them thar pearlies! Keep drillin'!

Thinking all this over as I wait for the doctor, I decide I'm not going to stand for it! Just wait until that dentist gets here, I'm gonna give Dr. Drills-a-Lot a piece of my mind... enough is enough!

I'm as mad as hell and I'm not gonna... hold on... where'r my uppers?!

Despite my best efforts to really "give it to" my dentist, I found him to be disarming, totally open to discuss my concerns and willing to take the time to talk me through what and why I needed the work done today... he even showed me an x-ray of the afflicted bicuspid.

Looks like NASA satellite footage of topsoil runoff in Louisiana to me.

My lack of a DDS diploma put me at a disadvantage so I ended up nodding like a bobble head and grunting in agreement doing my best to sound intelligent... and failing.

I was doomed from the start. But, it all seemed to make some sense... so they got me numb with a good ol' shot of Novocaine, right in the gums.

Getting uncomfortably numb...

And so it began... there was all the prep... the suction... the spit cup.... the sprayers...

Looks like some sort of astronaut's bathroom.

...the epoxy guns filled with mysterious substances... overlooked by the zombie-like stare from a nearby flier for oral cancer screening...

...the instruments that in moments would be tearing at my flesh...

And then... the DRILLING!


The drilling didn't take too long. Once it was over, I was subjected to a series of impressions of my teeth in order to have the crown custom made.


The ordeal was over fairly quickly, the bad stuff anyway. It was the taking of impressions and the shaping of the temporary crown that took the longest.

Now I have to be careful and try to only chew on the right side of my mouth until I return in three weeks to have the real crown put into place.. and I just can't wait.


Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

Horace Grant lives (and he's been stuck in a hyperbaric chamber)!

Your Sister said...

"So what, beeg deal." (name the movie). I had my impacted upper wisdom teeth removed with no gas, no general anesthetic and 13 shots of novacaine. The nurse had my head in a half nelson (no joke) at one point. Raarrh! Makes you feel alive. This is a true story.

You big baby!

Your Sister said...


Tom said...

Yeah? Well, I can match that. you wanna talk root canals? I've had four, one on a back molar with at least as many shots of novacaine and I was still in pain during the procedure.

Alive? I've felt it.

Eugene said...

I'm with you, Tom. My metal fillings have NEVER fallen out. But these stupid new Corelware ones fall out if I yawn too hard. I think it's a scam.

Tom said...

I'm doing my best to bring the Horace Grant look back.

Dentists are the car salesmen of the 00s.

Rob said...

It's true, I do like to go to the dentist and I am weird.

Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

YAY Horace Grant!