Today was the big day. The day I said a fond farewell to an old faithful part of my body. And you know, there's nothing quite like having a tooth pulled at 8:00 on a Monday morning. Since it was Phil's day off, he got to come along for the ride. No, he didn't go back to hold my hand, but I found it rather funny when the receptionist said, "Oh, is he here for moral support?" Why, yes, he is, thank you very much.
After the assistant put the cute little pink dental bib on me, which is there to keep my clothes dry when I'm all numbed up and trying to spit out water into a three inch sink, he came in to shoot me up with some novacaine. He has this funny little trick that he does that none of my other dentists have ever tried. When he's injecting, he starts pulling and shaking my cheek. I figured the other day as my tongue was going numb that this was either a really big cover up to distract me from the fact that holy smokes, I have a 5 inch needle in my mouth, or it helped the medicine spread faster. So today, after the first round of shots, I asked him. And, internet, I was right! It was all a big distraction ploy. He said it also helps people relax and not tense up so much.
I'm not so sure it helped me on the whole relaxation thing.
Then I got to have impressions made of my bottom teeth. Something like a spaghetti drainer in the shape of an athletic mouth guard filled with white goopy stuff was inserted into my mouth and left to set. No big deal (but keep reading).
Then he comes back in to shoot me some more. I quit counting at four insertions of the needle. It was really just too much. While that was working, he said he'd leave me to read People magazine which just so happened to have a fabulous cover story on a reunion of the cast of Saved By the Bell. I'm positive my sister has this issue for two reasons: 1) She's a People magazine addict, and 2) She loved Saved By the Bell. Sadly, for you Saved By the Bell fans, Screech no longer associates himself with the rest of the cast, and just so you know, he's getting ready to write an embarrassing tell-all.
Well, soon it was time to don the way cool fashionable sunglasses they gave me so I wouldn't be blinded by the light the whole time I'm laying there with someone's hand in my mouth and get ready for the extraction. I have to tell you, I was nervous. My heart was pounding. I was shaking a little. I was trying to recollect earlier if I had ever had a tooth pulled at the dentist, and I don't believe I ever did. My cousin once tied a piece of embroidery floss around a tooth and tied it to my grandma's bathroom door. And, yes, it came out when she gave the door a good slam, which would've been way better than the pliers she tried to use, but I don't think I'd ever been privileged to have someone who actually knew what they were doing pull one.
He used some sort of contraption to try to wiggle it. Then, I swear to you, he used something like a screwdriver and started screwing into my tooth. I was watching his hands the whole time and they were turning. It had to have been something similar to a Phillips head. I could hear the tooth breaking. Shivers encompassed my spine. I breathed really deeply and he goes, "Everything ok down there?" Um, no, you just broke my tooth with a dental screwdriver. Everything's not ok.
After what seemed like an hour or two, he finally switched over to tweezers and started removing my tooth piece by piece. Swish, spit, bite down on the gauze for a couple minutes and then we'll be back to do the two molds of your upper teeth. Two?
I should've warned them then of my easy-to-set-off gag reflex.
He gets to do these impressions. He sticks the big metal thing stuffed with white goo in my mouth and presses it up into my teeth. White goo feels like it's slowly crawling down my throat, and IMMEDIATELY, I start gagging. I'm thinking, oh man, I shouldn't have had that toast for breakfast. I hear, "Breathe in and out through your nose. Concentrate on breathing through your nose. We're going to sit you back up and I want you to lean forward. Keep breathing through your nose." I'm gagging the whole time.
Finally it sets up enough that he can take it out. He tells me, "Next time I'm going to put it in a little bit differently, that usually helps." Well, maybe for most people it does, but not for me. And seriously, how many different ways can you put in an oversized metal tooth cage? I said, "OK, I'll try not to gag this time!" I was fine for about 20 seconds and then the gagging kicks back in.
I was never so happy as when that thing came out of my mouth.
Weirdest experience ever.
And when I got home, guess what Phil gave me? A Klondike Bar. Go ahead, sing the song. . . What would you doo-ooo-ooo for a Klondike Bar? Would you watch the dentist unscrew a tooth out of your mouth like me? Or would you do something a little more drastic like Pete Herman in this YouTube video?