Monday, June 25, 2007

The Whole Tooth, Part 2

I go back to the dentist!

At the end of my first visit, the dentist informs me that I have a cavity. He is impressed that this is the worst of my dental woes after two long years. The receptionist tries to reschedule me for a filling. The next available appointment appears to be in, oh, February 2009. I tell the receptionist that I am moving, and suggest that perhaps I can be included on the wait-list for a cancellation.

"Can't you drive here in February?" she asks skeptically.

"Not really," I respond. "I'm moving."

"You can't drive here?" she presses.

"Well, I'm moving to Minnesota so it would be kind of a long trip."

"Oh. Well you're going to have to be on the wait-list for a cancellation," she tells me.

"Yes," I say.

She calls me the next day. There has been a cancellation!

When I appear for my filling, the Dancing Queen and her disapproving counterpart are nowhere to be seen. Instead, a middle-aged woman who makes too much small talk gets me situated.

"Is it still raining?" she asks.

I look out the large window in front of me. "Doesn't look like it," I answer.

In the spirit of talking, I offer, "I'm always scared that I'll be able to feel it when the dentist starts drilling." This is, truly, one of my worst fears. Along with being bitten and the sound of balloons popping.

"Oh, that's okay," says the hygienist. I'm not sure whether she means it's okay if I'm able to feel it or that it's okay that I'm scared of it. Either way, it's not a rousing display of sympathy.

Tall Pale Balding Dentist comes in to numb me up, and in another few minutes leans my chair back, and we're on our way. Except we're not, quite, because my small mouth (yeah, yeah) makes getting at the cavity in the back upper part fairly difficult.

He leans my chair back some more. The blood rushes to my head. He peers into my mouth. Then he adjusts the headrest, tilting it all the way back. Not only can I see up the dentist's nose, I think I have a decent view of his brain.

"Just lift your chin up in the air as far as you can," the dentist instructs. "And open just a bit wider for me, can you?"

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