Oh. My. Lord. I cannot believe I had to go back to the dentist! You may recall from an earlier article that I have an irrational fear of dentistry grounded in childhood trauma and a general lack of narcotics and was trying desperately to postpone an appointment to have two cavities filled. Inspired by the bravery of my 10-year-old son, I eventually overcame my anxiety and managed to survive the unsettling procedure.
One of the teeth I had fixed continued to bother me, even after a few days of expected tenderness. Naturally I ignored it and assumed I was just taking longer than usual to adjust to the ceramic material in the filling. A week passed, however, and the discomfort worsened. I began altering my diet to avoid aggravating the tooth further, cutting out sugary foods, crunchy treats and all taffy-like substances. Nothing helped. Subconsciously, I knew something was wrong, but I just couldn’t bear the thought of having to return to the dentist. I felt certain he would discover a missing filling or a cracked tooth or some sickening gum disease. In my denial, I preferred to suffer through a little toothache rather than learn the truth behind my pain.
But as the days wore on and my entire jaw began to throb, I reluctantly realized I’d rather face the drill again then continue to eat only on my left side and down Advil like jelly beans. (It was similar to my weighing the pros and cons of an epidural. For the first few hours of labor I found the contractions tolerable given my alternative was a needle to the spine. But when the real poo hit the fan, I would have let that doctor stab me in the eyeball if it made the pain disappear!)
So I called the office and asked to be seen again, whenever they had an opening, preferably later in the week, next month would be fine. Wouldn’t you know they could take me that very afternoon? Frick! But no, I had to do it. As I drove to the appointment, I purposely chewed Hubba Bubba on the sore side to prevent myself from hightailing it straight to Starbucks, do not pass go, do not collect $200. I was hurting so bad once I got in the chair that I didn’t even have time to be nervous.
Luckily, the problem was easily corrected without the need for topical anesthetics or arm restraints. Apparently my filling had not been smoothed down enough, throwing my entire bite out of whack. I basically freaked out over nothing. Ah well, I lived to tell the tale, and that’s all that matters. Peace out.