Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Thrill When I Drill A Bicuspid

I had my first major dental work done last week. I grew up with fairly healthy teeth, yet somehow managed to develop a healthy fear of dentistry anyway. I never even had to have my wisdom teeth pulled because I DON'T HAVE ANY. I was born with no wisdom teeth! Since they only seem to cause problems for pretty much everyone, I can't help but feel I dodged a bullet with that little congenital defect.

So with healthy teeth and an unhealthy fear of people hurting me in my mouthal region, I pretty much avoid the dentist. As an adult, eventually the guilt of 'I should really be responsible and take better care of myself' creeps up on you, and finally in 2007 I decided, after AT LEAST ten years of having avoided them, that I really ought to visit the dentist. I had lost a tooth somewhere in that time period; I knew it was coming because I was also born missing that adult tooth (FIVE teeth congenitally missing! go me!), and my childhood dentist had warned us that the baby tooth would eventually wear out. They're just not made to last that long. So it did, in pieces, and it was gross, but it didn't hurt, and it seemed to have all fallen out, and the tooth is kind of on the side of my mouth so I figured I didn't really look like a gap-toothed crack whore or anything so why bother with an expensive repair (though I always thought it would be kind of awesome to get a gold tooth, and maybe someday I will; I'm classy like that).

Hi, my name is ChaCha; for $15 bucks I'll blow you in this port-a-potty.

But eventually I started to worry that maybe the RIGHT thing to do would be to have someone official check it out and just make sure all the pieces, you know, came out and whatnot, and maybe they should look at my other teeth too and tell me everything was OK. My husband happened to go to this great dentist in Roscoe Village (this was back when we lived in Chicago; it's Perfect Smile Dental Spa, if anyone local needs an awesome dentist! Tell them Kristi Dorson sent you! Dr. DeMars is great!). They tend to cater to dental wusses like me. They'll give you massages if you have to wait for your appointment, they're very nice, they have foot massagers in the waiting area, it's comfy and cozy and they'll give you laughing gas and goofy pills if you're very anxious about seeing the dentist, and they'll give you headphones to listen to the radio or watch movies if you prefer, and they're very thorough. Perfect for someone like me. So I went, they cleaned my teeth and fixed a tiny cavity (the first in my life) and gave me my first dose of laughing gas and it was actually kind of fun.

And then we moved an hour away and I didn't bother going back. The thought of trying to find another dentist, a local dentist, kind of terrified me, especially after dealing with such nice people who understood what it was like to fear the dentist. I just wanted them to move their offices to ME. Of course that wasn't going to happen, so I just didn't go. Then I was diagnosed with diabetes, and strongly encouraged to see my dentist (and EVERY OTHER MEDICAL SPECIALIST ON THE PLANET) twice a year because diabetes basically fucks up your entire body, and it tends to do it kind of silently at first so if you don't have an entire team of professionals working on your tired old carcass year round you just wake up one day and your foot is gangrenous and they need to amputate, and your liver is shot, and you're blind and your teeth have all fallen out, and then you die from kidney failure. My future's so bright, I gotta wear shades! Ahem.

So I still avoided the dentist for a couple years. This year I vowed to take better care of my health overall. Also, one of my back teeth cracked in half last month. I figure hey, they're probably not supposed to do that, are they? Whoops, time to go to the dentist. By this point I decided that if I was really happy at Perfect Smile, it was worth the damn one hour drive to go rather than deal with the anxiety of having to find a new, equally awesome dentist.

As it turns out, at no great surprise to me, cracked tooth=bad. It was a hair's breadth away from the nerve, so I was really lucky it didn't hurt like a bitch; possible root canal needed, definitely a crown. I also had two other cavities that needed fixing and some majorly swollen gums. Higher blood sugar levels from diabetes apparently leads to some KILLER gum disease. So they had lots of major work to do on me! I got some Super Valium to take before the appointment, and then they gave me more at the appointment, AND they gave me the happy gas, AND the radio headphones, so it was a pretty happy experience overall. Except now I have a temporary crown on the cracked tooth and I can't eat on that side of my mouth because it's really tender and keeps hurting when I chew and I'm taking lots of advil and wondering when it will STOP hurting. I get the permanent crown next Friday. I'm hoping that will be the end of my dental miseries for a while.

Taking better care of myself sucks. Or maybe it's diabeetus that sucks. Or maybe it's avoiding taking care of myself and then having to pay the piper when I finally give in and make the effort that sucks. Whatever; my mouth hurts and I'm grouchy.

Hey, let's end on a happy note! We got two new kitties last weekend! Here's a picture of Hannah stretching after one of her many naps.

(Sorry both my pictures are from my camera phone. I know they suck. I've become really lazy with my camera lately; that's another thing I need to work on this year.

Also, I probably should note that this is NOT a sponsored post or anything. That's probably obvious because I swore a lot and made jokes about prostitution. I just really love Perfect Smile and Dr. DeMars. AND the drugs they give me. I DO get a referral bonus if you go to them and say I sent you though. So you should do that.)


  1. I LOVE perfect smile:) They helped me when one of my fillings fell out while in Chicago:) They were awesome:) Warm fuzzies for them thar densists!

    The tenderness happens. It will end in time...one day you'll be eating and realize that "hey, i can chew on that side again!".

  2. hey, thanks for the reco. my current dentist is satan, which is why i haven't been in 2 years. when i cracked my tooth and needed effing ORAL SURGERY, they were really kind of bitchy and judgmental about it. the x-rays actually HURT because they were jamming things into my mouth and not realizing that, hey, that's my jaw and it won't move aside! and then they told my my mouth was a cesspool and i needed 10,000 fillings.

    so yeah, i sympathize with dental fear, and i'm so glad you found one that treats you well and takes good care of you.

  3. Dental phobia does not bring you peace. Facing your fears does. Our teeth are very important. We can't eat, smile and talk clearly. But the worst part is, we lose confidence without 'em. There are a lot of changes now in the world of dentistry. They now promote comfort to avoid dental stress. So, go try and step in a dental clinic. Some kids go out of there with amusement.



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