I went to the Dentist today for a check up.
I needed a small filling.
I was very brave!
No, its not an excerpt from my diary when aged 9 & 3/4’s, this was me yesterday 🙂
You see, I’m not very good with the whole Dentist putting things in my mouth thing. I had a few bad experiences as a youngster and it put me right off. I’d go as far as to say I was dentist-a-phobic.
In my life BP (Before Paul) I avoided going to the Dentist as much as possible. Now, dont get me wrong, I look after my teeth, being scared of going to the Dentist means that I do all I can to look after myself, just so I didnt have to visit my mentalist dentist. I brush twice a day religiously, even remembering before going to bed when I’m drunk 🙂 So its not like I’ve got a mouth full of black stumps or anything. In fact, with the exception of my “dark” front tooth* they are pretty normal teeth, for British teeth** anyway.
I’ve only got 3 adult teeth missing so I dont think I’ve done too badly. The last extraction being sometime around 1997 and then I didnt go to the evil teeth doctor again for years! In the mean time, I grew up, met Paul and lived happily ever after.
Each year since we’ve been together, when making his own appointments, Paul has said “We’ll have to get you to the dentist.” I would nod or grunt or something and then, bless him, he’d leave me alone and not nag about it. That’s usually the best way to handle me and do you know? It worked, so after only 4 years of that, I finally said “OK, make me an appointment too.”
I agreed to go on condition that it was to the same Dentist as Paul, on account of how gentle he was. The National Health Service is currently very short of Dentists, some people having to travel 100’s of miles to visit theirs, so I earned a couple of more years reprieve by this gambit.
Eventually, our Dentist took on some new patients and that was that, no more excuses. So about this time last year I went to see my new Dentist. I dont think he had to look too hard to see the terror in my eyes as I sat in his chair 🙂 We had a little chat and he did his best to put me at ease. He asked if there was anything he should look out for, I thought I might have a crack in the top of a molar, it turned out that was ok but I needed a filling in the tooth in front of it.
So he says to me, “I’ll just clean up the cavity and smooth it out, just to get a better look at it.” That sounded ok to me, not too much trauma there. Except, half way through this “clean up” I started thinking that it felt a bit like a drill. Mr Dentist told me the tool was a “burr” and nothing to worry about. Next thing I knew he had packed some filling in the tooth and I was spitting bits of metal into a cup.
He tricked me!
“It’s usually better that way” says he. “You’re probably right” says I.
Now this year, I felt a little less apprehensive about going for my check up. On a scale of 1 to 10, somewhere around a 6. I mentioned that the tooth he filled last year was still a bit sharp and he smoothed it off for me so thats all good. Then he did that thing they do, you know the Dentist Bingo calling thing? 1,2,3 ok, missing 4, 5 ok, 6 occlusion etc… I think no.6 being that molar that I thought needed work last year. He sticks his little hooked spear thing into it and starts tugging, I just about manage to refrain from screaming and aiming a blind punch up behind me! Mercifully, he stops and asks if I can feel the pain spear catching in the tooth! I try to stay calm and nod that yes I can. So he says to me, “I’ll just need to give that a clean and smooth it out a bit.”
Can you see it coming? I didn’t, until halfway through the “cleaning” when it slowly dawned on me. Thats what he said last time! Once again, he’d done the filling and i’m spitting bits into the suction cup thing while he advises not to eat anything heavy for a few hours.
He tricked me again! Subconsciously, I may even have been slightly complicit in the deception 🙂
The phobia I thought I had is now officially downgraded to a strong dislike.
So tell me, did you ever have a phobia or fear that just went away?
PS. What time do you go to the Dentist? At two thirty!!!
* another tale in its own right
** We know what you Americans say about us!
*** Thats Dentists and Wasps whipped, so its 2 down and just another 30 or so to go 😉