There are a couple of people in my life whom I like well enough, but really don't want to see often. One is my attorney. The other is my dentist.
I have a great dentist. He is competent, gentle, and patient with my less-than-stellar flossing habits. He's friendly, and since he's the only dentist my girls have known, they don't have an irrational fear of dentists (although Kailee does fear dental hygienists). Despite all this, I am content to not hang out with him. I'm really looking forward to the day he looks into my mouth, moving his shiny mirror thingy around, sits back, and says, "Ok-- looks great! See you in six months."
It hasn't happened yet.
Today, I returned for two fillings. Only one tooth has a cavity, but the doctor fears the other could develop one, so why not kill two birds with one drill and fix them both. Why not! It didn't seem like a big deal, but neither did having two wisdom teeth extracted at the age of 44. Why didn't I remember that little party before agreeing to show up for my appointment today?
As fillings go, I am certain I had it easy. I never even felt the needle going in to numb my teeth and nerves. But I have a bit of a phobia against needles (I think it's referred to as icantstandthemaphobia), and just knowing one was well, well within my personal bubble was enough to raise those red flags that tell me PANIC ATTACK IMMINENT! DIVE! DIVE! Only, there was nowhere to go.
Withing a few minutes, the entire right side of my face was numb and he went to work. Drill, clean, check, drill, drill, drill... No pain, I assured him, except for the electric shock that sliced through my cheek every time I closed my mouth. He gave me a puzzled look, put the shiny mirror thingy in, had a good look around and asked, "Are you sure?"
"Yeth," I slurred.
"You shouldn't feel anything in your cheek-- are you sure it's not in your jaw?
"Noth. Ith in my cheeth."
"Noth. My cheeth. My cheeth," I say (I think), tracing the path of the pain for him. He looks at his dental hygienist, who shakes her head.
"Do you want me to numb you up some more?"
"Noth! I can'th feel a thingth nowth. Do I sthill hath a thongue?"
"It's still there." He proceeded, and I withheld anymore comment on the odd pain in my cheek. I wanted out of the chair, so I could take the little electrical shock. Besides, it only hurt when I closed my mouth. Pretty soon, I wasn't able to tell when my mouth was open or closed except the feeling of the breeze on the back of my throat.
When he went to work on the bottom tooth, I didn't mention the same odd shooting pain along the bottom of my jaw. It's just like me to find out I'm wired differently than the average human.
All in all, the process only took an hour, although I believe time slows WAY down in a dentist's office. Of course, that also could have been a direct result of a lack of oxygen. Every once in a while, the dentist would admonish me, "Breath through your nose!" and I would give him a look that said, "How else would you like me to breath, with four hands, two suction hoses, a drill, a pick, some really nasty tasting substance, and a shiny mirror thingy stuck in my mouth?!" But then I'd realize, I wasn't breathing at all. He was just reminding me. Because he's a really good dentist.
And I get to see him again, in two weeks. For the other side.