I have not been to the dentist in over 8 years. This thought terrifies me. This terror snares me in a nice little catch 22; I avoid the dentist because I am afraid that my teeth are rotting out of my skull and I may have to therefore be euthanized. However, this dental evasion is likely simply exacerbating the hypothetical pain which I am avoiding.
I recently found out that I have dental insurance. It's time to pay the piper.
I feel though, that I have a rational and explainable fear of the dentist. When I was a young man growing up, I would go get orally worked upon by a stone age caveman witch doctor who had somehow miraculously been granted the appellation "dentist."
I must preface this by saying that I did have 1 good dental experience. That particular time they cranked up the nitrous oxide. Being in a terror induced state of hyperventilation, I sucked a pretty stellar amount of that gas into my lungs and, consequently, my brain. I never enjoyed being drilled upon so much. I was pretty high.
So, 8 years ago, after that previous legal drug induced high, I was rather looking forward to the dentist.
The first problem occurred when the nurse, despite my desperate pleadings, would not crank up the gas high enough to have the magical affects of the previous visit. Perhaps it was the shaking, and the begging for "just a little stronger hit," that made her wary.
So in came Dr. ham fisted neanderthal to apply the Novocaine. My eyes watered as he ruthlessly and repeatedly stabbed that needle all over my gums. That finally over, he sat there for what seemed to be a really inadequate amount of time for the numbness to kick in, and then began drilling. Instant pain shot through my jaw, as that tiny little drill began to penetrate the sensitive enamel of my tooth. "Ow ow ow ow ow ow owwww."
"Oh. Does that hurt still?"
"No shit," I didn't say.
Because that is all one really can say when his mouth is being held open by a metal clamp.
So, then began another round of shots. Again, followed by another inadequate waiting period. And then the drilling. Oh, the wretched drilling. And again, pain.
"Ow ow ow ow owwwwah."
"Still hurts huh?"
So he then again went to town with that insidious, pointy dispenser of Novocaine, seemingly administering twice as many shots as the previous round. This time, he waited a little longer. Finally, the drilling began with no pain. I was, however, numb for a solid 24 hours, rather than the usual 2 or 3. At that point, I vowed never to return to the dentist so long as I lived.
Now, 8 years later, I have realized the folly of that decision. Even though I brush my teeth religiously, I probably have all manner of little creatures dwelling in caves in my teeth. I have such an intense fear of needles, that I am terrified to go back. Lack of dental insurance has served as a good excuse in the past, but I now must face up to my fears, and probably go get a mouth full of silver.
I will bury those little creatures with copper, mercury, and silver-tin alloy, right along with my fears. I can't, however, promise not to cry while doing it.