wednesday afternoon before last, i returned to the dentist after a 1.5 year hiatus. which was after a 15 year hiatus (for those of you not tracking my trips to the dentist).
i had been noticing a brownish line indented around the gumline of one of my bottom teeth halfway back, as well as its accompanying sensitivity. it's easy to put off the dentist when i know i'll have to have brian take off from work to watch assorted children. but this indentation was making me nervous and thusly propelled me dentist-ward.
a sweet asian lady insisted on showing me the blood-spattered tartar which had turned black from residing in my mouth cavity during its extended vacation. oh, it wasn't really that impressive. the previous hygienist had neglected to tell me that it sometimes takes more than one trip to get old tartar on out of there.
that indentation? it's from BRUSHING TOO HARD with the power brush (though i forgot to tell her i've been using a manual brush the last six months since the old brush died and i just can't get on board with this new brush, so now i'm terrified to brush with anything more than gentle thoughts traveling down to my brushing hand). and i've even had some success with flossing, hoping it will make up for me not brushing hard enough some day. oh, and there's some of the same on the twin tooth on the other side of mouth valley. that shit don't repair itself neither.
they shot at my dna with dna-manipulating waves and the dentist made his cameo and scolded the hygienist for saying my teeth looked "okay", versus what he deemed a more positive "acceptable". hey. second trip to the dentist in nearly 20 years with only a little moldy plaque to show for it and i'd say i'm looking damn fine in the mouth.
and then the hygienist made this kind of startled sounding comment that alluded to some xrays being on the screen, like they shouldn't be there because i might see them, and he said he wanted to show me something. and i don't know why any of my xrays should elicit startlement.
and so what he showed me was how that one pesky impacted wisdom tooth was, in fact, not so static. we kind of knew this 1.5 years ago, as it was starting to knock on its neighbor's door to ask for a cup of sugar. well, now it was forcing its way in and preparing to kick the family dog. which means it will likely burrow on into the nerve within the next couple of months. thank god for brushing too hard with the powerbrush!
i had gone to this grumpy, gruff old man for a wisdom teeth removal consultation after the last appointment, but couldn't do anything about it as i was only halfway through my nursing regimen at that point. and that was that.
the hygienist asked how i liked dr grumpy and i told her thusly and she sent me to a younger one. i visited him last tuesday and realized part way through our discussion that he seemed a little bit like he might have been a stoner in a past life. or, a dentist who hits the gas. like, just from the way he talks.
i asked if there was such a thing as getting gas in order to psychologically prepare for the IV. i was told there could be. he concurred with dr grampy that the fourth third molar should stay on down there in the gums as it's riding on a wave of nerves which could be damaged, causing my face to lose sensation for months OR LIFE.
he asked me if there was anything wanted to discuss and i replied i felt the need to keep talking in order to stave off the inevitable scheduling of the appointment. THE APPOINTMENT. the one i've been dodging for two decades.
tuesday, august 19. 8:30am.
they sent me this link to a thing where this woman computer-voice casually talks to you about what to expect. i didn't find it in my junk folder until 11:30pm and so i sat there alone, in the partial darkness. i don't know that it made me feel any better. i found myself ejecting anxiety spittle through my intertwined-finger mask and on to the keyboard a couple of times and i wasn't even sure how that was happening.
we're not thinking past the drive to the office. that's all there will be. a pleasant drive to an office overlooking the parking lot of north park mall. there will be ducks cavorting inside that mall on that day. having a grand time with the turtles and dirty coins.