“Ouch,” I screamed. I had just fixed myself a nice bowl of breakfast cereal, but when I bit down on it, a bolt of lightning shot through my mouth. It can’t be my tooth, I thought, I was just at the dentist for a checkup this week. It’s probably a sore place on my gum from the cleaning.
By the next day, it was clear something was going on. Every time I tried to chew, blue thunder crashed and bolts of electricity shot out my ears. It couldn’t be that bad, I consoled myself, or they would have found it when I had the checkup. I’ll call the dentist Monday.
By Monday morning it was clear I was not going to the office. Mt. St. Helen’s had erupted in my mouth, and molten lava was pouring into my sinuses. Please, not another $5000 root canal. I have better things to do with my money than send the dentist on another vacation to Hawaii.
I called for an emergency appointment and he could work me in that morning. I’m probably his favorite patient, I thought. I should have a designated parking place as often as I seem to empty my bank account there.
“What seems to be the problem?” he purred when I arrived, as I held tightly onto my purse so he couldn’t snatch it. “The problem is the $5000 you are going to charge me,” I thought, but what I said was, “I think it might be abscessed.”
After taking x-rays, and picking and prodding in my sore mouth like a miner hunting gold, the dentist scrapped me off the ceiling and told me the good news.”The tooth already has a root canal.” Then he told me the bad news. “I don’t think it can be saved. We might as well make our plans to get it pulled.”
It can’t be saved? It can always be saved. Even if it is only a cavity attached to a dead root, they always want to save it. Apparently, he doesn’t want to vacation in Hawaii again this year.
So, he put me on drugs and gave me an appointment to come back for a major torture session. I could hardly wait. I tried to fix it myself by brushing, flossing, rinsing, and using dental gel, but it was too late.
On Thursday I showed up for the assault of Genghis Khan. “Good morning,” said the nurse. Did she have to be so cheerful? “Good morning,” said the dentist, tripping me with his leg before I could get out the door and flipping me into the chair with an amazing judo move.
Then he pulled out a needle the size of a jackhammer and proceeded to shoot my gums with Novocain. After I came to, he asked how I was feeling. “Otay, I tink,” I mumbled as the dental assistant wet vacuumed the slobber off my chin. “Okay, for a person whose face is now a stone statue,” I thought.
Then he attacked me from behind with a pair of pliers. “You might feel some pressure, he said, as he put me into a full hammer lock and latched down on my jaw. I heard a horrible cracking sound, and knew my jaw bone was broken. Call 911! I’m going to die. Bottle rockets went off and beautiful fireworks exploded right there in the dentist office. Amazing, I thought, as I watched my spirit float out of my body.
The dentist said, “That’s it. We’re done.”
“That’s it? I’m alive? I can’t believe it. Let me out of here,” I thought, as I wondered how far the jump was from the window. I ran from the office with a hole the size of Crater Lake where my aching tooth used to be and a mouth full of gauze. “Dood dye,” I said, “Tanks.”
I locked the door to my car as I left. A swat team could not have stopped my escape. “I’m still numb,” I thought, “I can’t feel the bullets if they shoot. I’m invincible.” If only I could make it home before passing out.
Then I remembered, I forgot to ask for the tooth. Maybe if I write a nice note for the tooth fairy on the back of the bill and leave it under my pillow, she will understand.
Copyright 2010 Sheila Moss