I should probably preface this by saying half my tongue is numb. The inside of my left cheek, too. So, if I were speaking to you, it’d be more like “Haffy H’ween!” Neither percussive nor plosive consonants need apply.
I got a filling today. Our new dentist told me it was a small cavity, right in between some back molars.
“See, it’s right there,” he pointed it out to me on the screen. A dark spot sat in between two back molars. How could something so small cause so much discomfort?
He assured me he and his able assistant would be in and out in no time. However, as he dug deeper, he found the damage more extensive than anticipated. After his awesome assistant prepped my mouth and face as well as the required shot in the cheek, he started drilling and scraping. Then more drilling and more scraping. And a bit more drilling and scraping. The odor of burning dentin filled my nostrils. Amazing assistant applied air and then some water. I thought, When is this going to end? Happy thoughts, happy thoughts. Did I feel a twinge? Yes, a little one. Should I ask him to stop? Nah. Man up, woman! I should’ve said yes to the nitrous oxide. I could be laughing now. Deep breaths now. Jesus, Beautiful Savior…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Sigh. Are we there yet?!
After he finished, Dr. H. made a point to give me the skinny. He explained all about the old filling and what he discovered. Apparently the fast-food dentist we used to go to did a crappy job putting in one of my six (!) fillings. Decay had leaked *under* the last filling, wreaking even more havoc. Dr. H. admitted the tight squeeze between teeth made it hard to fix the damage. He didn’t name names, but I knew.
He looked me in the eyes.
“We drilled pretty close to the root today, so you might feel some pain over the weekend.”
I nodded. Yes. Made sense.
“The pain should subside by Monday. You can take regular medication as needed. If the pain doesn’t go away over the next couple of weeks, you might be looking at a root canal.”
Dr. H. shook my hand and left to save another smile.
Can I just say how much I appreciate people who do a good job and give it to me straight? He cleaned up someone else’s poorly executed work and made it right. These proud few I count among the grownups. I think about all the people who have given me the straight story over the years, showed me the error of my selfish ways and in the process facilitated inner healing. They got to the real issue, the internal decay crippling me They helped me root out self-pity, rejection, bitterness, despair and many more. Alas, I harbor no illusions about my own perfection. I will encounter more seasons of “scraping”, I’m sure.
In the meantime, I learned something else. I’m too old for this sort of tooth tomfoolery. I didn’t even get to choose a reward from the treasure box. That clinches it. My goal? No more cavities. Ever.