Nobody really LOVES to go to the dentist, right? Some actually fear their bi-annual visit. I can say, I’ve never been one of those people who dreads the appointment. I’ve never really had any strong emotion about my dentist visit…until this morning that is.
I entered the building with a pleasant attitude confident that I would be in and out without any troubles.
I plopped down in the comfy chair and the nice dental hygienist informed me that they had a new tool that she was going to begin cleaning with.
She pulled out the little utensil and went to work.
I immediately did NOT like it. It felt like a small drill that produced a high pitch drilling sound that vibrated my teeth as she traced it around my gum line. It resembled a metal on metal screeching coming from my mouth. I was on edge.
At one point, I felt it get hot on my tooth and a bit of pain shot through my mouth. Being on edge, I jumped, which only caused the drill to hit my tooth deeper. I apologized as the sweet hygienist became stone faced (at least that’s what I imaged behind her mask). She told me me jumping only made it worse. I leaned back determined to remain calm.
As she continued, I felt a lump rise in my throat. The dialogue in my head began:
“Polly, you can’t cry…You are 27 years old- you can’t cry at the dentist…Pull yourself together.”
The drill has now made it way to the other side of my mouth.
“Just ignore it…Think about something else…Think about heaven…There will be no screechy tooth drilling in heaven…That will be nice.” (Not sure why I decided to think about heaven at that moment)
I felt another hot spot on my tooth, but this time pulled away from the drill rather than jumping into it.
The hygienist showed no reaction to my response.
“Focus. Pretend you aren’t here. Polly, you are so lucky to have dental care. Think about all the people who don’t have dental care… Yes… This is a good thing. Think of all the yucky plaque she is getting off your teeth…”
The drill has now made it’s way to the inner side of my teeth.
“I wonder if I can just tell her to stop… Would that be ridiculous? Maybe next time I have an appointment I can request that they don’t use the ultrasonic, scaler, vibrating thing…”
Finally, after what seems like hours, she was done.
I felt my hands and toes unclench. Relief.
After she finished the exam and cleaning, my dentist came in, did a 15 second look at my teeth and gums, then said I was good to go.
I think I hid the fact that I was emotionally traumatized pretty well.
My bi-annual visit might become an annual visit from now on. I am going to avoid the ultrasonic scaler as much as I possible can.