I had a dentist appointment today. And I survived. And I even had a temporary filling replaced, and all went well. This is no small feat. Let me explain.
When I was 3 years old I ran into a stone step. It was the 70’s and our white shag carpet turned a bright crimson fro m all the blood. In her panic, my mother could not find the tooth that was knocked out, and quickly rushed me to the dentist.
As it turned out,I had knocked the tooth up into my gum, and not out. I don’t remember being in the dentist chair, but I am sure it was very traumatic for me.
After that, dentist check ups were not so much fun. I was petrified. Dentists then, were not the pediatric dentists of today, with TV’s, toys, cool sunglasses………..
A few years later i had an abscess. I remember my mother sent me with my father.( Years later I found out she was more afraid than me!) He sat down first, put me on his lap and wrapped his arms around me as tightly as a vice!
“Open your mouth, Candy”, the dentist said sternly.
I clenched my jaw shut tight ans stared at him.
“Tell her to PLEASE open her MOUTH.” He looked desperatley at my father.
I stared at him, hatred sending imaginary vapor rays right through him.
(Unfortunately he still stood there.)
Somehow- I don’t remember how he pried my mouth open, but he did get his finger in there. As soon as I felt his fat, fleshy, finger, I clamped down! With all my hatred, I refused to let go, i just bit, and bit.
” Get her off me! Get her to open her mouth! Nurse get me anti- tetanus – NOW!” And with that he slapped me across my face!
In retrospect, as an adult, I understand where he is coming from. However, he turned dentists into the most evil monsters that ever purveyed the face of the earth.
As I grew up, I was vigilant about flossing and brushing. Anything to avoid that dreaded drill. And thank G-d , my teeth have held out pretty well.
When I was 24 years old, on a trip home from Israel, my then home; I made all the necessary doctor’s appointments- one of them being the dreaded dentist.
I went. He checked my teeth, and then, like in a bad horror film, his words, warped and in s l o w motion, ” You have a cavity.”
I made the second appointment, and on the dreaded day my mother offered to accompany me. Thank G-d. She waited in the waiting room for me to finish.
I went in, lay down on the chair, and immediatley requested happy gas. He obliged me, and put the oxygen mask over my mouth and nose. I relaxed completely. My mind floated elsewhere, and in the far distance I could hear the drill, and muffled voices. My own voice was crisp in my head. ” Yay – this is not so bad at all. It will soon be over. I can’t feel a thing! What an invention this happy gas!”
And then… in an even louder, crisper voice, I heard my dentist say ” Ok Candy, open your mouth.”
I realised the the far off drill and muffled voices were coming from the room next door! he had not even begun on me!
In one fopwl swoop, I tore off the oxygen mask and leapt off the chair and began sobbing in th corner of his room!
I did mention that I was 24 yrs old?
The next thing I knew, my mother was there, coaxing me, like one would a 5 yr old child, to please come back onto the chair. Eventually I did. However, my childhood lockjaw returned. I just could not open my mouth.
At this point, my 5 foot tall mother, straddled my 5″7 frame, and held my arms down. I was forced to open my mouth. He gave me a shot, froze my gum, and we were out of there in 15 minutes!
Of course this is mortifying, and was the cherry on top for me. But now, every time I go to the dentist, I commend myself immensely, especially if I have had to have work done!