The Sound of Drill

Remember how I found a cavity on Tuesday? Well, I called the dentist Wednesday, and they scheduled my appointment for Thursday. Yesterday. That’s some no-nonsense dentisting. Maybe it’s the off season for oral hygiene. Maybe most of their dental patients are like me and only see a dentist when there’s a hole. When the stars are aligned just so. When they wake up and realize that getting your teeth and gums poked at for a half an hour every once in awhile is actually important.

I am just amazed, because with any other doctor, you have to schedule your appointments well in advance. I mean, I was thinking that I would be lucky to be able to get an appointment next week. And then they scheduled me for the next day. But, hell, better to get it over with. And the sooner a cavity is filled, the better.

Anyway, as I reclined in the dentist chair, concentrating on keeping my tongue out of the line of fire from the various instruments, I noted that the pain was not all that bad, even the industrial strength water pick (I think it was a water pick) bombarding between each tooth and along the gumline. In a couple places, there was a little bit of sensitivity, but not too much, and maybe my post-pregnant dental x-rays will show a reason for that. But even though the pain was barely classifiable as pain, I think what really gets me the most about going to the dentist are the sounds. The suction of the spit sucker, that’s mild enough. But the drill. Even the polisher for the cleaning. They emit the kind of nails on chalkboard menacing sounds that just make it impossible to really relax, as much as you might try.

As the drill went into my molar, I found myself associating the whole dental experience to getting a tattoo. It kind of hurt, but it was the kind of pain that you get used to. You know, until they start getting a little too close to a nerve. It’s a steady vibration that, after awhile, you might not even notice if it wasn’t for the noise.

Anyway, I’m glad that I went to the dentist. And I liked the dentist himself, and the office was friendly enough. I will go back. And it will not be “in a few years.” I need to take care of me, and I guess this is just one of those things that you realize as another part of being a grown-up. You can’t procrastinate forever, especially when it comes to health.

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