Saturday, January 13, 2007

temporary dental epilogue

the dentist visit went much better then I could have aniticpated. It turns out that I have an exposed root, which is very sensitive, and it has a bacteria infection brought on by a lot of sugar (the Riccola cough drops I've been eating). The dentist was a nice woman, not too much older then me, who was very passionate about teeth. She spoke with an accent that sounded Eastern-European-ish, and explained the problem to me after poking and jamming that metal pick thing at my tooth and touching it with q-tips drenched in brown stuff. It was awful, I was involentarily reflexively squirming in my chair, as the assistnat put her hand on my arm as to reassure me. Now that I think about it maybe the assistant was making sure that I didn't hit the dentist. Not that it would have come to that.

I used to be responsible for accompanying severely developmentally disabled adults to dentist visits. Those appointments were always an adventure. First of all, the dentist's office would always prescribe heavy duty drugs for anyone I've had to take, so they could show up half-knocked out. Amazingly, many of the people these drugs were prescribed for are impervious to extreme amounts and mixtures of drugs. They would get to their appointment, and still manage to punch the dentist with a closed fist in the face. One appointment, this extremely agile and quick guy I was responisible for named Michael grabbed the pick and mirror out of the dentist's hand and threw it across the room. Then he climbed out of the chair, jumped over some equipment, openend the door and ran out of the room. Another woman I brought named Maria would scream and tried to head-butt the dentist whenever he came near. She also would grab any instruments, her paper bib around her neck, anything she can grab and throw at the dental staff in the room. Maria was blind, but had awesome aim. She was like a blind, short, mentally retarded Annie Oakley.

I think I'm probably one of the more challenging paitents at the dentist's office, but I don't think I'm too bad. I always gag when the technician shoves the tooth x-ray card into my mouth. I can't help that it makes my eyes water when it's wedged between the roof of my mouth and the soft fleshy pulp underneath my tongue. (forgot the technical term for that part of the body). Something interesting and bold about my new dentist's office I noticed, is that it was a very open enviroment, instead of seperate, private offices, the examination area was a large, open room, with several chairs seperated by large partitians. It kind of reminded me of a beauty parlor. Everything was painted either purple or a blue-green turquioise color.

I was very releived to hear that no root canals, crowns, or even fillings needed to happen. The dentist put a temporary varnish or seal or something on the exposed root part of my tooth, and I have to go back next week for a cleaning and a more permanent seal on that tooth.

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