More Dentistry

It’s a day and a half since I was last outside. I am recuperating after having more gum surgery yesterday. I don’t recommend this as a leisure time activity, but it’s not as bad as you might think.

I knew I needed this last treatment for a while, but hadn’t made an appointment. A few weeks ago, Helaine pointed out yesterday would be the perfect day (is there a perfect day for periodontal work?). No appointments were available.

I asked to be contacted if anyone canceled and that’s just what happened.

Actually, this was a perfect outcome. Who doesn’t anguish over upcoming dentistry – especially if you’re going to have your gums sliced open like a piece of ripe fruit? I had less than a day to be a head case.

Believe me, I am a head case!

I got to Dr. Weiss’ office at 10:15. By 10:20 I was in the chair. By 10:21 Rebbecca, his assistant, had spun the knob and the nitrous oxide was flowing up my nose.

I’m no doctor, but if you’re going for dental work, have fear of pain and don’t get gas – you’re nuts. It doesn’t stop pain, but it does relax you and (in my case) remove inhibitions.

I’ve been taking gas for dentistry since I was a kid. I remember sitting in the dentist’s office and feeling the window mounted air conditioning unit vibrate. Trust me – you wouldn’t feel it vibrate without gas!

After the gas comes the novacaine. Actually, as I understand it, it’s really not novacaine anymore. This is the part I dislike most. Getting a shot is one thing. Getting one in your mouth is way over the top.

Lying on my back in the dental chair, I stretch my body and arch my back, but it’s a reaction that speaks to fear more than pain.

By the time the injections have taken hold, I’m high as a kite from the gas and totally numb where the work is being performed. When Helaine came to pick me up, she was told I talked through the whole thing… not that I remember much of it!

Exactly what went on in my mouth is a mystery to me. Dr. Weiss said I needed this one additional section of gum fixed and who was I to say no?

Dentistry is very much a matter of trust. After all, how many places do you go feeling well, knowing you’re not leaving that way? You either trust your dentist or not.

Yesterday, after the injections wore off, I was uncomfortable, but not in pain. That discomfort has diminished over time, but it’s still there a little as the ibuprofen’s effect slacks off between pills.

Along my gum line, on the tongue side of my teeth, there is a piece of plastic material – packing. I’m surprised it’s still there protecting the surgery. When it falls away (any time I expect) the stitches Dr. Weiss used to close my wound will be exposed.

I should be pain free, with only the weird sensation of the surgical thread against my tongue to remind me what went on.

He’s a nice guy, but I’d rather just see him somewhere else.

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