Let's throw it back real quick...
I was probably about 12. We couldn't afford braces but my overbite was a bit concerning. So off to the dentist I went to get some impressions and talk about some options.
The dental assistant filled a foam mouth guard with some kind of thick, glue-like substance. I remember it was bright red. She then leaned me back and pressed the gooey mouthpieces into my teeth and left the room.
And I waited.
And soon the thick goo was seeping down the back of my throat. I started squealing. But the more I fidgeted, the worse it got. This was it. I was going to die right here. Alone. In this horrifying room full of instruments fitting for a horror film.
Goodbye Mom and Dad. We had a good run.
I didn't die that day. She came back. I cried. And I told my parents there was no way I'd agree with returning to fix my overbite. I'd just have to learn to love my silly smile.
Fast forward six years.
That overbite was now accentuated by some overcrowding. The dentist said it was because of my wisdom teeth. My mouth was too small to fit all those teeth so it was time to get them out.
This time they knocked me out. I remember counting and not even making it past three. Or was it six? That doesn't matter. But I woke up in a total daze only wanting ONE THING. Ice cream. My spoiled self asked and received. And proceeded to miss my mouth completely and spill chocolate shake all over my shirt. This was going to be a bad day.
My wisdom teeth were all removed that day. And they were impacted into my jaw. So they had to do some breaking of sorts to get them loose. Infection was in my future. So was a lot of pain. Some of the worse pain I remember. Like when I tried to take my pain meds at work to get through a shift running the drive-thru window at our local fast food joint. And they told me no. Once again I was sure I was going to die right there. Surrounded by grumpy teenagers and ravenous customers needing their curly fries RIGHT NOW.
Goodbye Mom & Dad. We had a good run.
I didn't die that day either. After a couple weeks my chipmunk cheeks looked normal again and I was eating real food again.
Fast forward another couple of years.
My bottom front teeth were fully exposed. Close to the root. My gums had receded due to - get this - me SMILING too much. Yep. Every time I smiled that little string of flesh that attached my lower lip to my gums pulled them down, exposing my little teeth. I was at risk of them falling out...or so the dentist told me. So we'd have to clip that little string of flesh and take a skin graft from my upper gums and place them over my bottom front teeth.
They didn't put me to sleep this time. But they did numb me. And that needle was what nightmares are made of. But it got worse.
There I was. Wide awake. Watching as the dentist with bloody gloves pulls a piece of meat out of my mouth and proceeds to sew it back in. My nightmares just got worse.
You know how I said my wisdom teeth was the worst pain I'd endured? That was up until this day. This was FAR worse. We were shopping in the mall when the novocaine wore off. Let's just say tears ensued.
So you'll understand when I say I would go YEARS without seeing the dentist.
Seven years was my longest run. But I learned to love cleanings and finally got a regular dentist who didn't judge me for my fears at Sleep Dentistry of Spokane.
But that doesn't mean the fear didn't return when I got that little pain one of my teeth a few months ago. I just knew I had a cavity. My FIRST cavity in 36 years. I was going to die again. Alone. In that dental chair. With a giant needle pointing at my face.
So today, I hesitantly (may I emphasize the word HESITANT), drove to my dentist to hear the bad news.
It probably wasn't even a cavity anymore...I was probably going to need a root canal....
This is what they told me: (see video below)
A HUGE thank you to Jenny my AMAZING dental assistant for keeping me calm and laughing WITH me, not AT me. And to Dr. Wilson for telling me I didn't have a smile for radio.
Another year, cavity free.
Apparently, I'm just a drama queen. Go fig.