My Dental Dilemmas: Part One

There is no beating around the bush here, I’ll just come right out and say it: I am a pussy when it comes to going to the dentist!I really like brushing and flossing and taking care of my teeth. I love that deep burning tingle from swishing the Listerine around in my mouth. What I do not care for is going to the dentist. I get all sorts of anxious and I start to sweat profusely and get nauseous – and that’s just in the car on the way over.

For as long as I can remember, going to the dentist has always been a traumatic experience for me. When I was little, I would get so freaked out in the dentist‘s chair that I would wait until he turned around to get equipment and then I would jump up out of the chair and make a run for it. My bib would be flying around the back of my neck like Superman’s cape and I was off and running down the hall. After making it out of the room more than once, my mother did what any supportive, loving, compassionate, and caring mother would do: She pinned me down to the chair. Her full body weight was on my chest and one of her hands was holding one of my arms down and her other hand would be jammed at my throat, pinning me to the headrest while my Aunt laid across my recklessly flailing legs trying to hold my other hand – effectively immobilizing me. As with any poor, defenseless animal caught in a trap by hunters, I was too terrified to scream and could only lay there in terror – waiting for the torture to end.

Now, any normal dentist would stop right there and say “wait a minute ladies, this might not be a good idea if we actually have to assault him to open his mouth” but not Long Island Dentists in the 80’s. He was just as bad as my mother and aunt because while they were pinning me to the mat, he was prying my mouth open with one of his hands and sticking torture devices in and out of my teeth with the other all the while drilling just for the fun of it. That is when I realized that life really isn’t fair after all. 

I would like to tell you that that was the only time that I have been held down and literally assaulted in a dentist’s office, but if I told you that, it would be a lie. There were many, many other times and it had only made my fears worse. Also, don’t even get me started about how they had to restrain me to get blood from my arm at the doctor’s office. The two of them weren’t enough that time and they needed two additional nurses helping them to try to hold me down. I was thrashing around like The Hulk and they were kicking and punching back because I was determined to get out of there. Each one of us left that office feeling downtrodden and covered in bruises…Sadly enough, if you were to look back through it, my medical history memory bank runs like a Tarantino film. 

As for my current dentist: It took me forever to find someone I am comfortable with but there are still issues.  I still freak out and my wife has to come and stay in the room with me to try to calm me (or apologize for my behavior). He actually makes me take the last possible appointment of the day because he doesn’t have a door on any of his exam rooms (I’m like the 3:00 show) and  apparently, I scared some of the kids and parents in the waiting room last time when I was freaking out during a cleaning, so he bumped me til there is no one around. By the way, he also makes me wear a pink nose cone to get the gas because he says the other colors are too small and won’t fit around my nose. Leave it to a dentist to make an already nervous person self-conscious about their big nose. I just can’t win!

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