Monday, 15 November 2010


On Wednesday I have a dentist appointment.

And I am absolutely shitting myself at the prospect.

It's just a check-up, and I'm slightly calmed by the knowledge that when they do decide to do horrible things to me, I will have another couple of weeks to think about it before it happens. But it will happen. I know it will. They're going to go scrape with that little metal scrapey thing and I'll go "OWWW!" then it'll be game over.

Here's the truth. I haven't been to the dentist in ages. In fact, I can't actually remember the last time, aside from the fact that it was probably while I was at university, possibly before. If this all reads like a bit of a guilty confession, you're spot on. I am completely embarrassed about my lack of dental care.

To compensate for this non-dentist-attendance, I brush twice a day, floss and swill round whatever I find in the bathroom (err, within reason). They're deceptive little scamps, my teeth. They're straight, they're white, they look fine. From the outside, you'd never guess that I've already had fillings and two back teeth removed on either side. I'm embarrassed about that, too, even though no one ever notices unless I drag a gum to one side and point out the gaps.

My fear of The Chair started when I was very little, and I think I caught it from my sister, who once took great delight in biting our dentist's finger. Neither of us liked him, he wasn't very child friendly and come to think of it, he had the worst set of nashers I'd ever seen. Whether it was the sight of his own teeth or the thought of what he was about to do to mine, I'd cry until they agreed to giving me general anaesthetic to have the work done.

Looking back, I suppose looking after my teeth came second to problems at my various schools and several hospital stints throughout my sickly youth (asthma attacks, a bout of meningitis, ongoing migraines, something called Acute Torticullis - the list goes on). When I ran out of passes to the anaesthetic clinic, they sent me to another place down the road where I had extractions under the wonderful, woozy influence of laughing gas. I remember giggling uncontrollably at the clock on the wall as the nurse came towards me with a needle and asked me to open wide. It was actually pretty good fun.

But long gone are the days of glorious nitrous oxide. On Wednesday I face being prodded and poked with rubber gloves, scraped and screeched at by metal bits and filled with squeeky cotton wool; then chastised for not visiting sooner.

And best of all - I'll be paying for the pleasure.

I hate the dentist. Save me now.


Anonymous said...

I never looked after my teeth when I was younger, as I consequence I've had more fillings than I care to remember. Although the last 2 visits I've passed with a clean(ish) set of gnashes. Whoo Hoo.

PS: You forgot to mention the cool glasses you get to wear too.

PPS: "squeeky cotton wool" the thought of it sent a shiver through me. G'ah!

Elaine said...

Rather you than me. I have had two very horrific experiences at the dentist and will continue to avoid him/them at all costs.

Good luck...I'm sure it will be fine!

Anonymous said...

Sadly I know just what you mean. It took me being in absolute agony ten years ago to go see a dentist (to eventually have my wisdom teeth out).

After the post op check up I have never been back either. Just the thought of the dentist is sending shivers down my back.

Ellie said...

I am a freak.

I love the dentist.

I wish I could go every week for a cleaning.

Unfortunately, the English variety always gives me a clean bill of health. They never tell me what I ought to be doing.

The American variety always has something to complain about.

I'm a masochist.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Oh, sure. It always starts with a check-up. That's when things can start to slide downhill. But best of luck. Remember, sometimes pain = pleasure.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

cynical - Hurrah, someone else who suffered! I find myself talking to way too many people with a perfect set of teeth these days. Cool glasses? I'll look out for those. Squeak.

Elaine - At least I'm not alone in wanting to avoid the whole experience altogether.

Perp - It makes me feel all jittery and nervous at the thought of them finding something wrong and calling me back for another appointment. I might leave the country again.

Ellie - I came very close to liking the dentist when I was given laughing gas every time. It definitely made me realise that hating the dentist is a learned behaviour - if you can manage to have a pain free / entertaining time once or twice, your brain will be tricked into thinking thats how it will always be. (your time will come, muhahaha)

Unbearable - Check up today, extractions and drilling tomorrow. OHHHHHH GODDDDDD.

Dan said...

I have to have two teeth out. They could do root canals but they are at the back and quite frankly I can't afford it.

I've now canceled the appointment twice :/

Anonymous said...

I've not been since God-knows-when, too. Probably before uni. I went a registered a few weeks ago but the lady was rude to me and I never went to the appointment!

I don't hate the dentist... I just don't have time for it!

Good luuuuuuuck x

Anonymous said...

My "new" dentist (the first one lasted from birth until about 4 years ago, he sang I'm dreaming of a White Christmas in the summer etc.) has bad breath. That freaks me out but it is kind-of distracting.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Dan - Yeah, I have a feeling that even this check up will sting me for relatively hefty sum. Root canal? OUCH. Even the name is horrible.

roseski - I'm taking a half day tomorrow as the only time they could fit me in is 3:15 in the afternoon. I've already cancelled once, and I'm forcing myself to go this time...

not twitter - See, that's what I don't get. My dentist's teeth were horrible. How can you work in the dental profession and have horrible teeth yourself? Or, yep...bad breath.


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