To say I’ve had a lot of dental work done is a pretty severe understatement. I probably have enough mercury in my mouth to be the cause of my eventual demise, and if that doesn’t do it, the plethora of root canals will. I have exactly zero teeth that haven’t had some sort of work done to them, and I’m missing quite a few that dentists gave up on because they would have just been too much work to deal with (bad dentists, IMO – I have a great dentist now, and he’d better not retire until after I either have all false teeth, or die).
Needless to say, I’m very familiar with the whine of a dental drill, the smell of bone/tooth dust in the air, and the taste of Novocaine and various amalgam filling components. Heck, I’ve had so much work done that the doc has to fix a filling I broke in a couple weeks, and I won’t even need to be numbed up because it’s a filling in a tooth that’s already got a root canal. I’ve had one other of those, and I tell you what – it’s crazy weird to sit in that chair and feel the vibrations from the drill while they work on a dead tooth in your very much alive mouth.
It’s kind of fun to tell people you got a filling without drugs afterward too, of course.
I’m not telling you all this to make you cringe (though hey – bonus points to me if you did!), but because Monday as I was sitting in the dentist’s chair, getting my teeth cleaned for the millionth time, I was curious about why there aren’t more horror stories involving dentists and dental work. I’m certainly not the only person who’s less than fond of having dental work done, and honestly, though I hid it well, I was scared every time I had to go in, because I knew it was going to hurt (I’ve never had any kind of dental work done – cleanings included – that didn’t hurt at some point). I’ve had so much work done now that I’m not scared anymore, just resigned to my fate, for the most part. Doesn’t mean I don’t still clench my fingers together while the tools are whining away though…
In any case, now I feel the need to write some dental-based horror, because hey, that’s how we explore what scares us. And with any luck, we learn not to fear it, even if we still have to accept it as part of our lives.