I have to go to the dentist today. I don’t want to.
Normally I don’t mind going to the dentist. Cleanings don’t bother me, and I have very good dentists, so if there’s something more to be done, we work around my rabid fear — my abject terror — of dental needles as best we can.
This is progress for me, since I determined at the age of about 12, after some fairly horrific appointments as a child, that I would never again go back to the dentist.
I went back when I was about 19, when my dad found a dentist who promised me he would not use needles and promised me it would not hurt.
He kept his promise. It never has hurt. Although when I was about 30, he came in carrying a needle when a filling had to be done.
I looked at him in horror. He gave me That Look.
“Oh, I think you’re old enough to handle it now.”
Well, how does one back down from THAT? And it wasn’t so bad, although I am still terrified of dental needles and cry in the chair if one is required. But I do it. I know it’s good for me and has to be done.
But today? Today they are measuring pockets.
Those of you who know what this means are cringing right now. If you don’t know what it is, let me explain.
This is a diagnostic procedure where they take a probe and stick it down between your tooth and your gums to see how deep the gap is. That gap is where bacteria can develop and trouble can start, so they try to keep the pockets from getting deep.
It is also a really, really uncomfortable thing to endure. As I am sure you can imagine.
For me, it’s even moreso, because I have some very deep pockets, where damage has been done. These are really sensitive and sore sometimes. So jamming a probe in? Excruciating.
I cannot tell you how much I dread this appointment.
I know it’s good for me. I don’t care.
I am going to take a big hit of extra-strength Tylenol before I go in to try and numb the pain. Maybe I can sleep through it.
I doubt it.