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Sunday, October 11, 2009

As if Mondays aren't bad enough

There are many a Sunday night when I find myself dreading Monday morning, wishing I had just one more day of the weekend to relax or get things done around the house. Tonight, I'm dreading Monday morning for a whole different reason -- I'm getting a root canal in the morning.

Sadly, this isn't my first root canal. But it's been quite a while since I've had one and I don't remember a whole lot about it. I remember the last time I had one, the endodontist's office had quotes written on the ceiling tiles. I thought that was pretty considerate since the patients have to lay there staring at the ceiling for hours on end.

How many hours is it? I don't remember. And I don't remember what kind of anesthesia they offer. I'd prefer to be completely knocked out. Or at least looped up pretty good. But I know I remember that I drove myself home, so I'm pretty sure neither of those things will happen.

I wasn't really surprised when my dentist told me I need a root canal. The tooth in question has been bothering me (read: throbbing) off and on for a while. But I HATE the dentist. Well, not the dentist herself, but what happens at the dentist.

First, there are the x-rays with the films that never fail to gag me. I've thrown up in the dental chair during x-rays more than once. Then the hygienist uses an ultrasonic cleaner to get at the plaque on my teeth and it's like scraping fingernails across a chalkboard. Then she starts digging at my gums with the mini pick axe. All the while, my body is tensing up, preparing for the impact in my mouth.

Then the dentist comes in, looks at my teeth and the x-rays and delivers the inevitable bad news. Last time, it was REALLY bad. And the root canal was just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much work that needs to be done in my mouth, that the dentist asked if she could confer with her billing specialist to come up with a treatment plan and to prequalify the work with my insurance. There goes the thoughts for a trip to Disney World!

So the every six months cleaning leads to a long-term relationship with the dentist to get everything fix and culminates in the next six-month check up where the whole ridiculous thing starts again.

That's why I was serious when I said I'd rather have a mammogram than a teeth cleaning.

It's not like I don't brush my teeth. I do -- at least twice every day. Admittedly, I'm not much of a flosser unless something is stuck in my teeth. But I think my genes are working against me in this battle (I have my dad's bad teeth), so I kind of feel like I don't have much control.

No matter. Tomorrow morning will find me in the chair at the endodontist, hoping for a little laughing gas cocktail and looking forward to my indulgent, post-root canal nap.


Shauna said...

I know the feeling! I went to the dentist a few months ago, only to be told my mouth was "a mess". I have to get a lot of work done, starting with having my wisdom teeth pulled on Wednesday! I am thankful I'll be put under general anesthesia, but not looking forward to the procedure one bit!

I hope your root canal goes smoothly.


Anonymous said...

I hope it goes well - or as well as can be expected! After this one I think you've earned Maggie Moo's without the guilt! - Beth

Eternal Lizdom said...

Oh ugh!! I hope you are home and recovering now and that it wasn't as bad as your thoughts made it out to be... or as bad as it actually kind of just has to be...