Well, it was no picnic, but I think I survived. The dentist started out by giving me at least a half-dozen numbing shots of Novocaine. Before each injection, he warned me: “You might feel a little pinch.” A little pinch? The needle was at least a foot long, and I’m certain he used every inch.
The first time he said that, I responded with, “I didn’t know my roots went THAT deep!” He just looked at me like I was nuts. So when I muttered, “My wife’s OB/GYN would have thought that was funny…”, he just shrugged and continued using me for dart practice. [Guys, unless you’ve had a PAP smear, don’t try to figure that joke out — maybe your Significant Other will explain it to you…]
Eventually we got to the part where the nurse offered me gas, and I quipped, “Ethyl please, and clean the windshield.” I guess her sense of humor was as numb as the doctor’s. When she slipped the tiny mask over my nose, I said “Tough room.” That fell as flat as everything else. Of course, I’m not certain she actually understood me, since half of my mouth was now sleeping with the fishes and my enunciation may have been a little off.
Next they prepared the operating area by gathering up a bucket of old, rusty dental tools and sticking them in my mouth. (I couldn’t actually see what they were doing, but I’m pretty sure that’s what happened.) The first thing that went in was a rubber block to wedge my mouth open as wide as possible. At that point, he started asking me questions. Why do dentists do that? They know you can’t talk. Some weird sort of dentist joke, I guess. Or maybe they all sniff the gas when the patients are out of the room. Who knows?
The doctor even put a clamp or something on my tongue and pulled it out of my mouth (he said). I didn’t know. I couldn’t feel a thing. However, I think he laid it across my chest because I’m pretty sure it’s a lot longer now than it was before the operation.
He left the room at that point, supposedly to give the gas and Novocaine time to work, but actually to go into the next room and laugh at how stupid I looked with half a hardware store stuck into my mouth. I’d never had gas before, and, honestly, I couldn’t tell that it did anything at all, but between the Novocaine and my own pain-killing drugs, I didn’t really care.
I don’t remember much about the operation, other than the fact that he pulled the tooth out whole, rather than breaking it into pieces like a previous doctor had done to my wisdom teeth. It was really stuck in there, too. I didn’t mind so much when he put his knee on my chest for leverage, but when he stood up on the chair arms and had his nurse grab him around the waist and pull him backwards, I thought I was going to come out of the chair. For my money, that was a bit too much like W. C. Fields’ movie, “The Dentist”.
Now that I think of it, maybe the gas did have some effect, after all. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure I heard the whir of a movie camera in the background, so if anyone sees me on YouTube, please let me know.
Anyway, I’m back home, nestled in the arms of my loving family and recovering nicely. Apparently I’m just about well. Only this morning when I asked She Who Must Be Obeyed to get me something to drink She gave me a look that said I won’t be able to milk this for sympathy much longer. Maybe next time I should add a little cough — what do you think?
The only thing left at this point is to get my new, longer tongue to quit probing the empty place where my molar used to be. That’s about to drive me nuts — nurse, oh nurse, more gas please! And don’t forget to check under the hood…