Appointment at Tooth-Hurty

Pink flower Mardi Gras New Orleans 2007

Her hands are in my mouth, poking, scraping, setting up X-ray cards. I bide my time for a chance to complain.

I stare at a spot on the ceiling, bright blue sky, white clouds, pink spring blossoms in the corner of the light box. I once would have clung to this, a haven in my anxiety, but now I don’t care. Throw whatever you want at me. Pain. Blood. Small talk. Scheduling. I’ll endure. I tell myself, “You think this is bad? This ain’t bad.”

A lull in the small talk. It’s on the tip of my tongue. I was disappointed the last time I was here. At my now-an-adult son’s appointment, they ganged up on me. Bad hygiene. He’s got to floss. I don’t know that? It’s been a twice-weekly argument since he slept in a bed full of Beanie Babies. Wisdom teeth. Crowding. Risk of nerve damage. And the first I heard of “gummy smile.” I signed a paper to arrange the painful and expensive procedure, got home and Googled it, and it was just cosmetic, a way to make some sweet, sweet profit. I’d been scared, trusting them.

I have a deteriorating filling, but I get a reprieve. My gums are pronounced beautiful. She loves looking at my teeth. I rinse and keep my complaints to myself.

She writes down a date for six months from now. I stick it in my pocket. Two steps, and I’m outdoors, free. I look up at the bright blue sky, see white clouds and pink spring blossoms.

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.

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19 Responses to Appointment at Tooth-Hurty

  1. Abby says:

    Well said! Now you’ve reminded me. I’m overdue…

  2. Linda says:

    Glad it all worked out in the end. And henceforth, I will try to make all my dental appointments for 2:30 because that was just so clever!
    Linda recently posted..Dinner Before DentalMy Profile

  3. lottajoy says:

    Glad to hear of a good dental outcome. In one month I’ve: cracked a tooth, had one pulled, in the process of getting a root canal it was discovered the pain I’ve been in FOR TWO YEARS is due to an abscess that hit my jawbone, AND I was told one more tooth is getting ready to shatter. AND I FLOSS…. a lot.

    • Marcy says:

      I hope you have a speedy recovery from your abscess. I guess it’s probably good in a way that you cracked the tooth to allow this other problem to be discovered and addressed. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Tina says:

    I know this feeling well. I have been avoiding the dentist for two plus years now, and using my cancer as an excuse. I feel guilty about it, but I still haven’t made an appointment!
    Tina recently posted..100 Words: SouthMy Profile

  5. Ellen says:

    My dentist office does the same thing suggesting procedures, trips to a specialist for a precautionary look, too many x-rays, etc. I used to think I had to do everything they said, but no more. I am in charge of my own teeth!
    Ellen recently posted..Instructions? What Instructions?My Profile

    • Marcy says:

      Good for you! I’m the same way, I guess, but the way they presented the “gummy smile” information was misleading in that they made it seem connected to the poor state of his gums, when it really wasn’t and was just cosmetic. At least we have Google now, right? Thanks for your comments.

  6. meg says:

    This is why I opt for nitrous every time. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Melony says:

    Hahah perfect description! I’m glad it worked out for you, though. I dread the dentist. In fact I avoided one for 15 years certain they were going to say the same things! Now I go once a year. Screw going twice, tho! haha

    • Marcy says:

      It seems I hit a nerve about going to the dentist, ha ha. I had a long stretch of not going, too, back when I was kicked off my parents’ insurance for the first time and didn’t get dental insurance from my employer. Now I am at that age that I can appreciate how important it is, even if I don’t want to go. (But no gummy smile surgery!) Thanks, Melony.

  8. Pryvate Lisa says:

    Loved this. I used to love The dentist when I was a kid. Didn’t realize til adulthood it was the nitris I enjoyed not the procedures.

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