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Dental Nightmares

There are only a few things that make me very squeamish…spiders, needles, and dental visits.

Today I came face-to-face with the third item on the list.  Yes, folks, it was time for my six-month cleaning.

I loathe going to the dentist.

I suspect my issues go back to when I was a child.  Super Sis and I were pretty much threatened that if we got cavities, things would go very badly for us.

I had perfect teeth…until I turned sixteen.  I’ll never forget being told that I had three cavities…my first.

My mom was so mad that she made me drive myself to the follow-up appointment to have them filled.  The dentist was a good thirty to forty minutes away.

I was petrified.  I already didn’t like needles.  I had no idea what to expect after the needles.

I was also grounded for a long time.

Ridiculous, I know.

When I got married and enrolled in the dental plan offered through the state, I went faithfully, never enjoying the task but doing what I was supposed to simply because I was supposed to.  I don’t think I got any more cavities for a long time…if ever after that first go-round.

In 2010, I had a bad incident with a cavity that broke free of its filling and infected a nerve.  I had two teeth pulled during that visit.  I blogged about it here.

It was awful…lots of shots…with needles…lots of pain afterward.

I didn’t go back to the dentist for a long time after that.

When the Mr. finally got me to go back (and stop wasting his money), I freaked out when I had to get x-rays done.

This, my friends, is the stuff of my nightmares.

Getting dental x-rays done is TORTURE for me.

Although I am known to talk quite a bit, my mouth is actually quite small.

My jaw doesn’t open very wide, so sticking those wing things into each side is as painful as it is uncomfortable.  I nearly gag every time as well.

One year, I was so freaked out that I sat in the chair with tears rolling down my face.  I was completely unnerved, and my body told on me…releasing the fears that I was trying to hold inside.

The dental tech was extremely mean and condescending when I cried.

I never went back to this dentist’s office.

The new place I’m at is very family friendly, but today…oh today…I wanted to run out screaming.

It was x-ray time, declared the gal.

I wanted to refuse and gingerly broached the subject.  She politely avoided my veiled request.

I went into full protection mode (remember my post yesterday about being a force to be reckoned with).

Um, yeah.

She tried to offer “suggestions,” but I wasn’t buying them and politely *ahem* told her so.

I think I offended her because she said, “I’m just trying to help.”


I felt like one of my students who doesn’t want help when offered…every bit as rebellious too.

The first two x-rays were o-k-a-y.  Rather than remove the wing from my mouth, she slid it over to the other side of my mouth…no easy feat.

She stuck in a new wing for the third x-ray, and things went badly from this point forward.

I don’t know if the left side of my mouth is smaller than my right, but things were not fitting right, and I know I had a deer-in-the-headlights look…pure panic…as she adjusted the x-ray machine more than once or twice to get it just right.

I really wanted to pull that wing out and stick it somewhere unpleasant, let me tell you.

It was finally time for the fourth freaking x-ray, and she tried to slide it around into position.

Yeah, right.

It didn’t work because, in case somebody didn’t get the message, MY JAW IS TOO FREAKING SMALL FOR X-RAYS.

She pulled it out and then stuck her finger under my tongue.


I have no idea.

She said, “That’s just my finger,” as I was gagging.

Uh huh.  I’m going to keep this rated G.  I quit cussing last May, but I really wanted to start back again.

She finally, finally got the stupid wing in…the pain far, far worse than the others…and snapped the stupid, stupid x-ray.

She later told me that my palette is shallow.

My teeth are small too.

Yes, dear.  Most of me is small except for my feet, and those don’t need x-ray wings stuck between the toes, thank you very much.

Then, after looking at the x-rays, she announced that everything looked great.

Gee, I wanted to say, I could have told you that without the freaking x-ray.

She was a sweet girl, but sometimes I wonder what these people are thinking.

My jaw now hurts badly, and I have a headache.

I am going to start refusing these x-rays again unless I’m having serious problems.

I really don’t care if I have a cavity brewing; I’ll wait until a cavity hits a nerve before going that route again.

This is the stuff of my nightmares.

2 Responses

  1. OH man… I cringe… having been through so many dental trips in the chair & needles in my mouth & all the horrible things that happens in those chairs, I want to hug you. I always say that dental issues are ALMOST as bad as being shot in the stomach… ALMOST!

  2. I am the exact same as you with X-rays. I finally found a girl who was patient with me and taught me how to do it without gagging. Her first trick was to swab my tongue and cheek with table salt. Secondly, she made me lift my right leg off the chair and keep it up. (Don’t laugh….I know you are laughing). I am distracted by the task of holding my foot up and the salt has some effect on gagging and it goes pretty well.

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