I never understood why other people hated going to the dentist. I always shot through appointments in record time with little more than a poke and a scrape. I never understood until recently… when I received my first (surprise!) filling.
And it was a surprise, because I had no idea what was going on at the time.
I turned up at the dentist with some suspected sensitivity issues. I was anticipating some discomfort, even minor pain – I was not anticipating a filling.
The way they do it at my particular dentist is that Dentist #1 does the initial check/scrape/clean, and then the Rockstar sweeps in to give a final check and tackle any heavy stuff.
So after the initial poking and prodding, sucking and scraping, Dentist #1 explained that I did indeed have some sensitivity issues which could be easily fixed with special toothpaste. Or at least that’s what I understood.
I was so wrong.
Because then… in came the Monster…
Oh, we were going to call him ‘the Rockstar’ right?
So the Monster, sorry, I mean Rockstar, swept in using similar words to what Dentist #1 had said, before sending me for an x-ray.
Because suddenly, my peaceful dentist experience was shattered. A variety of strange instruments were lined up in front of me and the words coming from the Rockstar mushed together into a cacophony of German-babble-syllables. It all happened very fast: capable hands in my mouth, saliva spraying forth in waves, unrecognisable murmurings, strange sounds, blue lights, poking, prodding, pushing, pulling..
And I was terrified. I can only imagine what the frightened look on my face must have looked like. The Rockstar kept telling me to relax my jaw, which I could only achieve by screwing my toes up tighter. My whole body was tense. The pain was actually minimal, I was more disturbed by the vulnerable feeling of uncomfortableness and the overwhelming anxiety that at any point, agony could shoot forth with no warning.
And then all it once it was over. I was told to rinse and that’s when I finally started to recognise some words – ‘filling’, ‘white’, ‘plastic’.
I was sent away with a voucher for toothpaste, a new white piece of plastic in my mouth, and an incredible sense of dread for the dentist.
I never want to go back.