Root Canal Joy

I don’t like dentists. In fact, I absolutely fear them. I had a hideous experience as a child that has colored my views of the profession all of my life. I’ve only found a couple of dentists that provided me with the least amount of stress along with the needed procedures; however, life circumstances such as bankruptcy, loss of insurance and moving gave me the necessary excuses to stop following up with them like a good girl.


But, I broke a front tooth last weekend.


I found a new dentist based solely on who could get me in the quickest in my new hometown. He did a temporary repair and informed me that I needed a root canal. Now, it’s time to panic.


The procedure was scheduled for this morning. I woke up at 3:30 with the knowledge of what I faced barring me from returning to sleep. My bowels twisted and roared. I pouted into my coffee. I sulked through my shower. The fact that I couldn’t put on lipstick depressed me.  I tried to remain focused on the fact that I could wear my new hat to the appointment and look cute.


When I arrived at the office, the Coward Patrol was waiting for me. I wasn’t even allowed to get my coat off before I was herded into That Room. There are some very wise people working at this office. Within two minutes of having arrived, the worst part of any dental procedure for me was under way. Yes, I’m talking about the novacaine needle. The dentist is Doogie Dentist, who is a young whipper snapper and up on all the newest techniques to keep me from freaking out like an idiot.  After agood topical had time to set in, he started the injection slowly while flopping my upper lip manually. Perhaps a more accurate description would be that he made my lip plop up and down with his fingers like one’s lip would do while giving a raspberry. For some odd reason, it lessened the pain. Or, perhaps I was so focused on the raspberry motion and feeling quite silly that I didn’t notice the pain as much.   I now settled in for what I was sure was going to be several hours in the chair.


The next surprise in store for me was the giant condom. It was at least four inches around. My excitement deflated when I realized it wasn’t a real condom; it just resembled one. He positioned this over my tooth so that it was the only thing exposed. I didn’t need a suction hose drying out my mouth uncomfortably. I could swallow. I didn’t even have to keep my mouth wide open for the entire time. I did, however, experience a series of chin quivers that I found rather embarrassing. I had to manually stop my chin from this odd behavior on at least three occasions. I’m attributing that to being old. The entire experience was enhanced by Daniel Powter singing So You Had a Bad Day on their PA system.  Apropos.


The discomfort in my mouth was minimal, but I soon realized that I was having pain in my shoulders, of all places. I could attribute this to the tight grip I had on the armrests. Once I lightened up on that, the shoulder pain dissipated, too. One good thing about the chair was the angle of the tilt. My head was so far back that it entirely eliminated my double chin.

With a start time of 9:30, I was more than a little surprised to be back in my driveway at 10:38.


On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the suckiest, I give the entire experience a two. It just didn’t suck much. I’ll be going back to Dr. Doogie Dentist.

18 responses to “Root Canal Joy

  1. Glad that is over for you!

  2. I’ve not been online much today but I think I must quit now.

    I read the title of this post as “Root C Anal Joy” and thought “What the heck?” I think that’s a bad sign.

  3. You should have taken a picture of yourself with a front tooth missing. I did when I broke one on a BBQ rib last summer. The tooth fairy brought me earrings. And again I say – ask for the gas!

  4. Glad you found Dr. Doogie Dentist, keeping up your dental work is important for you overall health.

  5. Sue ~ But now, I’m faced with having to go back. It’s a small town and if I don’t, I’m terrified I’ll run into him in the grocery store.

    Wanda ~ Yes, they do.

    ABS ~ Sorry it wasn’t pornography for you.

    Vicky ~ I thought about posting a picture, then I remembered YOU did. Great minds and all…

    Shawn ~ I know that and I felt guilty when I’d preach that to my patients.

  6. Ha, I’ll see your one hour root canal and raise you a 3-hour cleaning.

    You need to take your own music–that’s what I do. I am in the middle of getting back on track with taking care of my peridontal issues, which means I get to go every three months or so–this after not having attended regularly since the younger one was a baby.

  7. LFC ~ I get to face the first cleaning in about ten years on Wednesday. If I ever get this crap caught up, I’m staying on top of it this time. (She said with trepidation.)

  8. For the record, I wasn’t looking for porn. I was looking for silliness.

  9. Hahaha! Doogie Dentist! I had to go back to look at that a couple of times. Doogie Dentist with a huge condom. You lucky gal.

  10. ABS ~ I think this was pretty silly.

    madamedonna ~ Yeah. That made it all okay.

  11. “Had a Bad Day” cracked me up. They probably keep that CD in the office and wait for emergency patients to show up before they cue it.
    The important question: did they send you home with prescription painkillers? ‘Cause we should know if Doogie has his priorities straight.

  12. tiger~ No meds at all. And the strange thing was, I didn’t even need to take an ibuprofen for it. I felt NOTHING afterwards. I didn’t even feel anything today. I didn’t even feel where the needle went in, and that’s usually a given.

    In Doogie’s favor, he told me he’d call whatever I wanted in if I needed it.

  13. Well…yeah. But not in the way I expected given my title misreading.

  14. Your fault, ABS. I love you, anyhow.

  15. I don’t like dentists either. However, if I could find a good one that was also cheap, I’d go. I am totally missing my back teeth on top and bottom and one on the side. I can’t chew anything at all, except with my front teeth. I eat a lot of salad and it takes me forever to eat it because I can only chew my veggies with my front teeth!

  16. I’m surprised, yet not, about all the people who say they have dental problems and aren’t addressing them. Dentists have a bad name and I think they’re totally deserving of it.

  17. I would go if I had dental insurance, no matter how much it hurt!

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