A tale of Modern Dentistry
I went to the dentist today. But not just to the dentist. I went to an endodontist. Why an endodontist? Ah, wrapped in the answer to that question is a good life lesson that I should have learned a long time ago and apparently didn't. Never leave things unfinished. Two years ago (I'm lying, it was longer than that, but I'm too embarassed to say how long) I had a root canal.
It was not a fun experience. In fact, it was abominable. The endo and his assistant, the both of whom who (am I saying that right?) seemed to have more interest in discussing sports scores than keeping me properly anesthetized, had to shoot me up, no lie, about fifteen times. My gums felt like a pin cushion. Add that aspect of the root canal to the rest of it (drowning in my own spit and blinded by hot, bright overhead lamps) and it may be somewhat understandable as to why I didn't return to have my cap put on. After all, they said I was done and that I could go back to my dentist for the cap whenever I felt ready.
Ready, of course, is a relative term. I never went back. Well, a tiny bump on my gumline recently told me that was a dumb mistake. When you don't follow up a root canal by having the "temporary" cap removed and the real cap put on, you are begging for an infection. Luckily, mine was barely noticeable. No pain, no swelling, just a little bump.
Flash forward to today and I'm laying back on one of those fairly uncomfortable dental chaise loungers having my prior root canal "re-root-canaled".
There goes a few thousand dollars out the window...simply because I let myself be traumatized over my first endo experience. However, and this is the point of this post, if I had gone to this particular endodontist in the first place, I would have been eager (relatively, only relatively--dentistry is still dentistry) to return. His office knows how to do it right. They recline you, let you select a movie or tv show on disc, and then slip the goggles over you. My choice was to zone out to Napoleon Dynamite (a classic) while they drilled and clamped, and applied suction.
The funny part about the visit, however, was listening, while I was in the waiting room, to the receptionist converse with a patient. The receptionist, ironically, has a fear of dentistry and has been known to bit the dentist. And she works in an endo's office.
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