So I go through the next 9 years with nary a complaint. Except that he can’t pay his mortgage. But, really, I don’t care about that. I grind my teeth, I get a night guard. I get my checkups. All is well. I get lulled into complacency.
I start getting sensitivity. It kinda really hurts when I eat sweet things, especially sweet, sticky things, like chocolate. I ignore. But then I remember what happened the last time I ignored pain and I call the dentist. They didn’t answer. I called again. They didn’t answer again. I convinced myself that this is normal. And that it means I don’t really need the dentist (if I needed them, they would answer!). I mention to a co-worker that I have sensitivity but it couldn’t possibly be a cavity because it’s the side I chew on. She says, yeah, you couldn’t have a cavity since it’s the side you chew on… she seemed skeptical. I start double thinking my approach. I call the dentist again. No dice.
They call me. I call them back, they answer. I go in for my cleaning.
Dentist: Oh, hi Heather, long time, how ya been?
Me: Oh. Good, thanks. How are you? *seems nonchalant but I was sweating in the chair at this point*
Dentist: Oh, good. How’s your Mom? Brother? Dad? (did I mention I’ve been seeing him forever?)
Me: Oh yeah, great. *still sweating*
Dentist: So, any problems?
Me: Yeah. I kinda got some sensitivity over here. *really sweating*
Dentist: Sensitivity? What kind of sensitivity?
Me: It hurts. *my heart rate is probably at dangerous levels*
Dentist: Let’s take a look.
He grabs his pokey device. I know that he’s going to find the sensitive spot and poke it. And once I respond, he’s going to poke it some more just to make sure he knows where it is. He pokes. I feel fine *although sweating*. He pokes some more and says that he found some fissures. I don’t know what that means, but it sounds serious. But he’s willing to look at it next week. *whew* He tells me the story of how when I was little I had holes in my teeth which were really just holes in the enamel and he covered them up with these sealants. Sounds pleasant, really. I bet I won’t even need any needles.
So when I went in again, I had convinced myself that he would cake my teeth in sealant and I’d be on my way. He starts asking the hygienist for things I can only assume to be ‘implements of destruction’. He asks me if I want both sides frozen today or to come back next week. Uuuuummmm…….. He says, I suggest one side today. Okay sure. So he says “I’ll do this tooth (upper right hand side) and this tooth (lower left hand side). Sound good?”. I think I must’ve looked skeptical, because he repeated the question. If you’re going to freeze this side (upper right) and this side (lower left), why not do this tooth instead (lower right)? He gave me a reason I was comfortable with. All the while, I was really surprised that my upper right tooth needed work since it’s had a root canal and posts and needs a crown…. but okay, doc, you’re the man.
He freezes me on the right side. And then the left side. He puts in this blocker thing on the right and preps to go in. And then he says “Huh… you don’t need a filling, you need a crown”. I’ve waited 9 years for him to bring this up (or for my temporary filling to shatter). So he decides not to do that side and jacks me up on novocaine on the other side. The procedure itself was fine (except for my massive heart rate) and was over within 30 mins.
The moral of this story is…. fissures mean nothing. They’re still cavities requiring freezing, drilling and filling. Don’t kid yourself. And temporary fillings will eventually be remembered.
The other moral of the story is… when it’s been 9 years since you’ve had any freezing, you will be very frozen. I mean, unbelievably frozen. Frozen like you’ve never been frozen before. I was frozen (I mean, dead to the world, frozen) from the middle of my lips to my scalp. I could not longer feel my face. I wonder if that’s what it feels like when you get botox. If so, no thanks, I’ll take wrinkles!