This is about as much as I can open my mouth, so instead I’ll show you another adorable photo of Lola.
But I am happy to report I survived my first dental implant- barely.
It all started yesterday morning a few hours before surgery when I took out the bottle of pills I was prescribed to take beforehand and had to choke down not one but TWELVE little tablets all at once. When I asked the doctor what this was all about he said “not to worry, they’re just steroids.” Just steroids? I haven’t roided up since the early 90s and wasn’t exactly too keen on starting to juice again. But if the doctor prescribed it, what else could I do? I swear with every tiny pill I swallowed I could feel my neck getting larger and my testicles getting smaller.
When I got to the dentist office I was so damn nervous I could barely swallow my mouth was so dry. Although now I’m just wondering if that wasn’t an aftereffect of all the steroids? The only thing that kept me going was the thought of that beautiful little pink pig nose that was about to placed over my face in just a few minutes to get that nitrous oxide pumping through my bloodstream.
I sat in the dentist chair and the doctor came over, we made small talk like we always do, he looked at my mouth and of course I instantly regretted forgetting to floss this morning. Of all mornings, why couldn’t I have put in just a little extra effort? He started rubbing that awful tasting numbing gel on my gums and then all of the sudden he raised that ominous looking shiny metal needle I know all too well above my mouth and I panicked and held my hand out- “Whoa whoa whoa, let’s not rush right into this. Aren’t I gonna get a little gas first before you stick me?”
And then he said the five worst words I’ve ever heard in my life, “I don’t give gas anymore.”
My heart sank to the ground. I can’t explain to you the terror and disappointment I felt all at once. No more gas? What is this the 1920s? I didn’t realize how truly bad I wanted that nitrous until I realized I wasn’t going to get it. I’m not kidding you when I say I almost started to cry. I had to hold back tears and remind myself this isn’t a normal reaction for an adult. Something about that dentist chair just takes me back to being a frightened eight-year-old thinking I can cry and whine and throw a fit and everyone will just deal with it because I’m a kid.
As the anesthesia from all the needles started to soak into my mouth the nurse tried to talk to me while I waited to be moved into the surgery room. Does a soccer player try to kick a ball when his leg is numb? Or a tennis player when his arm is numb? No. Then why do the nurses always try to talk to me when my mouth is the size of a softball and I can’t feel anything below my nose? It’s just uncomfortable.
And then the doctor took a steel tool about the size of a pencil and held it against my crown tooth that he was trying to knock out, and hit the other end of the tool with what can only be described as a hammer. He was literally hammering away at my tooth, again and again and again. I should have just said give me a couple dirty martinis and a ball gown and I’ll have this tooth out in no time. But nope, we did it the old fashioned way.
I was finally moved into the surgery room and it wasn’t until the nurse started describing to me how the doctor was “simply” going to open up my gums, fold back the tissue, and then drill into my bone to place an implant, when she looked at the fear in my eyes and casually remarked, “Oh honey, we should have prescribed you with some valium or something to take before, you seem a little apprehensive.” I’ve never taken anxiety pills or relaxing pills or whatever it is she mentioned, but I’m certainly not against them and would have jumped at the chance to down a few to numb my fear. Thanks for the after thought, Nurse Grunt.
They placed a sheet over my face with only a small circle cut out over my nose and mouth, and oddly enough this kind of made me feel better. I’m a hider, I always have been. As a little kid there was nothing better to me than hanging out under a table with a long table cloth draping over the sides, or in the middle of racks at clothing at a store. Even today, I’m still the type of person who likes to sit in the corner in a classroom, or next to anything that makes me feel like people can’t see me. I don’t know what this says about my personality, probably nothing too good, but it’s just how I am. So I was happy to hide under the sheet, that was until my nose accidentally got covered, and suddenly the heat of the room and the smell and sound of them grinding away at my bone started to get to me.
The types of things the doctor was saying made me feel like I was on an episode of Gold Rush, they were the diggers, and my mouth was the glory hole. “More bone! Keep drilling a little deeper! We need more bone still.” At one time I could have sworn I heard Parker Schnabel in the room yelling at everyone else to work a little harder.
And this just got way too long. These pain meds I’m on just make me a Chatty Nancy I think. Long story short, I did okay- even without the gas. Thank you so much for all of the kind comments and well wishes yesterday, I truly appreciate every one of them!
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