I have a thing about going to the dentist. Now don’t get me wrong, my dentist and his assistants are sweet as can be. I’m sure we’d all get along great over a cup of coffee. However, several obscenities tend to cross my mind when they’re poking and prodding in my mouth.
I’ve always had a thing about going to the dentist. I’m fairly certain I need an anxiety prescription just to go. That or a couple shots of something and I’d be good to go. The anxiety didn’t help this past week when I had to get sealant put on my teeth and a lingual frenectomy.
The sealant was to cover up the craters I had worn into my teeth. Grinding is bad. Needless to say, having a tiny mouth and the world’s most sensitive gag reflex (I know because my dentist told me so) didn’t really workout smoothly. The sealant ought to have been a 20-30 minute procedure at best…
Ha! Clearly they never met me.
The dentist literally wished the assistant good luck. I had gagged while he prepped my teeth for the sealant and my mouth was too small to put the tongue restrainer in without tripping that reflex. It. Was. Horrible. The assistant had a hard time doing anything to my teeth without causing me to gag. My mouth was like a really annoying game of Operation. To make it worse, the fact that I was making it take longer stressed me out and I felt bad that she had to deal with me panicking. She then tried to pass me off to another assistant who politely declined.
I wanted to cry.
After she finished, I remembered that I had to talk to my dentist about a lingual frenectomy. He told me he could do it right then. Whoop-dee-friggin’-doo.
Now let me explain what in the world a frenectomy is. I was mildly tongue tied, which meant that the little flap of tissue that connected the under-part of my tongue to the bottom of my mouth was just a little too high up. A frenectomy involves cutting that tissue to let the tongue loose. With a laser. While you’re awake.
Oh that was doing wonders for my anxiety.
However, I had no desire to come back later in the week to get it done, so I chose to get it over with. At first, he tried to use a topical gel numbing medicine around the tissue. Then he used the laser a bit to see if I could feel it.
Then the really fun part came. He stuck a needle with numbing medication into each side of my tongue and waited. And boy did that stuff work! I felt a slight sensation as he worked and then it was over. My lips and tongue were numb.
“Stick your tongue out,” he said when it was over.
I had no idea if it actually worked. I couldn’t feel a thing. He told me I would be a little sore later, but for the time my tongue would feel okay until the numbness wore off.
As I got out of the dentist I called my stepmom to tell her I was done. As I heard myself talk I burst into laughter. I sounded like Daffy Duck’s sister. I was fascinated. The whole drive home I tried singing and it came out goofy as heck. I kept poking my tongue too. I’m pretty certain the nice elderly lady in the car next to me at the light thought I was on something. I’d poke my tongue and bite at it with my teeth a bit. I don’t know why, but it was so interesting to me.
Later on I discovered the dentist had lied to me. My tongue was not “a little sore.” It burned where it had been cut. Dear lord it hurt. Not to mention I had to stick my tongue out and lift it to the roof of my mouth in order to keep the tissue from healing back the way it was. That didn’t feel particularly good either. I tried to avoid talking and eating anything super chewy for a few days as well. That was painful.
Needless to say, the experience did nothing to solve my anxiety of going to the dentist’s office. I would totally take that numbing medication for anything they have to do to me next time though. That stuff was the bomb. I couldn’t feel my mouth. The anxiety disappeared.
Lucky me though, I have a follow up appointment this week! Yay. I’m so excited…not. And just so you know, my tongue still hurts…that lying jerk.