This week’s word is…
I used to be very nervous about going to the dentist. I think it was because, as a child I had some very bad habits – drinking undiluted Ribena, eating jam straight from the jar with a spoon – and needed more fillings than the average kid. Add to this the fact that my dentist was an older gentleman with massive gold teeth and the hairiest nostrils known to humankind, who, while administering the anaesthetic injection, pretended to inject and numb his own finger EVERY SINGLE TIME, and it starts to piece together maybe.
As a result, once I was no longer under the care of my parents I made a point of only seeing a dentist if I was in agony. This, of course, was a very silly strategy because, as we all know, prevention really is better than cure.
Fast forward to about 10 years ago when my dentist informed me that I needed a root canal, which had to be done over the course of three hours, followed by the fitting of a crown, all carried out by a specialist that had to be brought in to my local surgery. I was not best pleased. She told me the only alternative was to lose the tooth, which basically sealed the deal.
The OH knew I was nervous, (read terrified), and bought me my first iPod, loaded with all my favourite music to distract me during the procedure. Surprising myself more than anyone, I sailed through it! I found the experience strangely calming, settling, tranquil.
The specialist told me afterwards that she had never in her career had a patient remain so still and calm during a root canal. I seemed to have turned a corner!
A few years ago I was told that my wisdom tooth would have to be removed. It was growing at such an angle that meant the surgery to remove it carried a real risk of permanent facial paralysis. Once again, you can imagine I was less than happy to hear this. Armed again with my iPod, off to another specialist I trotted. The worst part of the procedure was how much he had to stretch my jaw to get at the offending tooth, he split my lip and left me looking as if I had gone a round with Mike Tyson. But even the squeal of the drill didn’t bother me this time. I didn’t even use the iPod. And my face moves as much as it ever did!
I had a dental checkup appointment this morning, (yes, I am a good girl these days and go regularly), as well as a routine scale and polish. My dentist these days is a lovely, motherly lady who calls me “pet” and “good girl” rather than use my name. I think she is a delight! She entertains me with a constant stream of consciousness as she works on me, fully aware I cannot reply as she has wedged my mouth wide open with a strange plastic and latex implement. She seems happy with an occasional eyebrow raise as acknowledgment or agreement.
I actually enjoy going to the dentist now as I always receive praise from her on my oral hygiene and health. I really, like… really, enjoy the sensations of her poking my gums with that sharp doodah she uses to check gum health, and as for the sting of the scraper thing she uses… oh man! It is divine!
As I write now I wonder if the fact I am a masochist submissive has had any bearing on my change of perception? I enjoy the semi painful treatment, I tingle at the sounds of drills and jets, I delight in being told I am a “good girl” or being called “pet”…
Could it be that rather than being a dentophobe I am in fact a dentophile?
Am I Bill Murray in Little Shop Of Horrors?
Am I a freak?
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