I just returned from a lovely vacation in the mountains, which would have been lovelier if one of my molars hadn’t decided to complain anytime it was touched.
The pain wasn’t horrible, so I survived the week by not eating on that side.
The first thing I did when we got home was call the dentist. Statistics say 75 percent of the adult population fear dentists. I used to be one of that majority, until I found a very kind dentist and told him if he hurt me, I would hurt him back.
Joking. I was joking.
My dentist is a kind young man who does not want to cause his patients any pain. Like many of my doctors these days, he looks like he is 16 years old, but he seems to know what he is doing. His dental assistants are also very kind and very young.
It’s possible, as I grow older, that most people look like teenagers to me.
On Tuesday morning, they ushered me in right on schedule and began to work. First came the x-rays, followed by poking my tooth with a sharp stick. It reminded me of the warning not to poke the bear, but my tooth did not complain. After that came the ice-cold Q-tip, to see how I reacted.
“Hold up your hand as soon as you feel anything,” Dr. Doty said.
My hand shot up so fast I nearly slapped him.
The consensus was that I needed another crown. I have two crowns already, so I knew the procedure. What I wasn’t sure of was whether it would feel unbalanced to have three crowns in my mouth, but only two tiaras to wear on my head.
Dr. Doty and the assistant worked quickly, painlessly and pleasantly on my tooth. They took impressions, reshaped the tooth and vacuumed the mess they were creating in my mouth. My only job was to lie back and keep breathing.
That turned out to be harder than it sounds. I’ve got ongoing sinus problems, possibly a low-level allergy to something I can’t yet escape, like dust or animals or air. Lying on my back made it impossible to breathe out through my nose. Breathing through my mouth was undesirable because I…