The dentist had sent the mask I’d used for the nitrous with me since I was coming back two days later, so I brought that when I came back for my root canal. I was upbeat, not worried at all about the procedure, because most people I’d talked to had said that it wasn’t a big deal. Which reminds me–making mental note to banish several friends.
The doc got started on me right away. When he had given me the nitrous on Tuesday, I had felt it within a few seconds from my head to my toes. This time when he got me started on it, I didn’t feel anything. I told him I didn’t feel disconnected from my body, so he turned it up, and it took several minutes before my toes started feeling funny. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of nitrous oxide, you know that when your toes feel far away from you and your body feels like it’s morphed into a sack of bricks, you’re good to go. The feeling from the nitrous wasn’t nearly as strong as it had been on Tuesday, which was a big ol’ bummer for a girl with dentaphobia. Okay, I know that probably means something like “fear of teeth” but you know what? Teeth make you go to the dentist, so maybe I have that too.
I got as relaxed as the funny gas would make me, though not relaxed enough, in my opinion, because I just didn’t feel giggly, and giggly means kinda drunk, and kinda drunk means maybe I won’t remember this root canal when it’s all over. I’ll just get up from the dentist’s chair, give the nice ladies at the front of the office some money, stumble downstairs to my desk at work, and ask my coworkers how I got there.
The doc tried to numb my mouth, top and bottom, and just for good measure, he gave me two shots on the top, which I thought was a little strange, since my root canal would be done on the bottom. He put that horrible bite plate in my mouth to keep it open, the bite plate that will be the subject of all my nightmares for the rest of my life. He started drilling, and I settled myself in, thinking about how I could make a billion dollars easily if I could patent a design for a dentist’s drill that doesn’t sound like a dentist’s drill. There’s something about hearing that high-pitched squeal coming at your face that makes you feel like you’re in the chair of Orin Scrivello, DDS. Not a good place to be.
While I was making plans for my new invention–a dentist’s drill that sounds like lollipops frolicking with kittens on a river bank at Christmas–I suddenly heard something terrifying. The doc had his iPod playing on speakers near my head, and the music changed to a sinister, bone-chilling tune.
“Wha id dis howwibah nyusic?”
He didn’t even have to consult his gibberish-to-English dictionary; he knew what I was asking. “This?” I can’t overstate the amount of excitement in his voice. He might have peed his pants, he was so happy to tell me what’s on his iPod. “It’s Rick Astley! Gotta have my Rick Astley on there!”
“I’b beeg wickwolled id da dendis chaiw?”
The dentist worked a little while longer, and then his assistant used the dryer on my teeth. I thought, Wow! Other than the Rickrolling, root canals aren’t bad at all! After a few more minutes, they didn’t sit me up but instead asked if I was still comfortable. Yes, I was, and they were glad, because they were getting ready to start the root canal.
“Um, what’s that you just did to me?” I had better control now that the bite plate was the only thing in my mouth.
“Oh, I filled two more of your cavities. Since your insurance is running out, we want to get as much done today as we can. We’ll still have one more tooth to fill and the other half of your cleaning after this, but you can wait a couple of weeks for that.” My mental note corrected the time period to a couple of years.
To be concluded…