Numb It to Drill It

I went to yet another dentist appointment today. I feel like I am repeating myself on my own blog about all these dentist visits… But today my dentist actually worked on a pretty bad cavity on #20 (that’s at the lower left part of the mouth).

As I casually sat on the dental chair, I noticed a syringe with a fricking 10-inch long needle.

Ok, it was more like six inches… or whatever… it was pretty damn long.

First she used some kind of cherry-flavored anti-infection rub to clean the back of my lower left jaw. Then came the long needle. I clutched. It didn’t really hurt that bad when the needle puntured the skin and went all the way to the back mandible — it was the fact that I saw, and felt, how far that damn needle went into the mandible muscle that disturbed me quite a bit. And she did it THREE times to make sure that the local anesthetic would be evenly distributed.

In less than a minute, slowly the tingling feeling started to spread from the gum to the tongue, and then finally the entire left jaw. She had to do this because the cavity actually penetrated the first layer of the tooth, and she needed the ability to maneuver the drill inside the tooth itself, which typically would cause excruciating pain (what a great way to torture prisoners; I am sure the Bush Administration knows all about it).

The procedure only took about 20 minutes. But it took hours for that portion of the face to regain any kind of sensation (I walked out of the dentist’s office at 9:45AM; the numbness didn’t go away until around 1PM).

I am glad she didn’t do both sides of the mouth or else I’d have completely lost my facial functions and drolled all over the place on the drive home…

It’s not very comforting to know that I still have three more teeth to go after this one. I sure will be doing a lot more brushing and flossing from now on.