Terror in the dentist’s chair

Today I had the absolute worst experience of my entire life. It was more painful than giving birth to broken dishes (as my friend Robrt says), more humilating than the time at work when the bottom of my skirt got stuck to my waistband, and more dreadful than posing nude for a class of wannabe painters (I’ve never done that but it sounds pretty dreadful).

Yah. These were all feelings I encountered today within a two-hour time period. And I’m going back for more on Nov. 6th.

The dentist’s office!!!

I’ve written about this before – I hadn’t been in 15 years so I have to get a “deep root cleaning”. It’s where you go in four appts and they numb up one quadrant of your boca and then use all kinds of tiny chisels to scrape the hell out of your gums. I survived the first appt, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. This morning I had the upper quadrant. It hurts waaaaay more than the lower. The burning sensation of the novacaine shooting up the front of my gums was enough to make me tear up and say nasty words inside my brain, but I held on. I could do this. I went through it before and if I don’t get it done, I’ll be using Fixident by the time I’m 50.

Just as I had psyched myself up, a problem arose. I could still feel everything. Maybe it was just in my mind. Sharp object. Poke. Pain. It was for real. I was so edgy that my hands were griped together so tight that I would have even mangled one of the new puppies if it had been near by. I raised my left hand, as instrusted, to let the nice man know I was feeling “discomfort”. He stopped the work, stood up and pulled out a cotton swab. I knew what that meant.

“What I have to do is numb you up from the roof of your mouth”, he explained as he dabbed inside my mouth, prepping for the next step. “It’s a very tough surface to inject through, so you are going to feel me poking and pushing. I suggest gripping the chair handles to hold on.”

I can’t even think of a word evil enough to describe what it felt like. There was gobs of pushing and poking and pulling. And hot liquid shooting in lines across the roof of my mouth. It was like being in a torture chamber. Tears began to stream up my face (I was upside down in the chair). Still, I hung on. “I CAN do this!”, I thought. He went in again with the tools.

I raised my shaky left hand again. I could still feel it. Why me?

“I’ll be right back,” he said.

He returned with another nurse. This time she pulled out the cotton swab and he went in AGAIN with the needle to the roof of my mouth.

“Ooowwwww!!! OOOoooooooo!!!! Ohhhhhhhhhhh….OOOOOOOHHHHHH!, I wailed out loud.

“Sssshhhh….” he said. He sssshed me! What’s up with that?

I saw the lady pull out yet another cotton swab.

At that moment my fight or flight mechanism went into action. I began to ball my head off. Not little sniffles. I’m talking loud, long, haunting sobs with uncontrollable tears, upside down in that ‘fffin chair, half my face numb. The lady handed me tissue after tissue. “No more! I have to go, I can’t handle this, it’s not that important to me, let me go, please!”

The lady held down my left shoulder and the man, my right. At the time it felt like they were rubbing my arms, soothing me, telling me to relax, calm down and breathe through my nose. Now that I think back, I know they were holding me down. “Let’s see if she can feel anything now, we got a good blocked numbed”, the lady said. Luckily I didn’t feel a thing and they quickly finished up the job.

When I went to the receptionist counter to pay money for this lovely encounter and set a date for me to return, it was suggested that next time I come for the remaining two quadrants on the same day and indulge in a little nitrous oxide as a chaser. Sounds good to me. I was so shaken up that I barely remember what was going on. The other receptionist was being super friendly, trying to make me feel better.

“Aren’t you the cry baby from channel 12?”, she asked, with a huge smile.

“Excuse me?” I replied.

“You’re the craft lady from channel 12, right?”

“Oh! Yes, that’s me….” Did she just call me a cry baby, or is that just how I heard it? I’m insane, it had to be the latter. I was so embarrassed, I made a fool of myself by having a panic attack in the dentist’s chair! I finally got home, slept for many hours and woke up to mashed potatos and pudding that Patrick whipped up for me. I ate, took more Tylenol PM and went back to bed. My mouth is still raw and tender. How will I ever be able to handle going back there?

OK, now go get your teeth cleaned so you won’t have to go through this! Because honestly, bad teeth or not – I think I would have rather given birth to broken dishes!


See more crafty ideas in The Crafty Chica Project Library! All content/photos copyright, © Kathy Cano-Murillo, 2008.

Love & light,


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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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