I try to treat them well. I don’t brush them as often as I should, but I brush them enough. They are a touch yellow, but that’s what 21 years of smoking will get you.
I keep thinking that they will rot, though. One will come loose. An old filling might fall out. I have some as yet unknown abscess, and the lurking infection is poisoning my brain or my heart. The damage is irreparable. I will die. Or, at the very least, the disease will eat its way into my inner ear and leave me dizzy and falling forever and ever.
That really happened to a woman who a friend of mine used to work with. She never went to the dentist, and a tooth infection destroyed her inner ear. She was found lying flat out on the floor by her desk, unable to stand up, with her world stuck in a permanent spin.
I am terrified of the dentist, though. Even writing those seven words in that last sentence sent a burning sensation running over my head and neck. I haven’t been to one in at six years.
Truthfully, I would prefer to have no teeth at all. I used to fantasize about being put under and having all of my teeth pulled out and permanent dentures drilled into my jaw. No teeth equals no dentist. This is how great my fear is. I am so afraid of dentists that this sounds like a reasonable solution.
When I was in my early 20s, I had my wisdom teeth pulled. It was done over two visits. During the first visit, the freezing wouldn’t take. It’s a problem I have. I am somewhat impervious to dental anesthetic.
After more than ten needles in my lower jaw, I could still feel pain when they started to pull on my teeth. My dentist, an evil bitch who clearly thought that I was just being difficult, instructed two assistants to hold me down on the chair. She yanked my teeth out of my head anyway.
Medieval torture, anyone? To this day, I think I should have sued. If you are planning on seeing a dentist with the last name of, and I am not kidding, Hertz, cancel your appointment. I spent two days gulping down painkillers and alternating between crying hot tears into my pillow and sleeping through complete emotional exhaustion.
What I’m saying is, I think I have post traumatic stress disorder from that damnable dentist.
Back in the day, when I was a naïve little kid who loved to pick out her very own jeweled rings from the receptionist’s desk after getting a filling, I had not yet plumbed the depths of pain and fear brought on by forcible and unanesthetized tooth extraction. Now I have, and there is no unknowing what it is like to have one’s arms held down by hefty dental assistants while a sadist tears bone out of your face.
Why am I telling you all of this? No reason, really. I’m just spending some time worrying about how my heart will die because of an abscessed tooth I will never know about BECAUSE I WILL BE DEAD FROM MY DEAD HEART.
Thank you, Dr. Hertz. I am forever indebted.
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