Last week I made the decision that my ever crumbling teeth needed some professional attention. I've had loads of dental work in my lifetime. Way more than any mortal should be subjected to and now some of the older fillings are beginning to break down leaving me with no choice but to head back to the dentist and sign my bank account over to him.
I decided to try a new dentist for this round of drilling, filling, crowning and canaling. His first name is Zhi, which I have no idea how to pronounce, but of course I call him Dr. Chaeng. He is very clean, very professional and I have a feeling he's the best dentist I've ever gone to, yet. I had that epiphany while he was bent over my face on Thurs., patiently excavating a giant amount of decay in my lower back molar. Nothing hurt, not even the double round of novacaine shots that he administered. I was braced for pain, even holding my breath, but it never came. I mean, it wasn't pleasant, but when is cracking your mouth open as wide as possible and having a stranger lean about 6 inches from your face as he grinds down your teeth with teensy power tool, continually repeating, "Just raise your hand if anything hurts" ever a pleasant experience? I had told him I would probably scream in lieu of raising my hand. My joke cracking nature didn't really go over well in this dentist's presence. Apparently,Dr. Chaeng doesn't appreciate humor. He didn't smile when I said that, instead he impassively replied, "No screaming". Like I would really scream?? Okay, check the sarcasm at the door next time, I told myself. And there will be a next time. Big root canal date with Chaengie on Thurs. I will do my best to be a model patient from now on, no quips, no flippant comments. I will just lay there, supine, dutifully staring at the white ceiling while Dr. No-Jokie reconstructs my chewing apparatus and takes all of my savings in the process. I guess if writing the check and not cracking jokes is the most painful part of my dental experience I shouldn't really complain. But I probably will.