I didn't lose my appointment card like I normally do and I showed up for my dental procedure on time. As I was driving there I felt like I was voluntarily agreeing to face a firing squad, but I knew I had to do it. The pain was intense.
Once seated in the dental chair, which could be a very comfortable chair if not for the activity that takes place in it, the assistant stuck a long, single-sided Q-tip with a goop of numbing gel on the end, inside my mouth on the area the Novocain needle would soon penetrate . There was no waiting around.
Out of one side of my mouth I told the dental assistant I had never met this dentist. I suggested possibly a meet 'n greet before the procedure began. She laughed.
The dentist arrived and she looked too nice to be pulling teeth for a living. I suggested she wear a monster mask that matched her job description. She laughed.
Everyone was laughing but me. I felt like a pig at a pig roast. (At least they give the pig an apple.) Before they began they handed me some oversized, black framed, tinted safety glasses to wear and I knew then that some serious shit was about to go down. With the glasses on I looked a lot like Junior Soprano.
The tooth was not very cooperative. I couldn't feel it, but I could hear the struggle. The drill came out and I listened to the high-pitched whir hoping it would end. All I could do was listen and there were no sighs or gasps, just the sound of a determined dentist doing her job.
So much for the cartoon myth of tying a string on a tooth and slamming a door. It seemed the dentist and her assistant were emptying their toolbox in order to remove this feisty tooth. And, when it was finally out, she told me so I could relax.
The bone graft was less nerve-wracking. She quietly packed the void the tooth left. When she was done she got out the needle and thread. Apparently she is not just a dentist, she's a specialist and her specialty is bone grafts.
Before I left I asked the dental assistant, who's a Stoolie, "with the tooth out, do I look more like a 70's British Punk Rocker or a Hillbilly?". She answered quickly "Punk Rocker!". I suppose I can live with that for a while...