Awkward Moment #7: A Numb Face With Your Filling?

The day begins early and reluctantly. My eyelids decide that they’ve had enough rest for one night and force themselves open at 4.38am precisely. To pass the time, I pick up my copy of 50 Shades of Grey, but I can only take that book in small doses…even if it is in the middle of the night.

I eventually doze off again only to be rudely awoken by my alarm clock at 9.30am. I groan as I slam my hand down to turn it off, only managing to turn it up louder. I pick it up, hurl it across the room at my wardrobe into which it slams and stops buzzing. Ah, peace…

“EEEEEEEEEEEEMMMM!” My mother bellows from the hall outside my room. Ugh, this isn’t happening. I respond with a lie, “I’M UUPPPPP!” as I throw the duvet off me and begin the bone cracking and stretching, a ritual that graces my every morning. After a shower and a quick fumble through my drawers (woof), I get dressed and head down to breakfast, unenthusiastic about upcoming events.

It’s D-Day. D for Dentist. It’s a well-known fact that I don’t like dentists in general, especially because my last one most definitely had it in for me. Every visit I would pay her, I’d leave the room feeling like I’d just gone nine rounds with Haye – at least 2 missing teeth and whole lot of numb facial muscles. She was from Latvia, and often asked me if I could “PLEEZ MEK YEURR MOWTH MOHR WHYYYYD”, which I did, obligingly. My new dentist, however, is much nicer and a lot less crazy. She’s from Lithuania, her English is much more established and she seems to know what she’s doing. In fact, since I’ve been seeing her, I’ve only had one filling…which took place today.

At 11am on the dot, my mother and I stroll into the dental surgery and give our names in. I feel like I’m handing myself in to the Sheriff after having committed no crime. oh, electric toothbrush, we were friends, how could you betray me so?
We take our seats and wait with bated breath for our names to be called. I gaze around the room, psycho-analysing the other patients. A woman with two small children, one in a pram and the other climbing up the magazine table leg. A middle-aged man in a wax-jacket and assault boots, a teenage girl and her mum looking thoroughly displeased to be here, and finally and elderly man in a flat cap. I can’t quite place him, until he spots me, smiles at me and I see why.

Our names are called after just five minutes, and my mum and I enter into negotiations about who will go first (she’s also getting a treatment, which has incidentally prevented her traditional mount of her high horse, giving lectures about my sweet tooth. She now knows that she’s preaching to the wrong choir. Stick that on your candy stick and pretend to smoke it.). Entering the room, we concede that Mum will go first after a quick-fire, best of three rock-paper-scissors tournament. I take a seat opposite the reclining chair of doom and spot the needle. I can’t take my eyes off it, even though every fibre of my being is screaming at me to do so. The dentist mutters something to the dental nurse, who nods, turns and retrieves some form of utensil.

The dental nurse is caked in make up, with enough perfume on to overpower a skunk.

It takes approximately fifteen minutes for Mum’s treatment, after which she is told to rinse and not to eat for two hours until the numbness goes down. My heart starts racing with anticipation, my stomach clenches and I frantically brush my tongue over my teeth (as if it will make any difference). I can feel my face going numb already, almost like half of my jaw is inflating. The dental nurse beckons me over to the reclining chair of doom, and I take a seat, wary of how many screaming children have laid where I am now. The dentist fumbles around with latex gloves, and then tilts my head sideways, sticking a mirror into my mouth. I never know where to look at times like these, so I simply stare at the ceiling, which is partially obscured by the blaring light and the dentists rather prominent chest. She mumbles something to the dental nurse again, who then reaches for a long white pipe attached to a cable. Oh god, what’s going on? She then turns to me and says, “Actually Emily, your filling is very small, so we don’t need to have the injection.” her jaw twists into a smile beneath her mask, but I’m sure I misheard her. “What, sorry?” I ask, the image of a drill coming at me like a pigeon on a mission fixed in my brain. I’m suddenly delusional as I glance around the room. My mother has transformed into a giant molar with giant glasses and short brown hair. She blinks, smiles and waves at me. I look to the dental nurse, who is now a tube of Sensodyne Iso-Active toothpaste, cackling maniacally with her agonizingly perfect teeth on show. The reclining chair of doom has transformed into a large toungue, with iron-clad strips of dental floss pinning me down.

A drill fires up in front of me, and the dentist yells above it. “It’s only a very small filling, I only need to drill for a few seconds only!” Smiling again, she brings the drill closer to my mouth, which is now being held open by a latexed finger. I have half a mind to bite the bastard off. I didn’t sign up for this!

I feel my tooth begin to vibrate, and small droplets of water fire up into the air. For a moment, I’m worried they’re shards of my tooth, but luckily my deliriousness wares off quickly. A few more moments of drilling and then she moves the drill to my front teeth on my bottom jaw. She shouts something to me, but I don’t quite make it out. I can’t even lip-read because she’s got a sodding mask on. I HATE dentists. Suddenly, the drilling starts up on my four front teeth and I squirm in agony. Not only was I not expecting it, but of all the teeth to pick on, she had to choose the four most sensitive in my entire mouth. My hands clench into the lining of the tongue, trying desperately not to move in case the pain gets worse. The drill is so loud, and the look in her eyes is of such great intentness that I’m half expecting oil to spout out of my gums at any moment. The dental nurse has to hold my head in place to keep me still. After the longest twenty-odd seconds of my life, it’s finally over. The drilling stops, the dentist backs away cheerily, saying “All done!”

I sit up too fast, smacking my head on the overhead lamp, and the dental nurse stifles a smile as she moves it out of the way and apologizes. Before anyone has the chance to stop me, I’m on my feet and out the door, the strange coloured rinsing liquid still in my mouth. My mum pays for our treatment at the desk and emerges three minutes later with a long, pink mouth mirror. I point at it in confusion, “Only 55p!” she says cheerily. Her speech is slurred from the injection. I wish mine was.

Dentist visits must always be conducted like a military operation. Get in, do your thing and get out. Otherwise people start to panic, things are said and before you know it, your four front teeth are missing….



(I’m just kidding, she just polished them for me, but it was still traumatising)

One comment

  1. Rik Davnall (@eatthepen) · July 20, 2012

    If it’s any consolation, your trauma has produced one of your best blog posts yet. How we must suffer for our art…

    (I’m afraid it’s only my second-favourite blog post about a dentist visit though – check this out: )



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s