She Survives the Dentist.

Yesterday was horribly tragic.






Ok, deep breaths. Don’t have a panic attack. I already had one for both of us.

Now “normal” mature adults will tell (LIE TO) you and say, “the dentist really isn’t that bad.” And since it had been three years…I KNOW I KNOW…since I had been, I started to believe their lies.

“I’m an adult,” I thought. “I can handle this!” So, I found a dentist through some coworkers and figured, since it had been an embarrassingly long time, and I pay for dental insurance each month, I’d make an appointment to visit tooth town. The day approached rapidly. And all of the sudden, basically seconds after I turned 25 years old, it was time, yet again, to see the man in white.

My appointment was at 2pm, however, the heart palpitations started around 10am.

Trent (coworker): You’re just getting your teeth cleaned. You’re such a baby.

Me: I’m not a baby! I have problems. I have serious anxiety problems.

Trent: Whatever, baby.

On the drive over I had to practice deep breathing. YOU THINK I’M KIDDING. I am not kidding.

As soon as I walked into the office and got my first whiff of all things dental the memories started flooding in.

(cue Wayne’s World doodle-ee-oo squiggles)

I saw my mom waving a dollar at me from the van’s sliding door. I was ten years old. She was desperately trying to bribe me out of the car for an appointment to get a tooth pulled. It took her at least half an hour.

I saw multiple teeth pulling extravaganzas in my painful flashbacks. I had to get like 5 baby teeth pulled. Why? Because I Satan was my Orthodontist and he loved to watch me scream. Then I had tons of adult teeth pulled. Probably like 20. It’s amazing I have any teeth left at all! I also had like the worst wisdom teeth surgery ever which included like a bone graph, uprighting teeth, and a lot of spitty blood. I saw spitty blood clothes, and slurred speech everywhere!

(cue Wayne’s World doodle-ee-oo squiggles)

NO WONDER I HATED THIS PLACE. But it was too late. The nurse/hygienist/servant to the Lord of Darkness was calling my name. And in I went. Like a lamb to the slaughter.

Janell was a doll. A real doll. Nice as a peach. We joked about my anxiety, and she brushed it off as normal. But when she was “cleaning” my teeth, i.e. shoving tiny torture tools into my gums, I could tell my “expressive” face was concerning her. “You ok hun?”

“Oh I just have really animated face,” I said choking back tears.

“Huh. Well, you let me know.”

After power blasting my teeth with all sorts of unreasonable metal contraptions, in came Dr. Larson.

As far as Satan worshipers go, he was tops. He told me I had BEAUTIFUL teeth. Just beautiful. But that I had short roots, so it was important for me, more so than others, to get to the dentist every six months. Then he nonchalantly added I had two “facials.”

“You mean I have cavities!”

“Oh they are just tiny ones. We’ll get them fixed up in no time!”

“Do I have to get a shot?” My heart started beating really hard again.

The nurse interjected, “She HAS to have meds. There is no way you can do it without them. She needs them.”

“Oh they are just the tiniest little shots! No problem.”

HUUUUUUUUGEEEEE problem. HUGE! Ah! But he just kept going on about how pretty my teeth were, and how after two or three positive and consecutive experiences I would LOVE coming to the dentist.

He was a wily one. Smart, so smart. Every time I started looking panicky, he just kept telling my how pretty my teeth were, and how nice I looked. FLATTERY GETS ME EVERY TIME!

But it doesn’t change the fact that on December 1st I have to go back to get my cavities filled.

Janell painted on some revolutionary new fluoride, “You can eat right after!” and then they sent me on my way.

It was only 3:30, but I felt too emotionally drained to go back to work.

I called Eric and started crying. He told me I could go home and watch a movie because I had been so brave.

So I went home, made a cup of my soon to be extinct Postum, and had a slice of pumpkin pie. Which really, is probably the best thing for newly cleaned teeth.

I really don’t know how I survived. And I REALLY don’t know how I’ll survive on December 1st.

Let’s all talk about hos scary the dentist is to make me feel better.




    December 1st is our wedding anniversary! I think it will always be associated with you and the dentist now. I guess it is kind of appropriate, because Mikey makes teeth.

  2. T.RIPPY

    SECRET SPILL!!! So my entire family and I (along with neighbors, local grocers, people we tell on the street) read your blog. It's a life source for more people than you think. No pressure.

    But this post struck a chord:I cannot tell you how much the dentist scares me-the doctor too for that matter. Every time I walk into that freezing, sterilized, crinkly-paper-protected hole of death I get chills and my stomach starts flipping and my heart starts racing and then I do things like awkwardly laugh too loud at the dentist's stupid joke. Then I feel like my head's gonna fall off-I'm being completely serious here.

    So here's my advice: bail on December 1st! Those cavities aren't even detrimental! He said so himself with his "just a facial" talk! (Don't you HATE the way they so coolly talk about your teeth…"Nurse, let's make a note of the abrasion on F9, we'll need to keep an eye on that…"
    <3 Trippy and friends

  3. Sharon

    My biggest fear of the dentist is the bill. How can teeth be so expensive? And what does insurance do anyway??? I have more money wrapped into my teeth than anything else I own! 🙂

  4. jenny

    i just got done being in your boat! i went in a couple years ago and they told me i had cavities and i never went back to get them filled! my reason was because we didn’t have dental insurance at the time, but i just went back a couple months ago and had to have like 7 cavities filled! thats what you will get if you wait and avoid the dentist.

    my recommendation is to bring your ipod so you can zone out and don’t have to hear the chisel noises. good luck!

  5. crystal

    Alison, I can’t agree with you on this post because I am a nurse/hygienist/servant to the Lord of Darkness (aka Dental Hygienist). It is funny to look at the dentist through the eyes of a patient. My dad’s a dentist and now I’ve worked in a dental office since 7th grade, so I’ve never had to go through that anxiety. However, it’s true, once you have a couple great experiences it won’t be as scary to go anymore and believe me, dentistry has come a long way from when you got your teeth pulled at age 10. I’m sure Dec 1 will go much more smoothly than you expected.

    P.S Just an FYI, I chronically smell like a dentist office.

    P.S.S. I just read t.rippy’s comment and all I have to say is for the love of GOD don’t listen to her. Those facials can go south on you in a big hurry, get them fixed while they are small or else you be looking at some painful, costly repairs.

  6. Tim and Sara

    Imagine if Tim were your dentist, then you would LOVE to go because he would tell funny jokes (ie make fun of you but in a funny way) the whole time and you wouldn’t even know he was drilling away! Don’t be skeerrred…and come move wherever we move so you can go to Tim Timminy!

  7. JenErik

    Oh don’t worry cousin – I too HATE the dentist. My mom once had to lay in the chair with me to get a cavity filled when I was probably 9 (or older) I can’t remember. With tears and all I had cavities and a root canal right before Erik and I got married. I HATE the dentist. I believe I can safely say that is one thing in this life that is THE WORST. Why would anyone want to be a dentist.
    ps – you have beautiful teeth.

  8. naomi

    If the Mountain Goats were all dentists, would it make you feel better?

  9. samsam

    one time i was getting a tooth pulled and the dentist was hurting me and i kind of yelled and she said “no screaming in the dentists office” and then i tried to say “i’m screaming cause it hurts” and before i could even finished “i’m…” she replied with “and no talking back either”. hmph!

  10. tracyjax

    I had to get like three cavities filled a couple years ago and when they pulled out the needle for the novacane, I thought I was going to pass out and I don’t normally get freaked out by that stuff! By the end of the whole thing, I was shaking so bad that I had to call my parents to come pick me up–and then I cried.

  11. shelly

    I got all clammy and anxious when I read this… I’m literally hearing and feeling the most evil sound on earth — the dentist’s shrill drill.

    I’m 51 yrs. old (Do you hate that an old lady reads you regularly and gets a chuckle every day?), and I still HATE the dentist. Scared to death. Freaked out. No amount of cajoling will change my mind. Once I was even having a root canal and they had one of those plastic things over my face…while he was “rooting my canal” (sorry – that doesn’t sound right), I put up my hand,sat up, the horrible face thingy falling to the floor, and said, “I just just can’t do this”, and left! I must have looked like a mad-woman. I looked in the car mirror and I had drool on my face! They called and promised to give me powerful anti-anxiety drugs next time, but I really did need to come in so they could “finish”. In a MONTH I did. A friend drove me and when I went out to her car after the procedure, she says I leaned into her car window with a silly grin and said “Stupid”.

    My fear is still alive and strong.

  12. Alison

    shelly you’re not old! you’re a spring chicken! bless you and your terror. I want those “anti anxiety” drugs.

  13. two forks

    oh my gosh you are my long lost twin. i am exactly the same way except my panic starts the night before. i cry the whole way there and the whole way in the chair! i just wrote a similar post a few months back! crazy.

    p.s. i stalk your blog. you are hilarious!

  14. Amanda

    Yeah I haven’t been for over 4 years… I’m petrified to go, but we too are paying dental insurance and just need to bite the bullet. I think you’ve inspired me.

  15. emilyhutchison

    I once had a dentist who drilled all the way through my tongue. There was a lot of blood. I still can’t feel the left half of my tongue. My new dentist says my nerves are gone forever, BUT now I work for a dentist and go to a dental office everyday. All my dental anxiety has vanished. Maybe you should volunteer for your dentist at least twice before Dec. 2nd. Get use to the place and then you won’t fear it. Or just get a nice cocktail of valium and nitrious, then you can imagine yourself to be anywhere, but the dentist.

  16. Fish Nat!on

    oh dear lord. i havent been to the dentist in 8 years. i am more terrified. completely terrified. i know when i go, it will be a nightmare beyond comprehension. im scrreeeewwwweeeddddd

  17. maines

    My dentist is named Dentist Felix and he is in Mexicali and doesn’t speak english. And for some strange reason I’m not scared to go to him at all. I think it’s because I’m too busy worrying that I’m going to get picked up by the federale while crossing the border, have my car hijacked, my money stolen, get thrown in a mexican jail under erroneous charges (and probably raped while I’m there as well) and left there forever while my sweet husband tries to no avail to save me and my little babe grows up motherless. When I think about all that, getting my mouth drilled by an old mexican while watching a little telenovela actually sounds pretty delightful. Maybe you can join me on my next border run.

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