Let me tell you a story about the dentist. My whole life dentists have told me that I had perfect, beautiful teeth. They look pretty good, but mostly they’re talking about the fact that they are strong and free of cavities. About two years ago, a new dentist was working part-time at my "trusty" dentist’s office and said that I had four cavities. This surprised me because they were my first "cavities." (I use quotations because now, two years later, we can assume there were never any actual cavities.) At the time, I didn’t have insurance, and so I asked if they could wait. "No," she said. "Fill them now." I have gone to the dentist every year of my life, so being obedient, I agreed to have two cavities filled and then fill the other two when I could afford it. Well, the first two fillings were a nightmare. For six months, I could not chew on one side of my mouth because the tooth hurt so bad. Also, during the procedure, when the dentist checked my bite, she made me bite my tongue. She asked me to bite down. "Harder. Harder!" she kept saying, not understanding the problem. Evidently, she had failed to notice that I was biting my tongue (which had been numbed) as she said, "bite harder, harder!" Needless to say, I had severely bit and damaged my tongue, having bit it as hard as I could for several seconds.
So, after six months of pain on the filling, the dentist decided to refill the cavity to see if that would help the pain go away. The pain took nearly a year to go away the second time, but it is mostly gone now. I still get a shock when I eat some hard foods. Also, the filling is jagged and catches food, which is a total pain. And, my bite is forever changed because at one point the dentist altered one tooth, thinking that was the source of the pain. It was not. Also, those two teeth are too close together now, making flossing difficult. (The dentist really had to yank on the little plastic divide with both hands and pliers just to remove it after the procedure–that’s how close together the teeth are.) Let me tell you, the shots, the pain, the drilling–it was all unpleasant, but totally manageable compared to the year and a half nightmare I’ve had.
So, now I have dental insurance, and so today I went to see a local, reputable dentist. I explained the problems, including the fact that I still had two "cavities" that I hadn’t got around to filling since the past year and a half has been so miserable.
The new dentist did a very thorough check up. He smoothed over the jagged ledge from the last filling I had, told me I had beautiful teeth, and let me go. "But wait!" I said, "What about the other two cavities?" You have no cavities," he said. We double checked the (very high quality digital) x-rays and saw no cavities. He agreed that my teeth were in perfect shape and that we could probably conclude that I never had any cavities to begin with. The fillings were in vain! Since cavities do not disappear, I can only assume that the dentist was just trying to get some dental work out of me and that I have endured a year and a half of anguish (and a forever altered mouth) for nothing! Seriously people. Seriously.


2 thoughts on “aaahhh!

  1. syllepsis

    But if there were no cavities, what did they fill? I mean, literally, where did the “filling” go? I just had this conversation with Carol last night, that it all freaks me out because a dentist can tell a girl anything, absolutely anything and she’ll believe it. I have no way of second-guessing anything short of going elsewhere.

    1. sherewin Post author

      As I understand it, when you have a cavity, they drill out the decayed area and then put in filling to create a solid tooth. For me, they just drilled into perfectly healthy teeth and then filled the hole that they created. Fuckers.


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