One little appointment. It only took an hour. It was for my own good. I’m a grown up (so I’ve been told). So why…OH WHY… does the ‘D’ word give me such anxiety?
I have a good dentist and dental hygienist. Even the anesthesiologist is friendly. I’ve done this before. In fact, my mouth of fillings and caps are proof that this wasn’t my first rodeo. So why did I feel doomed as soon as I woke up yesterday morning?
I got in my car to head to Austin Family Dentist and took a deep breath to calm my nerves. Big mistake. Somehow I could already smell ‘the smell.’ You know the smell. Dentist offices have a smell that is unmistakable and unlike any other smells. That smell triggered every childhood drilling experience. And the anxiety was heightened.
Like I said, I am no stranger to the dentist chair. I am no stranger to the needle and the drill. But just because I am no stranger, doesn’t mean that my legs don’t shake. Yes, my legs shake. It’s the eighth wonder of the world. Luckily, I’ve learned to try to control them. When I was younger I had to have an extra dental assistant to help keep my legs still – dental assistant holding my legs and Mama holding my hand. Too bad Mama doesn’t go with me anymore.
I have learned a few other lessons though when visiting the dentist that I would like to share because no one deserves this type of torture without tips.
- Stay up late the night before. The less energy you have the better. Somehow the chair is more comfortable when you are sleepy. You also don’t want to slap everyone silly when they ask, “How are you today.” Of course you say, “Fine.” But what you really want to say is, “I’m about to willingly let someone drill into my head! How do you think I am doing?”
- Get the gas! It’s legal and morally sound.
- Ask them to turn the television or radio up. You need something to think about while they are hovering.
- Have a full stomach. The last thing you want to do with a numb mouth is eat.
- Just go home afterwards. There is no point to try to work. You won’t concentrate. All you will be thinking about is if you are drooling or not.