Exposed. That’s how my upper molar feels like right now. A visit to the dentist always scares me, it’s something I won’t ever get over. As a kid we were often summoned to the dental bus during class, and while I was happy to skip lessons, it also frightened me that I may have eaten too much candy. The theory of educating children in my time seemed to revolve around fear. Adults tend to overreact and exaggerate the consequences of not flossing daily and having too much sugar, piling on to the phobia of children by showing them pictures of extreme cavity cases. Some 15 years later and here I am, still afraid at the thought of going to a dental clinic. I’ve been to dodgy ones in Nepal and Thailand, and still that isn’t enough to make me feel better at the first class facility of dental clinics here. That’s how much I detest dentists.
3 years ago I had my first root canal with a quack dentist that was always yelling at me. That bastard managed to fuck up the procedure so professionally that the recurring issues beneath my gums still haunt me till today. I laid on the reclining chair today, stoning at the surgery light, feeling numb in my mouth but panicking at the sights and sounds. The tools that she pulled out one by one – sharp pointy knives, a lawn mower looking stick, a buffing machine, the suction pipe that makes that horrible zombie noise. The sight of that entering and leaving my sore-hanging mouth made me quiver. So I decided to close my eyes. It didn’t feel better, but just then I practiced Vipassana, breathing very slowing and consciously feeling every sensation that was grinding and poking about in my mouth. Then a thought came into my mind – of how I used to have somebody hold my hands whenever I felt scared at the dentist. Not that any hand holding would make the pain go away but I found myself masking the fact that I was petrified. Are we as adults unallowed to show fear? Would that make us weak? So i continued to lay there, exposed to the overpowering air conditioning yet sweating through my lower back.
Half a day later, the anaesthetic wears off and I stopped feeling woozy. But my teeth are still in intense pain, in fact more than I was before I visited the dentist. So what the fuck gives them the damn authority to charge hundreds to dollars to put people through pain during the “treatment”, and still not relive the pain after? Are all the dentists that I go to just too bloody incompetent or is it some sort of ploy to get me to go back again and again to treat the same tooth and then persuade me to fix all the other teeth, causing more pain to it when that pain didn’t exist in the first place. Someone please fucking enlighten me because I have half a mind to buy trays and trays of eggs to egg every damn dental clinic I lay my eyes on.