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My Crowning Glory: Tales of a Dental Procedure

Since 1992, I’ve been going to this caveman in Santa Monica, California, for my semi-annual dental check-up and exams. A few years ago I got my first five (FIVE!) crowns installed in my mouth. Wrecking balls and cranes and back-up beeping sounds emanated in and around the area of my jaws-of-life-opened mouth.

My dentist, I shall call him Dr. Hyde, kept a tray of chainsaws, power drills, and barbed wire on a tray next to him as he hammered and chiseled his way through my mouth. I was strapped down with thick leather belts and iron cage reinforcements because he had a “thing” about patients asking too many questions and playing with his tools and squirming onto the floor.

But when I moved to Sacramento last year, I had to find a new dentist, and I was a bit anxious to say the least. I mean, my old Dr. Hyde was highly regarded in his circle. He was the Dentist to the Stars. Or so he told me one day as he was hoisting me up to the winch while his assistant stood by with a fire hose.

My husband swore his dentist in Sacramento was the best, so I made and canceled twelve appointments before I got caught for the last time and was consequently dragged in for an initial cleaning. I was skittish and hid under the dental chair for most of the session, but he didn’t try to poke me out with a broom handle, like Dr. Hyde.

My second and most recent exam revealed a cavity at the base of one of my Dr. Hyde crowns and it was deemed in need of replacement. On the eve of my dreaded torture, I cried in convulsions, soaking my pillow as my husband tried to console me (did you know people still say, “there, there”?) and rocked me to sleep so I wouldn’t be a total mess for my crown procedure the next day.

By the time I left for my appointment in the morning, I realized that I am too old for this silly stuff and if dentists really are that bad, then they should be reported to the Big Meanie Dentists Watchdogs and National Powdered Doughnut Society, but I was going to need proof. So I brought my Signature Edition Inspector Gadget Spy Camera. Because dude…I had pictures to take. I was now on a mission.

Now, I don’t know anybody who who likes this kind of view:

dental ceiling lights

Your palms are getting sweaty just looking at this ceiling, aren’t they? Well mine were too, believe you me, but then I thought of the children. And I couldn’t let Inspector Gadget down, could I? My country was depending on me, and I was going to expose them for the evil-doers that they are. Next slide, please.

dental feet

Here I am, minding my own business, waiting for the evil-doer to attack his prey. You can’t see it in this picture, but I’m whistling and twiddling my thumbs. Just biding my time.

dental avatar

This is the dental office’s attempt to lull me into a sense of false security. Also? They failed to provide 3D glasses.

Nevertheless, I complied. But I kept one eye on this tray of torture:

dental tray of torture

and the other eye on this tray of torture:

dental tray of torture

So, for those of you counting at home, that’s TWO trays of torture!! No one has ever been able to withstand TWO trays of torture. But again, I was thinking of the children. My own pain didn’t matter. If my actions on that day saves even one child from the iron cage of cavity filling, then it will have all been worth it. Except for that two-faced lying brat of an eight-year-old, Frankie, who lives down the street from me. He can taking a wrecking ball to the teeth more than a few times for all I care, the little bastard. Now where was I?

Oh yeah, speaking of wrecking balls, let me show you the little corpse pieces that my new dentist yanked out of my mouth, although to his credit he didn’t use his foot for leverage. Which is a first for me.

dental crown corpse

My old crown

At one point, everybody stepped out of the room, and I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist, I had to start touching stuff.

dental holding instrument

It’s a little difficult to smile for the camera when half your face is numb, did you know that?

Of course, duty called and I began snapping these unbelievably incriminating photos until someone walked in on me…

dental caught

And that’s when the spit hit the fan. A whole team of masked marauders pushed me back and plastic and metal and porcelain began to fly around my face.

dental working

Oh, the humanity! How can you even stand to look at it? I’m not certain, but I think at one point, the dentist said, “Is it safe?” I wouldn’t quote me on that if I were you, though.

Also, don’t  say anything until you hear it from the authorities, because what these evil-doers don’t know is that a certain picture as we speak is on it’s way to the Big Meanie Dentists Watchdogs and National Powdered Doughnut Society, and boy are they gonna get it. Just remember, mum’s the word, and you didn’t hear it from me. I can’t afford to blow my cover, although when Inspector Gadget hears about this, I’m sure he’ll be awarding me something fabulous and then the whole world will know who I am. Oh, well. The drawbacks of being a national hero, I guess.

Epilogue:

Author’s note: I would like to say one true thing and that is that this was by far the best dental experience I’ve ever had. I mean, I’m going to call the novocaine shot “alleged”. Because I saw it, but I didn’t feel it. At all. Also? There was no temporary crown. The whole procedure was done in one visit, not two. And no gagging impressions or moldings, it was all done with a camera. What? You have this too? Why didn’t you tell me? All these years I’ve been getting tortured for nothing? Thanks a lot, people.

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99 Comments

  1. Ben Swilley says:

    You really knocked them dead with this post. Well, maybe not dead but you certainly hit a nerve. Two things that have stuck with me from reading this. One is that writing about trips to the dentist gets everybody’s attention and the other thought I cannot escape is: If half of your tongue has lost its taste buds, how does it effect the way you taste things?. Can you taste just half the normal taste of a pickle or does good scotch taste only half as good?

  2. Robin Maner says:

    What a fly on the wall! This is really funny. I was chuckling while reading. Novocaine isn’t so bad at all once you experience it, right? LOL. Anyway, good thing you only had to visit the clinic once. Well done.

  3. Wow! what a great idea!!

  4. My Crowning Glory: Tales of a Dental Procedure! Great Post!

  5. Cheri Pryor says:

    There are simply not enough words in the English language to accurately describe my fear and loathing of the dentist. I tell that to my dentist everytime I visit him. Valium is like truth serum AND makes the dentist visit a “happy” experience.

    (No. I'm not kidding about the valium. The dentist makes me THAT anxious.)

    1. You tell your dentist that you loathe him? That's awesome.

  6. TravisPease01 says:

    Undergoing a dental treatment can be a very frightening moment. It really helps to have a good dentist who can make the procedure run very smoothly. After my wife's pregnancy, she had to go to our family dentist to have her teeth checked. Fortunately, the dentists in Columbia, Sc was able to effectively resolve her dental problems. Also, even if my wife was quite emotional during that time, the dentist in Columbia, Sc had been very patient with her. She had a way of talking to my wife that makes her relax during the entire procedure.

    Very entertaining blog. Good Luck on your next visits!

  7. VetTech1215 says:

    I have had an ongoing dental issue that has resulted in no less than 8 trips to the dentist this year… it's like I hit some gypsy on the way to the dentist and he put his finger to his nose and whispered…”complications”…but your story give me hope :-)

    1. Wow – I like your gypsy image. Perhaps if you pass come silver over his palm (or whatever the saying is). How awful to have to visit the dentist 8 times SO FAR THIS YEAR??? Ack! It's not even July yet. I hope this doesn't mean you'll have 8 more. And can you still get laughing gas?

  8. Anne says:

    It was fun reading this since I just took my daughter to the dentist this afternoon. She looked much more tortured than you did but she is smaller and a little bit of a whiner.

    1. It can be so scary for kids. It's like getting a shot. We don't mind a quick pinch, usually, but kids will spend more time screaming and crying and worrying than the 2 seconds it takes to get the shot that hurts less than bonking their knee on the coffee table. Still, it makes a big difference, if you have an awesome dentist.

  9. That's about the best dental experience I can imagine. Sort of. I can imagine all sorts of mayhem in a dental chair. In fact, I can recount the horrors. Loved this tale!

    1. Yeah, is there ever really a pleasant dental visit? Or is it just that relatively speaking, it didn't suck and therefore appear pleasant?

      1. See, I have this ability to disengage mentally from the dentist's chair, and I don't mind going. It's true. And self-protective, a psyche would probably say. So I don't have any terror tales. Wait, did I just, in stating that, draw a terror tale to me? Oh the wicked ways of the Universe! I will probably have a daunting dental tale soon, and it will be all your fault!

  10. Udderhysteria says:

    Sadly I have more crowns than remaining molars! I'll be stopping by again… I'm Fragrant Liar's sis ;-)

    1. Fragrant Liar's sis – hello!!! Say, are you the one who drove to Florida with Fragrant Liar? I just realized I could have said “FL with FL” – ha! Thank you for stopping by and I may your remaining molars be safe from crowns forever! :)

  11. stellatuki says:

    Hi Margaret, I love your visual effects in your story telling, and the pictures enhanced it even more! I didn't notice any stretched arms – did you bring a professional photog for the pics?

    This blog piece on your dental visit and past experiences also from the comments hit home. My father was a dentist and expected his children to love the profession that fed them. Each of us and our cousins had to be cornered and trapped to have our baby teeth out. It was done in stages, on different occasions, a most traumatic ordeal for any child.

    13years older than my brother Dino, I vividly remember being made party to his capture for the extractions torture. He had to be tied down to the kitchen chair with thick boat ropes so he couldn't escape the “procedure”. Yes – we were tortured at home in the kitchen, not even afforded the use of Dad's clinic because we were not paying customers, and the deed had to be done immediately at capture of the “patient”. With the exhaustion of crying and fighting off his captors, Dino would calm down until the novocain syringe made its stealth appearance. The kicking and screaming would resume and in between sobs Dino would plead with Daddy Mengele, “1 'tsuk' only, not 'tsuk, tsuk, tsuk!'”. Of course, these went unheeded and Dad would indeed give him the multiple 'tsuk! tsuk! tsuk!' injections.

    We were also subjected to orthodontic tortures, which included the monthly tightening of those nasty bands. Mom would take us to the orthodontist early evenings, after the usual office hours. We were again non-paying customers because the lone orthodontist when we were growing up in the 50s in Manila, was Dad's best college buddy. I was in awe of her and she had cool toys for us kids to occupy ourselves with as we waited for the last of her paying customers to leave. After these visits, we always stopped by the pharmacy for pain-killers because the tightened bands would cause me migraines and I couldn't eat for 2days.

    Dino and my older brother have perfect teeth now. My sister and I though have had caps due to weak teeth caused by the prolonged wear of the “free” braces which I endured from Grade5 to freshman college. I was a walking ad for my orthodontist and high school classmates I referred to her as paying customers, had their braces 2years max! Oh, and Dino was known to have squashed tadpoles and hugged the neighbor's goldfish to death, in later years.

    Best dental experience was during my pothead days in 70s SF when I was chose laughing gas not novocain for a root canal. I was too high to feel pain and the psychedelic music on the earphones provided was mind bending. I was still floating to the bus stop in Union Square after the procedure. Do they still allow laughing gas these days?

    1. Stella, I am amazed that you came out of your childhood even half sane. You would think that having a dentist father would be helpful somehow, but you have quelched that notion beyond all recognition. Thank you for sharing this enlightening, yet horror-striking tale. And I forgot all about the laughing gas we got as kids. I haven't seen that hissing tube in ages.

  12. Terilhack says:

    YES!!!! Nice dental shots Your Awesome!
    I bet with a little pain meds you would like be on pandora in that dentists office while u watch it.
    Nice Job!

    1. Thanks, Teri! And why don't I ever think to indulge in the pain meds? :)

  13. Lizzie says:

    I am breaking out in a cold sweat. My dental phobia is alive and well. Glad you made it through ok!

    1. It's a small small percentage indeed of people who do not cringe or break out in a cold sweat at the thought of going to the dentist.

  14. “Big Meanie Dentists Watchdogs and National Powdered Doughnut Society” Ha! That's saying a mouthful.

    I absolutely hate going to the dentist. If I ever need work done I'm coming to Sacramento and your guy. “Alleged novocaine”! That's what I'll need.

    Great post, glad it went so well. jj

  15. Feliciag27 says:

    UGH – what a timely time to read this. Just found out today that that mind boggling, have to bend over and sweat and almost past out, feeling I've been getting for about 24 hours in one upper tooth is due to it being cracked – and needing a root canal (at the very least) plus crown, or (worst case) extraction plus a bridge or implant if it's way too damaged. I won't know until the endodontist gets in there and does his, um, thing.

    This is the same endodontist who did my very first root canal this past spring and I fell a little in love with him because I was expecting ten hours of Chinese water torture, and instead, I got a very sweet, highly attentive and empathic guy who helped me devise hand signals for “That hurts,” “Need to spit,” “Choking!” and all the other weird things that can happen when they muffle you up to give you a root canal.

    It only took an hour last time – not TOO bad when you're expecting ten hours. When we were done, I complimented him on his excellent bedside manner and told him he's “The Tooth Whisperer.” And it sort of made his day – or year, I think. I don't think dental professionals get thanked or complimented much, which is too bad, since the newer generations in that field are much more gentle and empathetic than their granddaddy, World War Two “I lived through the Nazis, you wimp, you can stand a little pain” traditional dentists.

    But the best of all is (is there are best in dealing with dentists?) I found a holistic dentist this spring who is very good and they GIVE OUT COOKIES when you leave after your appointment! (You can't always eat them if you're teeth are numb, but still, you get to take it home and not give it to your husband just because it's YOUR COOKIE!)

    I'm all for advances in dentobakery. Is that a word? Should be.

    1. Cookies! Oh my word! I've never heard of a dentist giving out cookies! What planet do you live on where your dentist gives you sugar?

      1. and yes, dentobakery should be a word.

      2. Feliciag27 says:

        It's Meetinghouse Dental in Hatboro PA and the two dentists there are VERY nice. They're holistic dentists so they don't do silver fillings. AND THEY GIVE YOU COOKIES!

  16. Jenny says:

    P.S. Margaret? I get valium when I go to the dentist. EVEN FOR A CLEANING. No lie. Next appointment July 22nd.

    1. Do you know I've never had a valium in my life? I feel like I'm missing out
      on something tremendous. And not that you have your dental appointment
      memorized or anything, but I wish you well on your next one, and should you
      ever need a dentist in Sacramento, have I got the guy for you.

  17. Jenny says:

    HUH? No gagging impressions on that grape-flavored silly putty? No moldings? No PAIN? Methinks you got something other than a crown. Did you perhaps have dinner, and subsequently a snogging session, with Johnny Depp? Did you go for a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive, or perhaps the Champs Elysees, and NOT to the dentist? Because this doesn't sound like the treatment you get at any dentist I know. And I know a few. Oh, yes, I have known a dentist or two in my day and all I can say is, not a one of them ever wants to be depending on me for a blood donation or anything if they're dying. I'll laugh and wave my blood type, the type that could SAVE THEM, in front of their beady eyes and laugh maniacally and think of particularly hateful taunts as the life drips from them.

  18. Linda R. says:

    I had some horrible childhood experiences with the dentist, and it was a dentist specifically for children. I eventually refused to let those gold-digging hygienists near my teeth. Only the dentist was allowed to clean them. Eventually I got older and he retired. I needed to find a new dentist. That was something to be put off as long as possible, until my hair dresser recommended hers. Well, let me tell you, her idea of rinse and spit was a 3-oz. dixie cup and a paper towel. I didn't make another appt. with her.

    Fast forward. My husband needed a dentist near where he worked so a friend recommended one. He was great, and when I heard about all the new technology, I said get them to find me one here. They did! My dentist and all the staff are wonderful. I couldn't ask for a better group of people to take care of my teeth. So, there are good ones out there. I'm glad you had a better experience this time. Oh, and there are some great drugs available too. If I have that done (and it is looming in my future) I'll need them!

    1. Well thank goodness you had a happy ending and that you can feel better about going to the dentist now.

  19. I was avoiding this post, but had to give in in the end. I hate going to the dentist, and yes, I've had some VERY bad experiences over the years. Just looking at those photos makes me cringe.

    The worst thing I've ever heard of at the dentist happened to my brother-in-law. The drill bit fell off the dentist's drill and went straight down his throat. The dentist had to send him to the hospital to have it removed!!

    1. ACK!! What a horrible thing. No wonder you've been avoiding this post. EEEK!!!

  20. Ron says:

    Ok, first of all, I'm DYING at the fact that you actually had the time to take pictures of all of this!!

    You. are. a. RIOT!!!!!!!!

    And maybe it's because I haven't been to a denist is like a MILLION years, but what is that monitor screen? Did they give you a movie to watch while you were having your teeth worked on? The guy in the movie looks like an alien with those pointy ears!

    I'm completely amazed that they can now do crowns with a CAMERA?!?!

    Glad to hear this ended up being a great experience!

    1. You're dying? YOU'RE dying? YOU'RE the one showing pictures of rabbits hanging out of your nose.

      Yes! They played Avatar while working on my…wait a minute..are you kidding? You're kidding, right? Are you pulling my leg? Or are you one of the three people who doesn't recognize Avatar?

  21. Margaret, you got 'er done! I'm so glad it wasn't the worst experience of your life! Sounds to me like this guy is pretty good. And you are keeping your pearly whites! I'm proud of you, Lady!

    1. I didn't realize, although it should have occurred to me, that more people would share their horror stories. I feel very very lucky now.

  22. Aaaaand that's why I haven't gone to the dentist in 3 years.

    Also because my last visit resulted in a tooth being yanked unceremoniously out of my head and DAMNIT why didn't I bring my camera?

    (I love your haircut.)

    And, no, I didn't know people still said “there, there.” Did it work? I'm thinking no.

    Thank you for sharing your story, which in my head is titled TWO TRAYS OF TERROR, with an echo reverb on TERROR-OR-OR-Or-or-or-or. Much scarier that way.

    1. I had to go back and look at my hair in those pictures. Turns out these pictures make it look like my hair is that short all over, but it's just an optical illusion and only the very front section is like that the rest is longer. Wait – that sounds like a mullet.

      1. Well, mullet or not, it looks real cute. You should include more photos of your pretty self!

        1. Aw, shucks JD, but you kind of inspired me. If you could throw pics and
          videos and needles to the neck of yourself, then I can show a lopsided smile
          or a mullet or two.

  23. I didn't used to have a fear of the dentist until my gums started receding and those routine visits started to hurt. A Lot. I've quietly weeped enough that every hygienist knows me by sight. They even warm the water for me ahead of time. A good dentist is worth millions.

    1. Uh oh…everybody's gums recede, right? Is it just a matter of time before I'm going to need prescription drugs to go to the dentist?

  24. I had a really hard time with this one. My teeth hurt just looking at the pictures of the 'instruments'.

    I desperately need to see the dentist but the last time I did the guy had a patch on his eye and a considerable tremor. He drilled through the wrong tooth and even though he told me he wouldn't charge me anything to do it again I have so far not been able to find the courage to go back again.

    1. oh. Mah. Gah. I can't even believe that. Please tell me that you are making
      that up. The wrong tooth? Really? Do we have to start marking our teeth with
      Sharpies like how they write “Amputate This Arm” and “Keep This Arm”?

  25. Janiss says:

    If going to the dentist stressed me out that much, I would just have them knock me out altogether for any procedure that involved something more than a routine cleaning. And then asked to have some good drugs to take home with me as a bonus.

    P.S. My dentist is pretty rad, although she did give me a temp for my one crown.

    1. How many dentists can claim that their patients call them rad? Dentists should be rad. They should have Rad 101 in Dental School and be required to get a A in that class.

  26. I am dying laughing, and I am HIGHLY impressed with that last photo! Who took that for you? And what an awesome Dentist to allow that! Most doctors get all “no photos allowed” on me.

    Anyway, I'm very glad you finally had a good dental experience! And you're so lucky they were able to replace the crown in ONE DAY.

    Now if I could just find a dentist like that in NJ!

    1. Oh, talk to Pricilla. I think she said her lovely dentist whom she greatly misses was in NJ. I hope she isn't too far away from you. How awesome would THAT be?
      http://pricillaspeaks.blogspot.com/

      1. OMG. That would be awesome!

  27. CatLadyLarew says:

    I used to go to a sadist dentist when I was a kid. He never used novocaine because he claimed it was just “a little cavity” and “your parents don't want to pay for the novocaine.” Bastard! It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized going to the dentist didn't have to be torture.

    That said, I think I'm due for my first crown… so thanks for the photo tour of what I can expect!

    1. Oh no!!! You had the Tower of London dentist – eek! I can't even imagine.

      I do hope your first crown is a wonderful theme park ride full of puppies and rainbows, sweetie!

  28. Nicky says:

    LOL! Poor, poor Margaret! You are a brave, strong woman indeed. Undergoing that kind of torture and not cracking and turning in your husband, kids, goats, neighbours etc. as traitors who've sworn allegiance to candy and other cavity causing delicacies! Remember, CHEESE is full of calcium and will help strengthen your teeth so you'll never need to see that bad, bad dentist again!

    1. OMG – I thought of you yesterday when I watched this show I'd never seen before called Man vs. Food. Have you seen it? This dude ate what must have been the world's biggest grilled cheese sandwich. Five pounds, 14 different kinds of cheese. I mean, I love cheese, but this……this was deadly.

      1. Nicky says:

        Well, that's roughly what my son Jake eats in one sitting! Was the dude about 5'11, 150lbs, dark hair, big blue eyes, freckles across his nose with a really sassy smile?

  29. debbie_suburbsanity says:

    Only you can make a trip to the dentist so much fun to read about! Can't wait for your pap smear post.

    1. ack!!! Ohhhh, there's an idea. Hmmmm…..

  30. SueAnn says:

    Ha!!! You just made my day!! I hate going to the dentist too. But one's gotta do what one's gotta do!!! Sucks and glad you could smile…albeit crookedly!!! Great post!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

    1. I laugh when I see that picture because I have such a floppy smile there.

  31. Kingofnewyorkhacks says:

    Hysterical, it would be hard to photo me at a dentist since I'm usually in the fetal position, you are a brave one !!

    1. Acting! I am a master thespian and just put on a brave face for you all.

  32. ReformingGeek says:

    Gold stars for the photos, Brave Woman!

    I have always felt the novocaine shots but it's been awhile since I've had one. Maybe things have changed!

    1. I swear. It's not even that I didn't feel the pain. I didn't feel ANYTHING. I'm still amazed.

  33. Mr. Mudpuppy told me years ago how awesome his dentist was, now we have irrefutable proof.

    1. Yep, he's pretty awesome.

  34. Tahtimbo says:

    Ouch, I get the willies just looking at those trays. I have severe White Coat Syndrome and I dread when I have to go again. The last time I went, she spent TWO hours working on my root canel (felt more like the Panama Canal). Oh, and getting the novocaine shot was, how shall I put this, EXCRUCIATING!!! The tooth she was working on was on the top, so the shot had to go in the roof of my mouth. Oh, and here's the best part: she actually charged me for this torture. Can you believe it??

    1. That is just a travesty. Well, actually, of course they have to charge you. I mean, it's not like they ENJOY causing you pain, right? Right?? Still something about that whole system of paying for pain doesn't make a lot of sense. For what it's worth, this crown was also in the top. My very last tooth in the back. But I don't think there was a shot in the roof of my mouth. Then again, I was trying my best not to think too much about while it was going on.

      I'm so sorry you had such an excrucating experience. This falls under that, “They can put a man on the moon…” thing.

      I bet you, 100 years from now, our descendants will gasp in horror at what their ancestors (us) went through.

  35. Ghartel89 says:

    This is great. I have 15 crowns and I understand your angst. Isn't that camera thing the greatest invention in the world? Thanks for sharing your experience. Wish I had a dentist that showed movies. Wow!

    1. 15 crowns – wow! . That's some kind of achievement. Congratulations – I bow to your Olympian dental records.

  36. joannmannix says:

    Ok, now I'm going to tell you about my dentist.

    He is one of those new fangly kind of dentists who believe in the novel concept of gentle care. He also takes great pains to make his dentist office look nothing like a dentist office. The air smells not of novocaine, but of vanilla. The trays of evil dentist tools are hidden behind your head. Up above you are not those awful lights, but a TV screen with movies of your choice and headsets.

    And here's the best part of my dentist's office: the dentist. I've known him since I was a teen. He was one of my brother's friends and he is so hot, hot, hottie, hot, sometimes I don't even watch the movie, preferring to watch him instead.

    And that's why I make sure I go every 6 months on the dot.

    1. Is he God? He's God, isn't he. Oh, wait, You said he was hot hot hottie hot, so now I feel all weird for even suggesting that. Forget I said anything.

    2. The TV at my dentist shows the inside of my mouth, no Avatar, no Jerry Springer, just the inside of my mouth and all the work they are doing to it. I hate my dentist. And he is so not hot.

      1. I couldn't say if my dentist is hot for the three following reasons:

        1. He wears a mask over his face most of the time.
        2. My husband reads my blog.
        3. I gave my dentist my NGIP business card, so there's a slight possibility
        that he's reading these very words. So maybe I'll go over to y'all's blogs
        and tell you over there whether or not my dentist is hot.

  37. I was feeling fine this morning, until I saw those photos. Now, I'm queasy as all get-out.

    I don't do dentists. Each one ended badly. (One left me in the hospital.) So, I only went in an emergency.

    An emergency such as starting chemo. Bacteria-infested teeth can kill you with no white count, so I had to go for a deep cleaning, and I got veneers over old crowns on my front teeth. And, it went as well as all my previous visits had: A nerve in my tongue was damaged by the injection, leaving me with no tastebuds on the right side of my tongue. It appears to be permanent, since that was last October. I blogged the story, if you are interested. It's a sad one, as I used to be a foodie.

    That was my last visit – ever – to a dentist. Forever. Even though he left some cement under my veneer and was going to clean it up after chemo was done. It's staying.

    I will be the one with the missing breast, with short white hair, not tasting her wine at the SacBee mixer. Come say hi. :)

    (I have a sick kid so if it spreads to me, I might not be able to go.)

    1. Good God, that's awful. And I am interested in reading about it. Can you point me to that specific post?

      I hope you can make it to the mixer, I'd love to meet you.

  38. Pricilla says:

    The publicist's dentist in NJ was wonderful. She misses her.
    She needs to find one in Montana.
    They are about 75 years behind the times in Montana so she is scared.

    1. Well maybe you could get one in Idaho or Washington, because can't you drive something like 300 miles an hour in Montana, so it would only take about 15 minutes to get anywhere else in the country?

      1. Pricilla says:

        You can only drive 90 which really means 100 so maybe not quite that fast….
        The dentist the male person used in Washington thanks to 1-800 Dentist was very, very scary….
        I wonder if insurance (if she had it) would pay airfare to NJ?

        1. Pric – I don't know if you saw, but Meleah here is looking for a dentist in
          NJ. I told her to ask you about yours.
          Her blog: http://mommamiameaculpa.com

          1. Thanks Margaret! She sent me the info for a great NJ dentist! Woot Woot!

            1. Already, I'm saving the children – yay!!!

  39. Chatterteeth says:

    I feel like you took the hit for us. Thanks. Although, to confess, I've had a painless, no effort (I even ride my bike over) one-stop dentist for awhile now. The secret is you want a somewhat recent graduate who learned all of the miracle stuff and is invested deeply is all that cool equipment. (No one told the old dentists that torture is outlawed and the problem is crazy people just keep going back.)

    My only security blanket is literally a blanket. I always ask for a blanket. I don't care if it's 100 degrees out (the offices are always ridiculously cold anyway). Just give me my blanket and drill, baby, drill.

    1. Chatterteeth? Hey, is that your real name, or are you having a laugh here?
      If you can ride your bike to the dentist, then yes, you've probably got the best. Or maybe he's just a watch repair man, and just pretends to work on your teeth, you know like when you're on the phone with someone who is asking you to check something and you rustle some papers around and say, “Oh yes, I have it right here”, but you don't really. Maybe your dentist is like that.

      Also: I didn't know you could ask for a blanket. I'll have to ask mine about that next time. If he doesn't fire me for blogging about him.

  40. FreaKeroppi says:

    I don't have words for this.

    1. These words that you don't have… are they good? or are they bad?

  41. anntracy51 says:

    I have only two words to say: sedation dentistry! But then again, you wouldn't have such good fodder for your blog ;~ D

    1. On the other hand, the fodder might be artistically inspired by hallucinations and such.

  42. Lisa T. says:

    My dentist has posters of smiling people with perfectly straight teeth on the ceiling. My gynecologist has posters too, but they are of sunsets and mountain streams, because, well it's one thing for a dentist to advertise up there but who wants to see the handy work of your gynecologist? Though I wonder what the point of the sunsets are. I mean are they supposed to make you forget where you are? Like your lying there thinking you're on a tropical beach as the huge orange sun slowly dips below the horizon…and then WOO-HOO!-welcome back to reality Bobby-Sue! Unless the beaches in California are like that. They probably are.

    1. “the handy work of your gynecologist? ” ACK!! HAHA!
      Your snap back to reality scene also had me in stitches.

    2. My gynecologist has butterflies on his ceiling, like they are supposed to distract me or something. And not decal butterflies but 3D butterflies. There are only two of them in each exam room. I guess two is all we need to be distracted from the stirrups.

  43. Paul Wynn says:

    HAHAHA play by play with the dental visit. I like the Avatar scene … ironic isn't it? I will definitely email ya about the Blogher Nanny!

    1. Paul – thank you for mentioning the irony of the Avatar scene. I didn't even notice that! Seriously. How perfect!

  44. Tara says:

    This is hilarious. Somehow I've never felt the novocaine shot, thank goodness. When I got my wisdom teeth pulled and was on valium, I got way too open and sharing with my dentist. To be fair, though, I'm sure he was really curious about my current method of birth control.

    1. hee heee! Oh to be a fly on the wall with you and your dentist.

  45. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Three Boys One Mommy, Nanny Goats. Nanny Goats said: New blog post: "My Crowning Glory: Tales of a Dental Procedure" http://ow.ly/24izM BONUS: includes pictures! #fb […]