Ok, maybe that’s too nice a term for someone who makes you lie back in a chair and gives you a scare as she puts a tool into your mouth… but what comes after that doesn’t have to be painful. In fact she can give you a hell lot of relief by saying that you don’t have a cavity, but your filling has merely become discoloured (pardon the gory details that follow – this article is about my dental problems, for heavens sake).
When I was in Grade VI, I read a poem by Nissim Ezekiel on a visit to the dentist – a particular line became engraved in my mind:
“Some tortures are physical, some are mental, but one that is both is dental.”
A couple of weeks back I noticed black spots on my premolars and molars. I was convinced that it was chocolate (I am a major chocoholic) or random fragments of food stuck in my mouth. I tried to vigorously brush the problem away, but no, it didn’t disappear. I got shit scared and started dreading the dentist visit that was necessary – it felt like I would be sitting in an electric chair!
I read up on cavities – apparently they start off as tiny black spots and when they go all the way inside tooth, it requires root canal treatment! I didn’t get any pain to warrant that, though. However, it was scary to read about what they would do during the treatment.
I quickly made an appointment and went there with a ton of apprehension turning my stomach. Luckily, I felt a lot better, when the friendly dentist pronounced the verdict. My previous fillings had developed discolouration and I would require a few fillings, but that was that.
So, I happily showed her my teeth and was careful not to bite her fingers at any point. At this stage I’ve completed 2 sittings and will have 1 or 2 more. But I am being really prompt about it. Teeth problems can inspire a lot of anxiety, even if they are not very major ones.
My problem is pretty small – I cannot imagine the plight of someone who has an infection and needs cleaning, injections and tooth extraction or a root canal treatment. I guess the best way to face a dentist is with a cool head. What is going to happen will happen anyway and it is for your good. It can get worse if postponed. So grin and bear it. Or bear it and you’re sure to sport a grin, why even with pearly white polished teeth.