Just the title of this post is enough to strike fear into the heart of many, including me! I have no rational reason for this fear but I know that when the letter comes every six months proclaiming that I am now due for my 20,000 smile check-up I feel a little nervous. If I'm honest I often read and recycle without even picking up the phone to make the appointment. That changed once the children became old enough to need a regular check-up.
Now I do attend every check-up as instructed and any follow up treatment. I have to admit that despite being nervous of the dentist and feeling apprehensive throughout appointments, as demonstrated by my rigid non-moving form on the chair. Recently I had to have my wisdom teeth filled, as they have come through with cavities, typical of me really, looks like everything is in perfect condition but there are holes in the middle!
as a result two weeks and two consecutive appointments. You know how it goes, dentist makes small talk and then uses a disgusting tasting local anaesthetic in. My dentist then uses an injection to numb everything, the oddest thing is that despite both of us knowing he has an enormous needle he hides it behind his back, at this point it's not as if I'm about to do a runner.
So with lip, teeth, and so on numb the work begins and although there's no pain there are odd sensations. The drill and the suction, then the odd picking at the teeth to make sure everything is filled. The dryer which ensures that your new filling doesn't fall out as soon as you leave and the funky orange visor they put over your eyes to protect them from the rays. Finally there is the bite plate to make sure that the tooth is level and so on.
What strikes me the most though as I sit looking at the new where's wally? poster and trying to avoid making contact with the man drilling into my tooth is how helpless I feel. It is this I think, that gives me the phobia, not the fear of pain, three kids and a toothache aren't really in the same league, but the fact that I am sitting in a position which renders me without a defence. I don't know exactly what it is I expect to happen... still in six months time they'll be another card through the door and off we'll go, open wide and hope that my teeth stand up to the scrutiny.