February 8, 2007

"Your Canal Is Very Tight"

"Your Canal Is Very Tight"

Also known as, "Root Canals Suck Ass." Wait... what did you think this post was going to be about? Pre-verts.

Anyway, I know you're supposed to go to the dentist for a check-up and cleaning every 6 months, but until a week ago I hadn't been to mine in over 3 years. Geo and I didn't have any dental insurance for awhile, and then we had to take care of Angelina's teeth issues. So on Monday, I walked into my dentist's office, mentally preparing myself for that awful scraping feeling. In case you're genetically blessed or responsible enough to have never needed a root canal, they pretty much drill into your tooth, take this skinny wire thing and scrape the crap out of your tooth's root canals, fill it with rubber then put a cap on it. The process isn't normally painful (in this country at least) thanks to the wonders of local anesthesia, but it's uncomfortable. And the needle used to administer the anesthesia is longer than my damn fingers.

Ten minutes later, I was in one of the reclining dental chairs watching Sponge Bob Square Pants and waiting for my dentist to appear. I've known him for almost 10 years, he's pretty close to my age I think. We have a special relationship, probably because we both have pretty foul senses of humor. At my first appointment, I told him dirty jokes the entire time. ("A father and his 6-year-old son are walking through the park when they see two dogs going at it. The son freaks out but the father says 'Calm down son, they're just making a puppy.' An hour later, the son accidentally walks in on his mom and dad having sex. He starts to freak out again, but the father says 'It's okay son, we're just making you a baby brother.' The son thinks about this for a moment, then says 'Well flip the bitch over Daddy, I want a puppy.'")

The root canal was a bit complicated, and probably not helped by the fact that my dentist and I chatted and caught up on the last three years the whole time. He'd specifically requested a dental assistant who would appreciate our foul humor, and the three of us talked smack, sports, video games and sex for the duration of the procedure. Which may sound crazy to some, but I am a big fan of people who can multi-task. At one point though, he said we had to be quiet so he could concentrate on an area that was giving him trouble. He explained it as he worked, and it occurred to me that dental phraseology can really be applied to other activities. These are some of the things I heard:

"I'm going to have to go deeper in."
"Can you feel that?"
"I'm having difficulty because your canal is so tight."
"This might be too big."
"How does that feel? Does it hurt?"
"I have to do this a bit harder so you may feel some soreness later."

Meanwhile, I was sitting there trying not to move, while laughing my ass off. It also occurred to me that it's almost more invasive (for lack of a better word) to be at the dentist than at the gynecologist. You're sitting there for an hour, with one guy suctioning shit out of your mouth while another drills, scrapes and eventually busts out a freaking soldering iron. You really have to trust a person a lot to let them put a freaking soldering iron in your mouth. Whereas at the gyne it's slip, flip open, scrape, and you're out of there faster than a white guy who accidentally walked into a Black Panther meeting. All in all though, the procedure went fine and now my tooth is all good again, WOOT!

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