Thursday, March 11, 2010

Novacaine....Revisited

Ironically, my very first post was about Novocaine. Yesterday I spent three hours in the dentist's chair. My mouth was hinged open wide for at least two and a half of those hours. Today I have an earache and my jaw hurts. I am in a foggy haze as I drink coffee and wait for the allergy meds to hit me.


I arrived bright and early at the dentist office with a smile on my face and a list in my pocket of things to pick up on my way home. I wasn't looking forward to the needle, but wasn't dreading it either. When I was 14 I lost two molars. The dentist my mother took me to shoved a bite block in my mouth and proceeded to try to numb the area around the abscessed tooth and yanked it out. He kept a running conversation with himself and laughed like a maniac as he presented the offensive tooth to me as a souvenir. As a result I am always anxious when I go to the dentist and especially so when I visit one for the very first time. My current dentist is all about alleviating anxiety and the comfort of his patient. So, while I am not thrilled about going, I am not in a cold sweat with anticipation...........



Yesterday began benignly enough as I eased myself into the comfy chair that was lined with a vibrating back massager. After the assistant chained the paper bib around my neck, another assistant arrived with a pre-heated neck pillow and asked if I would like a blanket. So I was all in my happy place when the big guy arrived to numb the chosen area. First he applied the surface number as he talked about what "we" would accomplish on this visit. Then he inserted the needle and I waited to feel the heavy numbness start. Instead, I felt a chill as my heart began to pound rapidly. The chill was followed by a rush of warmth and my heart felt like it was in my throat pounding erratically. I could actually see it beating as my eyes felt like they were bouncing in the sockets in sync with the rhythm. I was light headed, at one point I thought I might lose consciousness. Never had this happen before and don't ever want to experience it again. It only lasted a matter of seconds and left almost as quickly as it came. I was left a little shaky, but okay. The biggest insult was that it did not numb my jaw! Another injection of a different anesthetic was needed to proceed.


Three hours and over $1000 later I arose from the chair and went on my way. I didn't feel particularly good, but wasn't willing to simply drive home without completing my mission. I wondered through WalMart gathering supplies and what not and then drove home. Unloading the car was exhausting and even though I sat down and rested a bit I still felt crappy. I have three more mercury fillings to be removed and replaced. The fillings that came out yesterday were the oldest ones. They had expanded with age and cracked the teeth, requiring an overlay on one tooth. Hopefully we will remove the others before they damage any more teeth.


Today I am sore, but I now have to accomplish today's list as well as finish what I didn't do yesterday. It has occurred to me lately that I am not as young as I used to be! Profound, I know.

11 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i abhor the dentist...i feel for you, i really do...at least it will be for the better right?

Cathy said...

Dentists are not my bestest friends either - bad experiences younger in life put me off them for ever
Nice to have you back
Cathy

Whitney Lee said...

I was fortunate enough to have the worlds most sensitive dentist growing up. I could literally watch him sweat with fear that he was hurting me. Even though I've had a couple of rough experiences since, it's never been enough to make me dread going to the dentist or even the periodontist.

It sounds like you had an allergic reaction. What did they say about that? I will hope for you that the remaining work goes much more smoothly.

squawmama said...

Oh me too Kathy... I hate the dentist but go every 6 months for my check ups... So sorry that you had such an anxiety attack over the whole ordeal... I had something similar once and starting gagging... Frightful experience... Have a good day today!!!
(((HUGS)))
Donna

Mamma has spoken said...

I need to go to the dentist too but haven't made that appointment yet. Where your dentist is replacing the fillings, mine is capping the teeth instead due to how big the filings are. I still have 7 teeth to go......

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

OMG! I feel for you. I have to have sedation for any dental work except cleanings. I had really bad experiences with dentists in my early years and now I have terrible anxiety attacks if I have to be un-sedated. I also can't hold my jaw open and I have a small mouth - so in order for the dentist to do anything, I have to be completely relaxed.

ellen abbott said...

I endure the dentist. Don't really like going. don't like the physical aftereffects from the novocaine. I need to go in and get them cleaned and a crown glued back on. I wonder did he hit a nerve with the first shot? sounds very unpleasant.

jojo said...

I feel your pain...really! I need two crowns and can't possibly bring myself to go get them. First, the money thing but mostly the shot. You'd think a grown woman would be over a little needle but I'm full of dread at the thought! You are so brave..;p

Lorenza said...

Haaaa!
My mom says she knows!
After 2 tries for endodontics and one surgery she is still feeling some pain!
I hope everything goes well for you!
Take care
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

Nancy said...

It seems like dental issues become more prominent as we age, for obvious reasons. I am now on three month cleanings...

I once worked as a dental assistant and it sounds like the anesthetic hit a nerve bundle or artery. Too much of the stuff can be a real problem for your heart. Make sure you tell the doctor what happened.

I love nitrous oxide! It helps numb, as well as relaxing those hands clenching the arms of the chair. I mean, really, who enjoys metal scraping our teeth at our age?

Pat said...

I'm at that age, too, where all my fillings should be falling out and I'll need a lot of crowns. Not looking forward to it. I've experienced my heart racing when I've had novicane, too. But your whole dentist's set up sounds wonderful. Neck massage? Wow!