The Telltale Swab

The Telltale Swab

I walked into the dentist's waiting room with my mom and my sister Mari for an appointment. When the time came I went first. Unlike on TV or whatever I did not fear the dentist. I really had no need to since I can't ever remember getting drilled and pretty much just get my teeth x-rayed, cleaned, then get my molar filled with plastic to prevent decay.

The dentist was nice and told you how to properly brush your teeth to avoid gingivitis and stuff.

"So, how was your day?" he would ask while he was probing my mouth with the hook pick thingy and the small mirror.

"Iwahine," I would reply cheerfully.

I had a stain on one of my molars and he explained that it wasn't a cavity but that it could be a start of one and that I would have to get another appointment to clean it up. I was fine with it and he cleaned my teeth.

My parents set up the next appointment for Mari and me and we left the dentist's.

About three weeks later we find ourselves at the dentist's yet again. It smelled of fluoride as usual when we opened the door and we sat down in the small waiting room as was the usual.

This time Mari went first, but soon after the same assistant that took Mari came back to get me.

"We're going to work on you while the anesthetics are kicking in on Mari," the assistant explained.

"Anesthetics?" I asked concerned.

The assistant apparently didn't hear me and we passed Mari in the dentist chair reclined and went to the next cubicle-like room with another dentist chair for me to sit in.

Things seem to go back to normal as the dentist stepped in and asked how I was doing. I said I was fine. But a little tired. He asked if I woke up early to get ready for when school started. I said, "Not really," since I woke up around eleven.

The usual happened, the chair was reclined, I opened my mouth wide, the dentist poked around in my mouth. This time there was a lady dressed in purple observing all this. I thought she must be a student or something since she didn't help out and the dentist would point something out to her from time to time.

By this time he had a small drill. I wasn't too concerned as I figured and as he explained it was to round off my molars. It was probably to rid me of my stain also. I also had a chipped molar on my upper jaw so he used it on that too.

Anyways, he was working on my lower jaw where the stain was with the drill. I was able to catch glances in the reflection of his double glasses he used to magnify things with. Towards the end of the first session with the drilling there was a very slight pain there. It wasn't really enough to quite call it pain, but I felt something and it concerned me slightly.

I couldn't see directly what the assistant passed him since I was lying flat, face-up with them passing things over my bib.

He was sticking something in my mouth again. I looked into his double glasses thing and realized he was swabbing my gum behind my last molar with a long Q-tip and jelly-like stuff.

'What the-'

"Wait! Are you going to give me a shot?!" I asked in terror after he finished swabbing my gum.

"We're going to numb you up a bit," he replied calmly.

"No needles! Whit is it for?!" I asked 'somewhat' hysterically.

"It's to numb you up so you won't feel the drill. When you go past the enamel you could feel pain," he answered patiently, humored with my antics.

I had thrown my arms in front of my face several times, as if to protect myself, or more specifically, my mouth.

"You're just on the edge of needing it," he told me. By now I had deemed it safe to put my arms down, but because I was a bit hysterical I started laughing a bit and had to calm down so he could actually get some work done on my teeth. I was very relieved I had avoided the needle. I had mumbled a few times, "I hate needles." Needless to say they knew that by now.

The drilling proceeded and a couple of times I raised my arms a bit when he grazed a nerve and pain shot through my teeth. It wasn't too bad.

He changed the drill and explained it was slower so it shouldn't hurt much. They called it the "motorcycle" since it rumbled and was bumpy.

He brought out a syringe with blue gel stuff in it and before I could say anything he said it was a glue stuff to go on my tooth. I was relaxed and he finished up with putting the plastic coating in the cracks and told me that someday I may need to get "numbed up" if I didn't take very good care of my teeth.

Later when Mari came out she told us that she had received four shots!

I was so freaked out. She would nonchalantly say that it didn't hurt. The only part that hurt was when the dentist had to pinch her cheek down to get the needle to the back of her mouth.

Oh my gosh! Four shots!

I was sooo glad I avoided that one needle. Mari said that she had to get the last two because the first two wore off while they were working on me. The dentist noticed her wince in pain when he started drilling so he gave her another two shots and she said she still felt it a little but kept herself from wincing so they could get it over with.

I now had a reason to fear the dentist. Just like any doctor, he too can give you shots.

The moral of the story is: I HATE NEEDLES!