I have a toothache. This is big news since I seldom have toothaches. It is also big news because the prospect of dental work is the sort of thing which plunges me into psychology darkness. It's a long, boring story that involves a horrifying dental experience at the hands of a quack dentist in New Orleans which I would much prefer not talking about. For me, here are my biggest fears:
1. Falling into a tree shredder.
2. Being lowered slowly into a cauldron of boiling tar.
That's not to say that I never go to the dentist. I am, after all, an adult. I steel my resolve every so often to have my teeth cleaned. Despite generous application of laughing gas during the procedure, I usually have to change shirts when I get home. It's pathetic actually.
So after a six hour drive home yesterday, I unloaded the car then headed over to Dr. Talton's little shop of horrors for an examination of my ailing mouth. After a thorough cleaning, the man himself appeared and stared pensively at my X-rays, emitting several troubling "hmmms" along the way. The news was not good. The offending molar has a leaky filling. Apparently, something had gotten under the filling and was making contact with the root or nerves or some such horror. It was beyond his abilities to fix. He would need to send me to an oral surgeon, he said, somebody who would knock me out before the procedure. I was not happy about letting some new monster into my mouth. Dr. Talton was terrifying enough, but I have grown accustomed to his antics, and find him relatively charming...in a Son of Sam sort of way. The prospect of some new guy, especially one who specializes in oral surgery sounded terrible.
Me: Why can't you do this Doc?
Dr. Talton: There are not enough drugs in this entire building to keep you still enough for this procedure.
So, now I await....the call...from the surgeon's office to set a time for the procedure, which as far as I can tell will involve an exploratory root canal that will proceed to an extraction if the tooth cannot be saved. In the meantime, I'm popping Advil like Skittles, and trying desperately not to act like a baby in front of my wife.