It must be said that I love my orthodontist. We’ve been together for almost three decades. I would recommend her to anyone.
For that reason, what follows is not an out-pouring of anger or a vendetta against her and her staff. Nope, it is merely an examination of a dental visit gone horribly awry.
The Ballad of the Bridge (or, That Time at the Dentist when…)
“Looks like you need a new bridge”, I was told by the staff,
After we had visited; exchanged hugs and a laugh.
“It will take us two hours, maybe one and a half.”
As I look back on it now, that phrase seems like a gaff.
Oh, that crazy appointment, I remember it well.
They were playing music such as Buble or Adele.
You’d think I’d be over it; I do try not to dwell.
However as you’ll find out, there’s quite a story to tell.
It all started so calmly out in the waiting room.
You know, where you wait your turn with a deep sense of gloom?
I read the consent form, and submitted to my doom.
Then went in, doubting if their plants were fake, or in bloom.
The first, and the toughest, orthodontic obstacle,
Is always getting my pesky nerve endings to dull.
They jam in Novocain until my cheeks are quite full;
Asking me to open wide like some hungry seagull.
See, first you must understand that my roots are quite long.
I have to be numb, or the ordeal will turn out wrong.
Especially since my pain reflex is rather strong;
I can scream much louder than any punk rocker song.
These gals have been with me through all of the dental years,
They should know there’s a basis for my lingering fears.
If they try, they can numb me, from my eyelids to ears,
Make my skin all tingly, like I’ve had too many beers.
As promised, I felt a pinch, as the needle went in.
I held still while the extra dose traveled from within.
You think I’d be knocked out, like I’d consumed too much gin,
Oh no. The trouble had only started to begin.
When told to go numb, I guess my veins chose to forget.
For the answer was a “No”, when asked, “Are ya numb yet?”
They gave me another dose, said I should be all set.
In hindsight, I could have told them not to take that bet.
Soon I got a third shot, which was followed up by four.
(It’s better to be far too numb, then really too sore.)
The staff sat up my chair as we all waited some more.
They either found tasks to do, or they just paced the floor.
It was forty-minutes in that I lost the will to care.
I decided this was the time to act on a dare.
I grabbed the big hanging light; moved it over here or there.
I even got up and sat in the head gal’s own chair.
(I had permission to move that odd light overhead.
“Go for it”, is specifically what my old friend said.
You can’t ask me to lay there the whole time, as though dead.
If you can’t have a little fun, why roll out of bed?)
No, it wasn’t until they brought in shot number five,
That the edge of my lip wondered if it were alive.
Not quite a full hour in, the drug kicked into drive;
My face finally felt like it was in a beehive.
While my roots may be long, the top of my tooth is not.
When trying to place a clamp, they can be quite the snot.
You would think that the gear would work, that it would stay caught.
Yet the gum was too high and the fabric was too taught.
They pushed and labored and they shoved with all of their might,
And eventually they won out and pulled the thing tight.
In all truth, I assume that they conquered that blight.
Half of their battle took place out of my line of sight.
Now we had got it, the rest would surely be a breeze.
Granted we’d had our issues, it hadn’t been all ease,
But the moment was now and they were ready to seize
And I thought it would be over soon. I hoped so. Please?
Thus, and in earnest, did the great drilling begin.
The first one was high pitched and then the loud one joined in.
They set about their task, those dedicated women.
And as they attacked, they certainly raised quite the din.
They’d drill and rinse, all while they were merrily joking.
I’d often smell something and see my tooth was smoking.
Plus, from the water and saliva, I was choking.
At least I couldn’t feel their machinery poking.
I saw I’d be late for work, I tried not to worry.
They were behind schedule, I saw them really scurry.
I was stuck there, that wouldn’t be helped by my fury.
So I laid there and did my utmost not to hurry.
The minutes came and fell into the realm of the past.
The time ticked on, but admittedly not very fast.
You think they’re done now? No more fun? That I’m free at last?
Nope. They still needed to make a temporary cast.
“Get an impression! Fill his mouth with this here goo!”
(Be honest, you wish this had all been happening to you.)
I obeyed, I acquiesced, what else was I to do?
I’d eaten my sugar, and now the bill had come due.
Of course I couldn’t talk, not with the tools they employ.
I think they heard me “nnh” and “nrrh” with a secret joy.
They were scraping and poking with every dental toy,
“So patient”, they’d claim, but I suspect it was a ploy.
“Hey buddy, next time why not try their nitrous oxide?”
That’s an extra charge that my budget will not abide.
Also, my wit and charm I use with them would subside.
And hey, I’m the narrator. You should be on my side!
One by one; the work finished, the gear taken away.
They stopped using my chest as their private serving tray.
I was free from our chores. I could now go out and play.
In spite of my elation, I did not yell, “Hooray!”
I had been told, “two hours”; you have already seen.
Yet the ordeal ended up taking three and fifteen.
I am clearly difficult. It’s not that they are mean;
Though it did hurt when they used their credit card machine.
It’s all behind me now. I survived that crazy day.
No one should be blamed at all for the vexing delay.
We do the best we can with what we have; come what may.
Which is how we’ll handle the follow-up on Thursday.