I’m Not Seeing Anyone Today

Two words. The Dentist. And one more word–Pain. Except there will be more. I’m starting to feel my lips!

Don’t blame the dentist. It’s my fault, putting things off for as long as possible, and then, well I promise to get this done and stop    eating      M&M s…….. maybe.

I do want to recount something, and anyone out there who went to the dentist in the 1960s, please back me up! My dentist is no longer living on this earth. (No, I didn’t kill him. I thought he was going to kill me!) I went every six months, rain or shine, and I swear, I sat like a stiff doll in the chair until he came into the room and washed his hands with Lifebuoy soap. No gloves. He would barely acknowledge my presence in the chair until he turned the on the light. I believe that light could have lit up a ballpark all by itself.

“Hmmmmmm. Hmmmmmm.” He picked and scratched with those dental tools. I don’t remember getting an x-ray. He’d lean in closer.

“Sonya, open wider!” he barked. Honestly I tried, but I was an elementary school kid.

“You have a small mouth. But I can’t see the back! Wider!”

By now my jaw was tightened in fear. When he called for Nurse Roth, I knew it wasn’t going to be good.

I had a cavity. Yes, me! A Crest kid! A cavity. I pictured the grand canyon of teeth and in my mouth was a blackness on the rocky wall that had to be drilled out as slowly as possible.

Oh! You didn’t know they didn’t have fast, speedy drills like they do today. Also, there was no soft cotton roll with a numbing medicine on it. The doctor went straight in with the needle which always brought tears. I tried not to cry but they kept squeezing out involuntarily.

Even so, that shot didn’t numb all the pain. I swear to it. When he reached for the drill, (a smaller, jackhammer version of the one they use on concrete), I flinched. One time, I was so miserable, I did start crying.

“Stop being a baby, Sonya!”

I gulped and he resumed the torture, in between orders to spit in the little white sink. I know most of you young-uns don’t remember those sinks, but I was supposed to rinse and spit out any gunk from my mouth. Problem was I dribbled because I couldn’t feel one side of my mouth!

When he shut off the jackhammer, I was always relieved, but then he went to grinding some substance to fill my tooth with. It was metal-looking, but by that time, I. Did. Not. Care! It was over, and I could stumble out to Nurse Roth who rescheduled me  for next time and brought out the prized sparkly ring box. I chose carefully, hoping next time wouldn’t come.

Dentistry. 1960s. Moments to Remember.