Previously on Dentist Drill: Anusha has been left at the mercy of Doctor Ansel, a dentist who plans on filling five of her cavity-ridden teeth. Needless to say, Anusha is terrified.
“We’re going to start by numbing the gums” she said, her muffled voice seemingly miles away.
Numb the gums. Numb the gums. Numb the gums. Her little rhyme echoed in my head like an infuriating ditty.
Attempting to prepare me for an inkling of the impending pain, Ansel warned, “Now, this is going to feel like a little sting,”
Little sting? Little sting. What if this is supposed sting isn’t little in the slightest? What then, Doctor Ansel? I desperately wanted to ask. Instead, I opened my mouth so it appeared to be gaping cavern, with its delicate and rounded stalagmites and stalactites shining in the harsh light.
Determined to spare myself from the sight of a perilously sharp syringe, I forcefully shut my eyes. And all at once I was submerged in the deliberate, but comforting darkness of my eyelids. Although temporarily blinded, I could sense Doctor Ansel’s imperceptible movements as she drew something very sharp, and very slender close to my face.
Seeping in gradually at first, I felt the cool, thin metal penetrating the soft, pink surface of my gums, triggering a sharp pricking sensation. To prevent myself from making any sudden movements, I dug my fingernails into the plushy armrests beside me and stilled my breathing.
Meanwhile, Doctor Ansel continued making quick, calculated movements with her syringe, each earning me an infuriating stab of pain and the comforting promise of numbness.
Evidently satisfied with her anesthetic, Ansel took a step back from me before saying, “That should be good. Let’s let that set in for a couple of minutes.”
She quickly smiled at me before departing from the room. Looking after her for a few moments, I winced as I grew accustomed to her absence, amused that the first thing that caused me pain was actually intended to suppress it.
As the pain gradually subsided, I ran my tongue along my recently punctured gums, starting to feel an unmistakable tingling sensation that spread to the entire left side of my face.
No longer fixated on my discomfort, I began to feel fascinated at the drastic effects of anesthetic. I lightly slapped the numbed side of my face, amazed each time that it felt as if I was touching empty, lifeless flesh, as opposed to the warm, feeling one that I had felt a few moments ago.
Apparently it has been several minutes since Ansel left me because she suddenly swept into the room with flourish. “Feeling numb?” she asked me pleasantly.
Feeling numb? I yearned to ask her. I feel as if I’m missing the entire left side of my face. My tongue feels like a heavy, lifeless mound on the inside of my mouth. In fact, I bet if you gave me a vicious left hook, I wouldn’t even notice. I’d just sit there and smile as the black eye slowly bloomed on my face.
Unable to articulate as well as I would like, I half heartedly responded with my tongue lolling about in my mouth, ” Ith pwetty numbth.”
Probably accustomed to the pathetic speak of Novocaine, Ansel kindly nodded and began taking out her gleaming, instruments of torture-er-I mean dentistry.
She activated the drill, producing a maddening whirring sound, making it seem as if my mouth is more of a construction site than a home for my incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.
As I gazed upward in quiet awe and horror, the only things located in my direct field of vision are the doctor’s shining, purple gloves, a small, sinister-looking metal hook, and a little device the nurse had used to flush my mouth with water.
I tried imagining myself standing aloof from the scene, watching as a doctor and a nurse valiantly rectified the damage the bacteria have wreaked on my teeth. But the noise and light were too much, reminding me of the painful reality of my circumstances. My teeth were being drilled into like hard, enamel-coated pavement.
Several fillings, injections, flushings, polishings, and drillings later, Doctor Ansel undid the papery bib around my neck with an air of finality.
“We’ve successfully filled every cavity on the left side of your mouth and stopped the decay in its tracks. In terms of the anesthetic, the numbness should wear off within the next two hours. And you can grab a chocolate milkshake on the way out.”
Slowly processing her words of comfort, optimism, and promise of imminent chocolate, I gingerly began to smile before she continued, “We’ll have to schedule another appointment to fill all of those cavities on the right side, of course. Not to mention that tricky extraction.”