Image from Enexus.com
It is amazing that I'm able to fulfill a dental appointment. I absolutely abhor, hate, despise and deplore any dental engagement. I hate everything about it. As a kid, I dutifully--though against my will--endured every semi-annual appointment with my dentist. And when I segued into adulthood, I even had to endure two tooth extractions--later lamented by my dentist as "unnecessary."
I dutifully fulfilled my obligations to the biannual examinations. And lucky for me, after the age of nineteen, I never had to have another filling. But when I moved to Las Vegas at the age of 28, I sadly lapsed into a period of "no dental care." It was a combination of procrastination and the abject hatred of dentists.
After I met up with The Other Half, and once again obtained dental insurance, I reluctantly went back to the dentist. And I was greeted with this statement: "You've got great teeth. Too bad they're all going to fall out." Turns out, I've got periodontal disease. Gums. Not teeth, gums. I had bone loss, and gum disease. Great. So, I went through a deep gum-probing root-planing procedure. And after several appointments, it was decided that my SonicCare toothbrush wasn't enough, and that I'd require oral surgery.
So, I did it. Though I wanted to bolt from the chair every time, I submitted to a gum surgery that lasted three different procedures. They cut off tissue, and stitched threads through the roof of my mouth. It was awful. And then I went to several follow-up procedures. But when it was time to go back to my regular dentist, I got rescheduled twice, and then just. . .stopped.
For two years, I procrastinated, and ignored the inner voice that says "you've got to go back." But eventually, I got back on the wagon. And since then, I've had to go back every three months to get my mouth back into shape. Yesterday, I had to return for my fourth visit since my two-year hiatus. And I was scared. Mostly because I'd been feeling some profound discomfort in one of my two remaining wisdom teeth.
Turns out, it was nothing. I had a routine (though hour-long) cleaning. My hygienist found no major issues, and didn't even go through the interminable 1-2-7-4-3-5 gum measurement thingy. But I'm not out of the woods. I still have to go back in three months. And my insurance might not cover it. And I still wonder if I got a fast one over on Betsy, who didn't ask if I'd had any trouble or pain (which I did not volunteer). Meanwhile, I'll be flossing, brushing and rinsing like there is no tomorrow.