What do you mean, no candy or caramel chews?

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by eggrollstan

I consider myself a strong woman.

I don’t mean to boast when I say I feel I am fearless, feisty, and courageous.

And yet there are things that scare me.

The dentist is one of them.

Chalk it up to the bad experiences I’ve had in the past, or the dental office smells that trigger all kinds of bad memories.

Or maybe it’s the fact that that my teeth never feel the same after dental work.

Whatever it is, it fills me with dread and instigates a state of anxiety that cries out for Xanax.

Sadly, today I had to face that dread and to make matters worse, the morning did not begin well.

For starters, the bus driver that was driving me to meet my nemesis seemed to have gotten his driver’s license a few minutes before he picked me up.

He accelerated and braked with such force, I thought I would have to cancel my appointment on account of whiplash.

Instantly, my plans to do breathing exercises and visualization on the way to Dr. Dread’s, were replaced with fervent prayers that I would make it in one piece.

Thankfully, twenty minutes later, I was entering the dental office.

My butt had barely made contact with the seat in the waiting room, when my name was called.

My dentist, (let just keep calling him Dr. Dread, shall we?) greeted me saying, “I saw your name on my patient list this morning and I’ve been mentally preparing for your visit.”

His words, like foreshadowing, further reiterated this was not going to be a good day.

I was ushered into the office by his efficient assistant, whose idea of a handshake was draping a paper bib around my neck.

Dr. Dread wasted no time instructing me to “open wide” and immediately thrust a needle the size of a toothpick into one of my cheeks.

“Now we wait.”

Waiting served to make me aware of my surroundings; the ugly posters of the smiling molars, the bowl of sample-sized toothpastes which appeared just as full since my last visit, and four unlit pillar candles.

Aromatherapy, or had Dr. Dread been socializing after hours?

The thought made me smile but just as quickly frown, as I realized I was sitting in the very chair he might have socialized on.

“Do not move please.”

I tried desperately to channel my nervous energy.

I thought of slow-moving clouds, molasses, and my 90-year-old neighbor who got around with a walker.

I thought of snails, tortoises, and the Son when he was asked to complete a chore.

Nothing helped.

My heart was beating wildly even though half my face felt like it had gone into hibernation.

“I’m ready. Open.”

A hysterical fit of giggles took over as I realized how funny that sounded.

“If you laugh, we can’t do this.”

This sounded so much like the Signficant Other on a Friday night, it made me laugh even more.

“Bella, I have other patients waiting.”

His terse tone sobered me and allowed him to get to work with his little drill.

This was followed by arduous poking with a metal hook.

“Relax, please.”

Not an easy thing to do with Gloria Estefan telling me to,
“Come on , shake your body baby, do the conga
I know you can’t control yourself any longer
Come on , shake your body baby, do the conga
I know you can’t control yourself any longer.”

As I wondered why Bach wasn’t playing in the background instead, Dr. Dread was busy making mold impressions of my back teeth with a gelatinous paste so bitter, it activated my gag reflex.

“If you throw up, we have to start over.”

I squelched the vomit rising in my throat, thankful for the mold in my mouth which prevented me from telling him to “shut his pie hole.”

Twenty minutes later, and a crown in place, we were done and I was being handed a tissue by the dour assistant.

Unbeknownst to me, drool had made its way down my chin and was halfway down my neck.

My jaw felt so thick, I was certain it had doubled in size.

“I’ll see you in two weeks.”

Two weeks? What in heavens for?

“We’ll install the crown at that time.”

Oh my goodness, you mean I wasn’t already crowned?

“No candy, hard food, or sticky things like caramel chews. And no flossing.”

No candy? No caramel chews? Oh my God, no.

“Flossing might result in your yanking out the temporary crown and that would be a problem.”

All this agony and it wasn’t even permanent?

“See you in two weeks.”


This time, I didn’t key the dental posters on my way out.

Instead, I swiped a toothpaste from the bowl.

I figured Dr. Dread owed me.
Big time.

What was you last dental visit like?


54 thoughts on “What do you mean, no candy or caramel chews?

  1. It’s hysterical the music they have playing sometimes, isn’t it? (As are your posts, Bella.)

    The good news is, it isn’t no caramel chews FOREVER – just until it’s crown time. Which, ~blank~ you for reminding me, my dentist says I need a new one, “soon.”

    Hopefully this time he will not so solicitously numb me up that my eyeball freezes, a sensation I will never forget. I could stand the numb earlobes, but THAT was unpleasant. (Now wishing I had a hair-raising bus ride to take mind off dental torture.)

    1. Beverly, thank you for giving me hope that caramel chews will not be obliterated from my life eternally! A crown? You need a crown? Lordy! Not good. Not good at all! Here’s hoping there’s a crazy bus driver in your future! hee hee! :)

  2. Bella, you are funny! I loved your humorous recounting of your dentist visit. Had me smiling and laughing…except, what is UP with your dentist? Does he really have no sense of humor? Or even a sense of how you treat people? Man. I think I’d switch!

    I’ve had many crown situations in my day…NOT fun. But all will be well when it’s finally over! Good luck.

    1. Michael Ann, the man is as dour as his assistant. It’s no fun and games in that dental office. Thank goodness my entire conversation with him is in my head, otherwise, I’d be the one being shown to the door! :) I’m delighted you found the post humorous!

  3. Key the dental posters? A bad, naughty girl but I would’ve been your partner in crime on that one. I loathe going to the dentist and had this very procedure you had earlier this year. It’s such an invasive procedure and you’re awake to it all with your mouth gaped open for what seems like forever!

    1. Totsy, you ain’t kidding! I’ve just taken ibuprofen to assist with the pain. Here’s hoping TMJ won’t result out of having my mouth gaping open for an entire hour! The next time I visit, I hope you’re in town. We can both key his posters! hee hee! :)

  4. You’ve read all about my Summer of the Dentist Bella, so I won’t bore you again with the gory details, but it was brutal. Sorry you had to endure this torture. On the bright side I havn’t heard the term ‘pie hole’ (not to be confused with ‘cake hole’) in forever, and it made me laugh a lot.

    1. Elizabeth, I know how traumatic your teeth pain was this summer and how it seemed to go on forever. I’m so glad you’re all better! I’m now feeling this little currents in my molar and the tooth in front of it. I hope this will go away. It feels like my teeth are short circuiting! Pie hole is funny, isn’t it? I’m glad it made you laugh! :)

    1. Kelly, if only finding a new dentist who will take on new patients were that easy! The reality is that for the time being, I’m stuck with this one. In all fairness though, what he lacks in bedside manner, he makes up with quality dental work. I think that’s why I stay. Nevertheless, I wish I had your dentist. :)

  5. I loved this! And I share your fear of dentists. Crying helps a lot…when you cry in the chair like a two-year old, it does wonders to their solicitation towards you. My dentist winces when I come to her office; I immediately break out in tears, bravely sniffing and telling her I’m a wimp and to ignore me, which of course is impossible to do. LOL Take it from a “dentist-wimp”…being a baby works!
    As for the caramels…never been an eater of those. Now chocolate?…take my chocolate away and you’ve lost me as a patient. So far, no dentist has been so foolish!
    I’m a fan. I’ll be visiting regularly, so have the coffee on! *snicker*

    1. Something tells me activating the waterworks wouldn’t work with Dr. Dread. He’d probably tell me I’m getting my paper bib wet and “We can’t have that.” hee hee! Nevertheless, it’s worth a try. Now if only I could make myself cry on command! Your wish is my command: coffee is ready and waiting! Looking forward to many more visits from you! :)

  6. okay . . . not like that! My dentist has fun posters on his ceiling. (No mirrors, that would just be strange) His assistant is the daughter of my best friend, whom I helped raise and who is now grown. They are pleasant and talkative and funny. I have the same trepidations (great word, but I’m not sure is it’s real . . .) about dentists that former dentists did nothing to dispel. I’m happy now!

    1. Diane, now you have me wishing for fun posters on the ceiling and pleasant, talkative, and funny dental personnel! That’s it! I’m moving to wherever you live! :) I’m glad you have such a wonderful relationship with your dentist! After all, we can’t all be in hell! hee hee! :)

  7. Oh, Bella… Please forgive me, but your not so pleasant experience made me laugh, and then groan, because the laughing clued me into the muscles I’ve been working across my back; they’re a little annoyed with me right now. ;-)

    I am not a fan of the dentist. It is because of the dentist that I do not chew caramels; if I have one, which is rare, I suck on it. I’m not one for candy, either, unless it involves dark chocolate.

    Here’s to your next visit being painless in every sense. :-)

    1. Hot Coco, maybe if I sucked on caramels instead of chewing them, I wouldn’t be needing a crown now! Where were you when I was engaging in this foolish behavior? :) And no worries, go ahead an laugh. That’s what I’m aiming for! Thank you for your well wishes for next time. I’ll keep you posted. :)

  8. Bella, how good that you can find black humor in Dr. Dread! The only thing worse than getting a crown is getting a crown with no dental insurance. Or maybe having a sadistic dental hygienist.

    1. Jann, would you believe I still don’t know how much of a deductible I’m going to have to pay on this bad boy? Grief. This may mean less espressos at my favorite coffee shop on weekends. Now my teeth pain is nothing compared to the pain in my heart at this bleak possibility. hee hee! :)

  9. —Bella,
    I just love you. I really do.
    I instructed my dentist to NOT SAY “DRILL.”
    –he now calls it his “Tickler.” I ‘m not kidding…
    and his assistant, Lorraine, holds my hand. I am NOT kidding. DOn’t laugh.
    xxx Kiss

    1. Kim, why don’t I have a dentist with a “tickler” and an assistant who holds my hand? Not fair! Thank goodness your kindness of spirit and sweetness reaches me all the way here making for an excellent substitution! Thank you! Hugs!

  10. I’ve got some fillings and a cleaning scheduled for October, and an overnight flight (Alaska to upstate New York via Seattle and Detroit) the next day. At least my dentist has clouds on the walls and model airplanes hanging in the ceiling. (Can you tell he’s a private pilot? And he likes my books!)

    1. Sue Ann, you’re a brave woman for scheduling an overnight flight after dental work. You’re my hero. I think if I had clouds on the walls and model airplanes, my dental visits wouldn’t be half as scary. There’s something very comforting about clouds. Perhaps I associate them with that floating feeling that seems to take you away from your reality? In any case, you’re a lucky lady to be in such capable hands! :)

  11. Oh my gosh! This is so funny but at the same time very, very scary!! The hook, the gagging, the lock-jaw…Now I really don’t want those crowns!
    My dentist plays Christian music. Sometimes when they are singing “Save me, Jesus, save me” I want to scream, “JESUS, SAVE ME!!!!”

    1. bwhahahaha! OMG, I’m rolling on the floor with your comment! Trust me, you don’t want this type of crown. Now a crown like the one Queen Elizabeth has, that, I want! :)

  12. Bella, Once again, you crack me up!

    But, if you’re asking about my last visit to the dentist, you’re asking the wrong person. In other words, don’t ask. This year alone, I’ve been to the periodontist 4 times (oral surgery), once to measure my gum pockets (at least I’m doing better) and also 2 cleanings. I’ve been there so often, they’ve named a chair after me. Seriously, though, I should have invested in dental instruments. I’d be making money hand over fist. ;)

    1. Oh Monica, oral surgery is the worst! I once got an infection on my jaw bone and it was scary to say the least. Dental intruments may be something you and I want to invest in. Dental chairs would be good too. And since we’re at it, lets just buy a damn clinic! :)

    1. Ivana, I think the last time I let two years go by without seeing the dentist, I was two years old. Yes, my life has been a series of dental visits, regularly and irregularly scheduled. It’s like a love affair without the love. :)

    2. I used to go on regular basis and was never afraid of the dentists, but then they put the darn brackets in my mouth when I was 19. I had to wear them for 2.5 years and visit my dentist every 3 weeks or something — and they lied to me all the time, they lied it wouldn’t hurt, they lied for how long it would last. So, these days I tend to avoid them.

    3. Ivana, I think it makes matters worse when we’re mislead. Sometimes when we’re children, our parents and medical personnel will say, “It won’t hurt,” when the opposite is true. While they may do it to make us fear the experience less, I find it’s counterproductive and it makes us feel deceived. I can understand why you avoid going!

  13. oh wow. HE mentally prepared for YOUR visit?

    I absolutely DETEST going to the dentist. When I was about 8, I had to go to the dentist almost EVERY week because I was growing extra teeth like crazy. When my dentist wasn’t cleaning, she was extracting. Bad memories.
    My husband, on the other hand, LOVES going to the dentist. He relishes those reminder cards that the dentist’s office sends patients 6 months in advance. It’s disgusting. I’m going to go German on this whole dentist thing and only go when needed. Thank goodness I now love flossing regularly.

    1. Laura, I think he mentally prepared for my visit because he knows how anxious I am. I’m the kind of patient that nearly slides down the dental chair to the floor as the dentist tries to drill. In any case, I’m not offended. After all, he’d be dumb to NOT prepare for my visit! hee hee! Your husband sounds like the Significant Other, who shows no feeling whatsover when told he has to have a wisdom tooth extracted. Show offs! Lets hate them together! I’m dying in not being able to floss that side of my mouth. I feel icky! :)

    1. bwhaha! Oh Cathy, you’ve made me giggle! I look at it this way, if I blog about the scary, it holds less power over me. I’m laughing too much to be frightened. Now if only I could laugh “before” I actually went through some of this stuff! I’m thrilled you liked the post! :)

  14. Hi Bella,

    I got a good laugh off this today and I sure needed it! We are all weaklings in the eyes of the dentist I fear. I believe that dental instruments are miniscule instruments of torture lol. I will have some candy for you and hope that you will be able to suck the sweetness out if life again soon. In the interim, I will pray for the dentist that he won’t get ummm keyed by some justifiably irate patient :).

    1. Coco, thank you! I’m always happy to provide a giggle! :) I totally agree with you–dental tools are indeed tiny torture instruments! hee hee! I’m not looking forward to going back in two weeks to get the permanent crown put in. I’ll try to keep my mind occupied by thinking of your candy! :)

  15. Humorless dentists should be banned…Better still all their teeth should be yanked out…..A life without caramel chews is no life at all…But you’ll survive, if only to tell us about the next visit :P
    Love ya, Bella. Take care and remember, to be good :)

    1. Corinne, my friend, you are right–a life without caramel chews is no life at all! I think we should make a cross stitch pillow with this saying! :) And yes, humorless dentist should go through life teethless. I love how you always provide me with so much insight! hee hee! Love ya, lady! But I can’t make promises to not be naughty! :)

  16. At least my dentist is cool – he has a ponytail (he’s late 50’s), loves all movies, has movie posters all over his walls so I can stare into the eyes of James Dean while doc does his thang – torture.

    1. You see, Nan, those are posters I WOULDN’T key! hee hee! :) And boy, would I rather look into James Dean’s eyes instead of the smiling molar I have at my dentist’s place! :)

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