I was in no position to protest. What more could I do than wiggle a finger? So after the dentist had his dirty way with me, without lube or novocaine, he went on to explain that he had previously built one of my fillings too high. As a result, when I grind my teeth at night that tooth becomes the first point of contact and absorbs most of the pressure. In short, he diagnosed me as having a "sprained tooth." He said I'd just have to suffer through it.
To give some background, I grind my teeth like crazy. I don't even have to be fully
asleep. Sometimes when I'm only half asleep I realize I'm clenching like a ten year old at the Neverland Ranch and have to make a conscious effort to loosen up. My wife says I also occassionally make a deep "moo"-ing sound, but that may just be her way of convincing me that I have faults that require an unconditional love that only she can provide. This may or may not be true.
I can see the dumb things I have to do on a daily basis as contributing to the expidition of the Kindom of the Dark Lord spreading to our earthly domain. Perhaps the "moo" is the demons overflowing from my vessel and escaping back into the night in what I will call a "Walking Death-Rattle."
Back to the story: About a week ago I started having the same symptoms on the same tooth. It appears to be "sprained" again. But it doesn't seem to be healing. The pain has been steady and now my gums are starting to swell at the base of the tooth. I'm sure you are all experiencing a primitive and undeniable desire to kiss me now. It appears to have reached the point where I will need to see the dentist again. Or I may ask around about getting an oral-exorcism as demons may be the cause of my tooth pain.
If I could find a competent dentist I would visit regularly. As my last dentist postulated that this entire situation may be the result of his own shoddy work, I am hesitant to return. He also shows little concern for all of the missing fillings in my mouth. He tried to refill them but since they continue to fall out he seems to have given up on them.
My son seems to have my inferior teeth and more than one of his fillings fell out almost immediately as well. His dentist also seems quite unconcerned about the tooth rotting in the back of his mouth. This particular dentist is also a lame-o on a personal level. As he performed my son's inadequate dental work we first talked about what I do for a living (what could be more important?) and then he asked me about being Native American and the reservation. When I described the "ghetto" setting of the reservation and how most people with ambition go off to make something of themselves with little opportunity to return with a wage above poverty-level, he took it upon himself to congratulate me on my "success" and told me to "keep up the good work," as if everything I've done with my life is a fragile house of cards that could collapse with the slightest shift of the wind due to my affliction of being Indian. He didn't mean it in a bad way but just because you don't realize you're stupid doesn't excuse you from the consequences.
These "professionals," who seem to be in their offices about six hours a day, four days a week, should spend their time honing their craft if not simply learning how to make better chit-chat. Needless to say, I am not optimistic about another visit. Finding a good dentist is like finding a good president: I will consider myself lucky to see one good candidate in either vocation before the day I die.
Have you heard of these "Dental Spa" places where they give you massages and such while you get your teeth done? Do we think much of ourselves, America? Sleep well, my princes and princesses, we'll tell the piper the check is in the mail.