I love my dentist, he has really taken on the idea of my health issues, and he always explains what’s going on. Today was the second of about six visits in six weeks and it’s so taxing. Today, I was supposed to have two out of about a dozen new fillings, on the bottom left side. The second tooth from the back wasn’t included in the idea, so it was going to be one new hole and one replacement of an old metal filling.
So we started well, though I always have to remind them that I have to have the special green anaesthetic and not the “normal people” blue and feel like a bother that they have to change it all in the machine. (The green one is the only one that doesn’t contain Epinephrine).
It’s one of those machines that sloooowly delivers the dose through a very fine needle on the end of a long tube. The idea, in theory, is that the pain in the delivery of an anaesthetic is from the liquid going in. So it goes in very slowly, which I am told means there should be no pain. But as much as I try not to, I instinctively flinch when the pain shoots up the side of my face like lightening-bolts past my ear up to my temple.
When that was done he asked me what on earth that flinching was all about, and I sheepishly explained it to him. He started saying “what on earth?…” but as I ran my finger along the line of the pain, he changed tack to “Aha” and explained that about 15% of the population have an extra nerve branch called a Retroauricular Branch that runs up there, and sadly I have one. It is neither a good thing or a bad thing… till you need your teeth numbed at the dentist and right at the place where the needle goes in you have this extra nerve and the needle pokes it! I can’t tell you how much it hurts and because it is a slow process, it isn’t fast either 😦
On to the fillings and he quickly realized that the tooth in the middle of the two he was working on was in trouble, so instead of two fillings I had three, and the middle one was MASSIVE. And it hurt. Which it shouldn’t. But it only hurt (a LOT) when he drilled on the one side. And as it was the biggest job of the day there was an awful lot of drilling.
Afterwards, he told me that on rare occassions some people have an extra nerve running up the outer side of that middle tooth. It’s not part of the same nerve that’s numbed so it isn’t protected. Really? Two extra nerves, neither of them part of the numbed nerves? And an extra filling? And of course my jaw dislocated through the process but we knew that was coming and there’s nothing around that.
So I’m feeling a little sorry for myself today, and while I feel like I’m a little on the raw end of this particular deal in life, I’m thankful that for the first time it makes sense! I have been told all my life that I’m being a baby and it can’t hurt, but suddenly I can explain why. I even got a wee moment of empathy from MrS (or was that him just cringing at the thought of it himself?).
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