05:07:46 pm on
Monday 22 Jul 2024

New Teeth
Matt Seinberg

In 1975, comedian Robert Klein released an album called "New Teeth." This sticks out in my mind because one of the best routines on it concerns going to the dentist. One line, in particular, is hilarious, truly.

Klein talks of the dentist using "laughing gas," also known as "sweet air." The true name is nitrous oxide. I, too, had many experiences with this gas and I agree with his statement: "Even with Novocain you may feel the pain, but you don't give a crap." That is so true.

I was at the dentist this morning.

I had to have a couple of broken caps taken off. Of course, there is drilling involved. Debbie the dental technician starts the gas.

Dr Bill comes in. He gives me three shots of Novocain. The first two weren't bad, the third one into the roof of my mouth really hurt and I let out a little yelp of pain. An apology after that only goes so far.

When you're on gas, the mind tends to wander near and far. I tend to hear funny noises, but not this time. I just kept my eyes closed and my mouth open. I heard the whirring of the drill, followed by a burning smell. Burning? Are my teeth on fire from the drill?

Debbie is suctioning as fast as Dr Bill is drilling. That noise can make any sane person go a little insane.

I often wonder what makes someone decide to be a dentist.

A dentist rather than to another type of clinical practitioner. I've been a patient of Dr Bill since I was in high school. I've seen him go from a dark haired young man, to a gray haired grandfather. We both have aged quite well together.

He's finally done drilling. He pulls out the old caps. He starts taking impressions for the new ones, which I will have put in the second week of June. Then he starts drilling again to clean out the area, and get it ready for the temporary cap. I started to get concerned when smoke starting to come out of my mouth, but he said it was going well.

They start fitting the temporary cap in and it finally sits right. By this time, I'm starting to get a headache and a terrible taste in my mouth from the Novocain. Debbie tells me I can't eat anything "hard," today. I can’t have chewing gum, anything sticky or candy until the permanent cap is in place.

When I get home, I take two Tylenol and hope for this headache to go away. The bad taste in my mouth is still there. I hope that goes away, shortly, as well. I've always been good about going to the dentist; twice a year for cleanings and whenever I've felt pain. The next big project is having a triple bridge replaced on the other side of my mouth, and that is going to be big bucks. That's a story for another day far down the road.

Does an apple a day keep you away from the dentist?

The old saying an apple a day will keep the doctor away. Unfortunately, that apple could send you to the doctor with a broken tooth.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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