I had my first appointment with the new dentist.
Though I had convinced myself that my phobia of dentists was all in my head, right before I left I came down with a sudden illness. I broke out in a cold sweat. I felt shaky and thought I might vomit.
I went ahead with the appointment, just in case I really was crazy and not infected with a purely coincidental case of malaria. On my way to there, I drove two miles past the dentist's street. I know the street well. It's only a mile from my house. I drive down that street all the time. I've even seen the medical building where the dentist practices, but there I was, happily driving past it and past all of the familiar landmarks telling me I was clearly going the wrong way.
You see, Phobia had taken the wheel and it kept heading north. I think Phobia would have continued on to the Mackinac Bridge if Reason hadn't taken over at that point. In addition to that, OCD-Lite doesn't like to be late, and everyone knows that OCD-Lite trumps both Phobia and Reason, so there was no way I was missing the appointment.
What struck me right off about this dentist was that he sat down and chatted with me first. We talked about my career. We got to know each other, real social-like. I found out that his granddaughter is the same age as my baby daughter. He asked me my opinion of businesses creating Facebook pages (I think it's a "Do") and told me about writing an article for a medical journal and working with an editor for the first time. We chatted about Things That Interest Mandy until I was soothed into a state of relaxitude. Then we got to the nitty gritty back story of How Mandy Because a Freaky Freak About Dentists.
Now it's true I had a lot of dental work done as a child. Every molar has a filing. I knocked out two thirds of my right front tooth and had to have that filed down, and then later on, had to have two steel posts inserted into the tooth. I've had two root canals. And then I had to have those two root canals re-done through the top of my gum in a procedure called an apicoectomy. Look it up. It's seriously gross. Add to that, my phobia may also have something to do with the fact that none of my childhood dentists used enough Novocaine. Did you know that you're not supposed to moan during dental procedures? Yeah, if that's happening, your dentist is supposed to take that as a cue that you are not sufficiently numbed.
So we now know that the New Dentist likes to play it fast and loose with the anesthesia. I for one think this could be the start of a beautiful dental relationship.
I also learned that I have an overbite. Funny, I always pictured overbites as obvious. And I never realized that the way I constantly clench my jaw is not normal. I figured it was the result of some sort of neurosis (one of many) but it turns out it's a mechanical problem. (Yay! One less freaky psychological quirk for Mandy! Success!)
This is what you get when you Google "Overbite."
And this is what you get when you Google "Animals with overbites."
Apparently all of the headaches, neck aches, shoulder pain and back pain I have could be related to the overbite. The New Dentist also pushed on my lower jaw and I said, "Ouch!" Apparently that's not supposed to happen either. This is almost as much of a revelation as when I discovered my pesky little thyroid condition.
It's amazing what you discover when you actually go to the doctor.
I have also never been to a cosmetic dentist, so I was curious about having a ceramic mirror inserted into my mouth while the doctor took pictures of my teeth from every possible angle.
Not actually me.
He also took a regular shot of me smiling at the camera. He prompted me to "Smile bigger!" and it struck me how unnatural it felt to smile that big.
I felt vulnerable and exposed. But I did it, because I kept imaging the "After" photo. I wonder if he'll loan me the files so I can use it my blog? If he's leery of creating a Facebook page, I wonder what he'll think of starring in my blog?
I go back in two weeks to find out what his recommendations are. I'm not sure how you fix an overbite and I'm not sure how bad all my chipped, broken and capped teeth are, but one thing I am sure of is that my husband and I are going to need to be fully sedated when we find out how much it's going to cost.