Thursday, January 13, 2011

awesome dental story

When I got to Fort Riley, I had to in process dental, like always. Basically, you take the dental clinic your dental records, they do a quick once over to see when the last cleaning was etc. and you go on your way...quick...painless...usually.

I, because I never got my wisdom teeth pulled, always have to get my teeth x-rayed because on first sight, it looks like I should get them pulled. Then, they look at the x-ray and say, "well, you CAN get them pulled if you want." I say "no" and we go on our separate ways until my next cleaning.

This time, however, I sat down, and a Second Lieutenant comes in as well. I was madly texting a friend because I'd just seen something funny, and the doctor comes in and says, "Captain Harmon, you're next..." and I follow. I had already had my x-rays, so I was ready for the dismissal, and the doctor says, "we have you scheduled for an examination and cleaning."

I reply with a startled expression that this was NOT what I'd signed on for, and he rechecked my packet and says, "Lieutenant Harmon, serial number XXXX?" I explain that I am Captain Harmon, not Lieutenant, and that my serial number is YYYY. The Lieutenant hears this, and points out that he was the one they were looking for, and that we have the same name. We're also in the same unit...awesome.

Anyway, now I'm in the chair, and the doctor says, "well, while you're here, let's do a quick examination anyway." So, she opens my mouth and starts looking around and then says, quite casually to her assistant, "cavity forming on number 2 and 3, need to re-fill number 31" or something like that.

I freak out. I've not had a cavity since I was in the third grade! I barely drink coffee. I don't drink soda (except when with Rum) and don't smoke or do I have cavities?? I even floss on occasion! (let's be honest, how many of you floss on the daily?) Anyway, the dentist says I have TWO cavities, on my two front teeth, and the cap/fill from the one from third grade needs to be re-done. Seriously? I'm thirty and I've got cavities? WTF.

So...into the dentist I go today, where they proceed to numb the heck out of my lips, tongue and mouth in general and fill my cavities. While doing, so, the doctor says, "hand me fill #X" and the assistant hands it to her. She holds it up to my teeth and then says, "a shade darker." And continues.

Then she says, "While I'm doing this, do you want me to fill in these chips?" I, at this point, have this extender thing in my mouth that keeps my tongue from moving forward and my lips from closing. It looks like something out of a SAW movie. I give the thumbs up, but my heart is pounding as I realize that I've had chipped teeth this whole time and didn't know it!

They fill my cavities and chipped teeth and then use that ultraviolet light thing to set everything. They had used it when I had braces years before and I remembered it. But, what I'd forgotten was how, afterwards, the coloration of your teeth is ridiculously changed. The whites are whiter, the yellows are yellower, so you initially look a little like a cheetah. So, I look in the mirror to see my newly shaped front teeth and all I see are ridiculous streaks of white on yellow and every single imperfection there is.

Meanwhile, I've no control of my salivary glands and my lips are swollen up from the stretchy thing. So, I'm drooling and look like I got punched in the mouth.

Combine that with the random stretch mark I got and scars from the appendectomy and it's going to be a LONG time before I'm comfortable either taking my shirt off where anyone can see or smiling. Hmm...should make dating a breeze! Who DOESN'T want to go out with someone who sternly keeps his lips closed and refused to take off his shirt?



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