Sugar. I love you. I hate you.
Quick and painless.
It is amazing that before I visited the dentist for my ‘quick and painless’ procedure this morning, I actually had planned on getting a coffee afterwards, visiting Trader Joes and wandering around my old hood of Queen Anne before I made my way to my hair appointment later in the afternoon. It sounds like a nice morning, yes? Unfortunately, my quick procedure turned into an excruciatingly painful one, as I left the office on the brink of tears, managed to make it to Trader Joes, all the while fighting back the sobbing and screams as I threw the most random of articles into my shopping basket. Hours later, now that I think about it, I’m not sure I even remember what I bought, the logic behind my purchases, or why I even thought that going to Trader Joes was a good idea in the first place. I decided halfway through my shopping trip that I just really wasn’t up to my usual browsing, something I normally delight in. I just wanted to get the hell out of the store, lock myself in the safety of my car, and scream. So that is what I did. I almost literally put my shopping basket down mid aisle, and I vacated. My throbbing and face numbing tooth pain was caused by the cold cement underneath my new crown settling in snugly next to my sad little tooth underneath. It wasn’t unlike the time; I believe it was two crowns ago, when I had the most excruciating tooth pain, from the misalignment of the crown, which had been riding too high. I remember those painful nights like it was yesterday, T running to the store in the middle of the night and popping the max dosage of Aleve throughout the long weekend until I was able to get into the dentist so he could fix his mistake.
(I chose this dentist long ago, while walking past the sign on his window that claimed he was Queen Anne’s Gentle Dentist.)
Have I mentioned that I have bad teeth?
Today’s crown makes lucky number 7.
Of course, it didn’t just start with the crowns. As a youth, there were the Apple Jacks, Diet Coke, Sweet Tarts and Laffy Taffy. And, then, there were the dreaded Christmas time dental visits to Dr. Brugos. (pre See’s Candy Christmas morning binge) Just the gift I always want for Christmas, a filling or two or..five… but, at least one for each year of my youth and one for each year of my adolescence… until there were no more teeth left to fill and the mighty "Crown" made its debut. While sitting in the dentists chair at the young age of 20, in preparation for 4 fillings, I remember thinking with horror that by the time I reached 30, I might not have any teeth left, only crowns. I told my dentist this, and I remember that he just laughed. Not a comforting laugh that says “oh c’mon that’s not true,” but the laugh that says “mo’ money baby, mo’ money.” Thank goodness this is not true. I am 32 going on 33 and I am happy to say I still have my front teeth (phew!) and a few 20 year old silver fillings that will soon crack to make way for yet another mighty Crown.
I have many dreams about my teeth and I am always waking up feeling relief. I particularly like the dream in which all my teeth just fall out. Isn’t that nice? Or, what about the dream where my front teeth have magically been replaced by gold caps with diamond bling? Please tell me that this is not in my future.
When I think back on years past of dental visits, I can’t remember my first filling, (too long ago and too painful a memory) but I certainly remember my first Crown. I remember the big needle numbing my tongue, nose and eyes and, I remember Dr. Brugos spraying bitterly cold air right on my nerve (sans Novocain), to dry off the tooth in preparation for laying the crown. That was at least 12 years ago, and I still remember that pain so clearly. The yelp, the tears, and the question, “oh, I am sorry, is that sensitive?”
I think that it is particularly suiting that given my dental history, (don’t worry, my hygiene is always top notch) that I would have anything to do with Sugar on a daily basis. I suppose there is a reason why I carry my toothbrush to work, and on days like this, it resonates more than ever.