My Head is Heavy, Like a Melon

I have problematic teeth. When I go to the dentist, which I do every few minutes, they look at me like I’ve been sleeping with hard candy in my mouth, and waking to a hearty breakfast of dried apricots dipped in marshmallow fluff.

So many hygienists have given me flossing demonstrations that I’ve begun to carry a photo of our medicine cabinet in my wallet:

That’s eleven containers of floss, y’all, not counting the two in my nightstand drawer and the one I keep in my dopp kit. So you see, I’ve become “vigilant” about this issue. I’m the fucking Rainman of flossing.

Anyway, this round of oral surgery was to place two implants, one to replace a baby tooth that I never lost, and one to replace a botched root canal done by a dentist I no longer visit — except in particularly graphic nightmares.

After the surgeon made four unsuccessful attempts at placing an IV to knock me out, we decided it might be preferable to go with the laughing gas. Because I was in fetal position crying at the time, this sounded good to me.

They applied the Vader mask, and I immediately recalled how much I dislike laughing gas. I lost the bit of composure I’d managed to summon, and tears began to pool in my ears. When the Novocain took effect, I freaked, albeit in a very subdued, distant manner. A peek into my gas-addled mind:

It is clear I have no teeth. I am an ancient person whose toothless face is weathered with knowledge.

No. Wait. I am a baby with a round, toothless face, seeing every detail for the first time.

No! Wait! I am uncomfortably high.

To test the latter theory, I tried to lift my arm. Fail. Accordingly, I began to panic.

I am too high to lift my arm. I am entirely too high!! How can I possibly be of use? How can I help the periodontist complete this task? I am useless like this! USELESS!

Then I began to laugh uncontrollably, and my arm floated into view. I tapped the mask and said, “I. Hate. This. Shit.”

And that’s how I ended up having the surgery with a pint of Novocain and very little dignity. I can recall all the details of why my mouth feels like this, which is why I hope to drink heavily this weekend.

Tomorrow, do you want to talk about bone grafting? No? Aw. Let’s do it anyway.


70 thoughts on “My Head is Heavy, Like a Melon

  1. I too am blessed with HORRIBLE teeth. My last dentist said I had butter teeth. You want to know the one thing you DON’T want to resemble butter? YOUR TEETH.

    Get better soon!


  2. 1) That is a lot of floss.
    2) I hate laughing gas too. When I was a kid, they gave it to me for some dental THING or another, but they kept me in the waiting room with my mother to get me to relax and stop fighting it. In the end, they double-dosed me and my drugged behavior probably traumatized all the other small children in the waiting room.


  3. Dude, I can’t get an implant unless they do a bone graft and a sinus lift, so I’m having the infected root canal re-done and praying it takes this time. The sisterhood of root canals gone bad! We should have badges and coffee mugs.


  4. I went through the exact same thing. I had a baby tooth (an eye tooth)that was never coming out because the adult tooth was snuggly rooted in the roof of my mouth. First they pulled the baby, then they removed the adult tooth, then they did the bone graft, then they did the implant, then (after like two fucking years-because I needed 3-4 months between each surgery to let everything heal) I got the crown. During all of this, I wore a flipper with a tooth in it that did not resemble any of my other teeth in size or shape. It also gave me a lisp. So I rocked the toothless look on occasion. Awesome.
    Now I have a brand spankin’ new tooth-one which cost me so much money that I will leave it to someone in my will. Godspeed, Maggie!


  5. God I love and hate the dentist high, its so funny at times I heard the Pochahantas (sp?) opening credit roll through my head for the entire portion of my wisdom teeth removal…creepy.
    Get better, spoil yourself with expensive booze this weekend it will help.


  6. I had my teeth messed up really bad by eastern european dentist, who like doing procedures without any painkillers. Now I have to take a prescription horse dose of valium even to go through the door of the dental office.

    I just had a root canal done, which, through a series of unfortunate human assholes, landed me in an emergency room two days later. 😦


  7. My teeth have plagued me all my life. I’m famous in my family for alienating my first dentist. I was about 8, on the laughing gas, getting tortured. I felt really annoyed that he was talking to me like I was a baby, using cutesy names for what he was doing, saying things in various wacky/cutesy voices, all the while hurting me.

    So I gave him a sharp kick in the crotch. He screamed. I had to get a new dentist.

    To this day, when I get oral surgery, my parents inevitably say, “Don’t kick this one.”

    (they deserve it)


  8. Did you know you can inoculate your kid with your troublesome mouth bacteria? If you don’t already do stuff like lick Hank’s binky “clean” or otherwise swap saliva with him, don’t start. If you do, don’t sweat it. My falling-apart-toothed mom blames herself for my falling-apart teeth, but I only love her more for all the floor crud-encrusted pacifiers she spared me in my tender years.

    You know, I feel like kind of an ass for leaving this comment, but honestly I just thought you might find it interesting!



  9. wow, that sounds like a truly shitty day and i’m so sorry. super big hugs.

    but, thanks for sharing because i totally laughed. to. tears.


  10. omg. i totally feel you and the gas situation. my first wisdom tooth was removed by a crazy Russian oral surgeon. all his nurses had very thick Russian accents which I couldn’t understand sober much less after having the gas on me. I kept freaking out and they all kept telling me in their crazy Russian accents ‘Yenifer, you must calm down’. How the eff can I calm down?! I kept smacking the mask off me. It was a horrible scene. I won’t even get into the gigantic cross on the hill opposite from the room I was in. I was conviced that the Russians were going to kill me.


  11. I feel your pain. I just had a root canal followed by two surgeries and finally an extraction of a baby tooth that I never lost. I spent $3500.00 trying to save the baby tooth, only to have to have it pulled anyway. I really need a couple of implants and new crowns, so I’ve started buying lottery tickets. It’s probably the only way I’ll be able to afford it anytime soon. I’m going to encourage my kids to be peridontists.


  12. Love your experience. Love everybody’s experiences and stories; I don’t feel so alone in my oral surgery nightmares.

    My nightmares with oral surgeons started when I lived in a third world country, and started having incredible PAIN, back moral, PAIN. I could not eat, or chew. The pain was radiating into my cheekbone and eye…I had no choice but a root canal, there…the third world country–where I was living and teaching. Upton returning to the US, I had no insurance, and still in lots of pain. Fast Forward Several Years…I had Several Thousand Dollars worth of work done to eliminate my tooth pain. A crown. (Another root canal), Several series of x-rays…pulled the tooth, bone graph, and considering when I can afford the implant. The problem is—-I STILL HAVE PAIN. LOTS OF PAIN FROM THE ORGINAL SITE. EKK. UGG. YEEK! Ouch!
    I changed dentists twice, and both dentists were/are excellent–my change had to do with insurance and coverage issues. My insurance totally blows, however, I have insurance and not having to buy lottery tickets, or will my teeth to my loved ones, upon my death!

    Advice for the CRAZY FLOSSERS–the Reach Floss. I love the gizmo. This thing can REACH my morals, and with a little push the floss slips between my very tight teeth. I too have floss everywhere, bathroom, car, purse, work. I also have my Reach Floss gizmo with replacement heads at home and work, also. (I am hyper-considered that I have food stuck in my teeth, since I love to SMILE).
    Best wishes Maggie with you Dental Care…as will everybody else!


  13. I had laughing gas when I got my wisdom teeth pulled. I don’t remember much of anything about the procedure at all, but apparently, I cried through the ENTIRE thing. Then they brought my mom in as I was starting to come out of my drug haze and my crying made her cry. So there we are, two complete lunatics crying away in the oral surgeon’s office. As soon as I was semi-conscious, they booted me out the door with my mom on one side and the world’s tiniest nurse on the other, trying to keep me on my feet. I promptly passed out again in the car and awoke at home and covered with drool. yeah…yikes.

    Even weirder was that my mom chose to take me to the offices of Dr. Payne and Dr. Fear. Seriously…oral surgeons named Payne and Fear. No lie. They did a remarkable job, actually, despite having the most inappropriate names for their chosen profession.


  14. I, too, found this to be one of the funniest things I have read lately.

    I have also been floss-obsessed after my hygienist put the fear of God in me, saying, if I don’t start flossing, I will loose all my teeth.


    PS_It’s usually takes two to three shots of Novocain to perform oral procedures in my mouth.


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