I’ve experienced a number of strange visits to the dentist’s office — so many that I don’t think anyone should have that many misadventures for that type of circumstance. Although they were sometimes a bit scary, they sure made entertaining stories at the water cooler.
It’s traumatic enough that you are subjected to someone invading the privacy of your mouth and doing things in there that you wouldn’t let anyone without their credentials do. Then to be violated while incapacitated in a confined space, while under anesthetic … well, there just isn’t any way to aptly describe it. And this one misadventure, in particular, was the strangest of all.
I previously went to a dentist near my home. My dental benefits decreased, though, so he became too expensive to use. I was on the hunt for a new dentist to take care of a wisdom tooth that was causing me pain. I asked a lady at work, Rose Young, if she knew of a reputable one. She was quite the picky person, so I was sure she would not lead me astray when it came to a good dentist. Little did I know …
Rose referred me to a dentist I will call Doc Hollywood — he reminded me of Michael J. Fox in the movie with the same name. When I first arrived at his office, it was obvious he liked expensive things. The waiting room was decorated to the nines, like something out of Hollywood, and the office help had a superior air about them. I felt like I was wa-a-a-a-y underdressed for the visit and almost excused myself to go home and put on a business suit for the occasion. It was 30 minutes away, though, so I waited for my turn in Doc Hollywood’s chair.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
They called me in, got me comfortable in the big chair with the bright overhead light and did all the prep work to extract my wisdom tooth — exam, x-rays and anesthesia. The whole time Doc Hollywood was working on me, he barely said two words to me and didn’t seem to be paying much attention to the inside of my mouth — which was where all the work was being done. He chatted with his assistants (the one actually assisting him and two others who were doing I don’t know what) about his trip to Europe, the new mink coat he bought for his wife and the Maserati he just purchased. I felt like I was a piece of furniture and wasn’t positive that I wasn’t simply imagining that I was there in that dentist chair.
Something happened fairly quickly to let me know that I was, indeed, under a dentist’s care.
Oops, Something Went Wrong
As Doc Hollywood removed the tooth, all seemed to go off without a hitch … until he sewed up the space my wisdom tooth previously occupied.
Every time he sewed a stitch and pulled the thread out to tighten it, my deadened tongue (felt like it weighed 5 pounds, so I could feel the dead weight) pulled toward the direction of the vacant wisdom tooth. After three or four stitches, I tried to pull my tongue in the opposite direction, but couldn’t. It was obvious he was sewing my tooth to my gum. He was so intent on sharing about his vacation and newly acquired purchases that he failed to notice what he was doing inside my mouth.
Numbed from the anesthesia, I could hardly speak, but was able to convey to him that there was an issue in my mouth. I told him in garbled, numbed distress that he was sewing my tongue to my tooth. He didn’t understand me at first and had me say it again. When I repeated it, he looked closer into my mouth and immediately turned pale. Doc Hollywood was speechless for the first time since he arrived in my room, except to say, “Oh, my God!”
Now he becomes religious, I thought. Too bad that didn’t happen before he dove head first into my vulnerable orifice.
He worked feverishly to unleash my trapped tongue from the embankment of my gums. I finally felt the release and let out a heavy sigh of relief. Doc Hollywood finished me up and sent me to check out with one last comment. “By the way,” he said, “I didn’t sew your tongue to your gum.”
Pffff! Yeah, right. And I’ve got a bridge to sell ya …
Needless, to say, I didn’t ask Rose for anymore references and put Doc Hollywood on my Do Not Call list as soon as I left his luxurious office.
Anybody else had any misadventures in the dentist chair? I can’t be the only one here, so please share.