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The dentist – worse than driving down range

Submitted by on Friday, 11 February 2011 2 Comments

The surprising part is not that the Army is telling Dad he has to have his wisdom teeth removed – that’s pretty much pro forma, though I’m not sure why. A friend who used to be a military dental tech once told me that it’s because the teeth could explode in battle, though I Google five pages deep and checked snopes.com but found nothing to support that. More likely, it’s because the military doesn’t want to risk someone having dental problems down range.

The stunner is that it’s happening just as his deployment has ended, and it’ll be just one more thing on the list of things that have to be crossed off before he’s allowed to return home .

Part of me is glad he’ll have it done on the other side of the country because, frankly, he’s a little leery of any medical procedure, his or someone else’s. Can I count the number of times he’s told me how hard my labor was for him?

Combine that with the fact that he hasn’t had any type of surgical procedure since a tonsillectomy when he was 7 and you have someone who’s getting a little exercised about the whole thing. “I’d rather be in a convoy outside the wire than have these teeth taken out,” he said.

That gave me a chance to be smug and sanctimonious, which probably wasn’t smart given that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. “Oh come on,” I said in what wasn’t exactly my best supportive wife voice. “I had mine out when I was 17. And went to work that night. And they didn’t put me to sleep.”

“That’s the problem. I don’t want them to put me to sleep,” he said.

Oh, yes you do. Take it from me, who was awake for most of the procedure. I say “most,” because I kept attempting to pass out when I could no longer stand the constant nauseating “click, click, click, scrape” soooooooo close to my ear drum as they worked. Meanwhile, the old battle ax of a dental assistant kept slapping me awake. It’s all responsible for creating the dental phobe I am today.

And he who thinks my labor was rough on him wants to do it wide awake? Bad idea.

I’m not in any position to say whether the dentist is scarier than driving through a war zone, but I will say that I’d rather give birth again than have someone dig into my mouth. At least at the end of labor, there’s a baby. All  you get from oral surgery are chipmunk cheeks and recurring nightmares.

Copyright 2011 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • MtnMom said:

    Beg him to have them put him to sleep. Mine were taken out with just numbing shots. They were impacted so I had to sit through hammering and chiseling, literally! The folks I see now handle me with kid gloves because they know that I go through the roof if I so much as think a procedure is going to hurt.

    Also, tell him to make good use of ice packs and the pain meds. Hubby had his out a year ago and it was not fun! Especially when he tried to manage the pain with just plain Tylenol.

    I do feel for Dad. Just tell him your fans are strongly recommending (begging him)to be out for the procedure, cuz there ain’t no baby of any kind gonna be there to cuddle him!

  • Debra said:

    I am EXACTLY the same way, and for the EXACT same reason. I practically leap out of the chair at the slightest twinge – the last time I even somehow managed to scream – so they wind up amping up the Novocaine so that I stay numb waaaaaaaaaaaaay longer than necessary. And what’s funny is I can honestly say the hammering and chiseling didn’t hurt one bit. It was the sound – aggggghhhhh!

    I think I can talk him into the knockout drops. He knows my pain tolerance is ridiculously high on most things – I gave birth to Boots without having so much as an aspirin – so I think I might have some credibility when I tell him this will freak him out!