Don’t Bite Your Cheek

After almost a decade of full dental health, I had to go along to the dentist this afternoon to get a cavity filled. And next week I go back for another one. Needless to say our house is aflutter with all sorts of “don’t you know how to brush your teeth” sarcasm at my expense.

Cavity filling has come a long way in the 30-odd years since I had my first one filled. First, cavities get filled with some sort of magic epoxy that cures in 40 seconds under ultraviolet light. Second, there’s cable TV in the ceiling (and thus I’ve been fully briefed by CNN on the Mel Gibson situation). Third, my dentist is a friend, not a strange man with funny glasses. There also appear to have been several positive developments on the “freezing with a needle” front, such that all “this is going to pinch” warnings I received actually did pinch, and there were no episodes at all of jarring discomfort.

Well, besides the occasional mild episode of “I believe that I will be unable to breath or swallow sometime in the next minute and will make a fool of myself by flopping around and passing out right here in the dental chair.” Fortunately, this didn’t actually happen.

I arrived in Cornwall at 3:00 p.m.; I was out the door with cavity filled and paid for ($171) at 4:09.

My friend Don the Dentists’s parting words were “don’t bite your cheek.” Apparently my cheek is still frozen, and there’s some chance that were I to eat the wrong way, I might actually eat my cheek off without knowing it. Or something like that.

To avoid total paranoid meltdown, I’m going to avoid eating altogether for the next 12 hours. I need my cheek for other purposes.


oliver's picture
oliver on August 2, 2006 - 09:02 Permalink

I bite my cheek many times a year without aid of anesthetic. It’s nightmarishly painful when it happens, it’s more pain and grief for at least a week afterwards…during which time it’s so swollen I typically end up biting it a second time. On the third occasion I’m ready to stab my eyes out ala Oedipus, I feel like such an idiot—because it’s predictable kinds of “reckless” chewing that do it.

Rob Paterson's picture
Rob Paterson on August 2, 2006 - 12:52 Permalink

If youi have to go to a dentist — Don’s the man!