Numb From The Pain

, , , , , | Healthy | September 25, 2018

(I am in high school, with braces on my upper and lower teeth. My orthodontist decides that the overcrowding on my lower teeth is proving a big enough problem to warrant the removal of two perfectly healthy molars. I can’t say I am impressed, but I don’t have a choice and I am assured it won’t hurt, so I am not too worried. Sitting in the chair at the dentist, I am mostly nervous of the needles I’ll receive for anaesthetic. I receive a needle on each side and am given a moment for it to set in.)

Dentist: “How’s that for you?”

Me: “I can feel that.”

Dentist: “Yes, you’ll feel pressure.”

(The dentist pokes a pointy tool into my gum.)

Me: “Ow, no, I mean it feels like it always would.”

(The dentist looks sceptical, but gives me a second dose of anaesthetic and another moment for it to set in. My mum sits next to me. She’s been quiet all this time. The dentist pops out of the room. I lean over and tell her that everything feels normal; nothing is numb. I ask her, “Please don’t let her do this.” She begins to say something; I can’t remember what. The dentist comes back in.)

Dentist: “Nonsense. She’s lying. You can’t feel anything.”

(I protest, but the dentist basically forces her tools into my mouth and my mum kind of holds me down. The dentist starts cutting into my gum. I scream and wail.)

Dentist: “Oh, stop; it’s just pressure.”

(She continued the procedure, and I kept wailing and crying and gripping my mum’s hand. Afterwards, Mum’s hand was red raw, and she was flustered. She legitimately thought I was just scared, like most kids and teens. I remember shaking and feeling too woozy to say anything further to the dentist. I don’t know whether I’d have been physically able to, either. What I do remember is that the procedure had happened at eight am and that before lunch time my entire face went numb, so I had to spend about five hours with my face over a bucket, the drool pouring out in a constant stream. I vaguely remember my mum and dad both on the phone with the dentist in the other room with some muffled shouting of some kind.)

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