I’m not a big fan of dentists.
Actually I am not a big fan of Doctors, period, in any form.
Dentists hold a special place in my black heart, however.
I used to not have an issue with Dentists. I was never one of those kids who cowered at going to the tooth doc. I actually liked it when they out the grinder to my teeth. Thought it was pretty damn cool quite honestly, freak that I am.
Then came that day in 1997 at Fort Eustis, when I met the Devil with a Doctorate.
My molars had impacted. Completely sideways in fact. It was determined that perhaps my headaches were being caused by this. So the Army determined that they needed to remove them.
The Colonel, who was also the Dentist, seemed ok. We idle chattered as much as a officer and a Specialist could chat. In this he failed to mention the course he had taken in prisoner interrogation, but I digress
He led me to the chair where I promptly plopped down. Then he strapped me in. I looked at him and politely inquired what the straps where for. “Don’t worry about it, Spec 4. Just lean back and hush.” Warning Klaxons went off in my brain.
The next thing I know I’m laid back in this chair, with him spreading my jaws like a gynecologist on a fat girl’s legs.
“You have got to open wider, Specialist…” he continued to demand. With half his hand in my mouth I tried to explain to him that I didn’t swing that way thus my mouth didn’t open like that but he gave up in frustration during my spittle filled attempts to communicate “Augh huuagh hug hag huuuuuuuh!!!”
He promptly dug out a mouth vise. I’m sure there is a technical term for it. But that is pretty much what it does. If I never see one again in my lifetime, it will be too soon.
Two pieces of padded steel on 2 pins than use wing nuts to extend your mouth open to god-awful proportions unlike anything you can imagine….and hold it there. A Piece of rubber or plastic between with a small slit, giving the dentists full access to your mouth and supposedly to protect your tongue from being lacerated by whatever unholy tool of destruction he or she implements in to your mouth.
I struggled in my straps watching my lips go past my nose, knowing full well that I had no snakes in my ancestry (even though my soon to be ex-wife of the time accused me of such) and this was not how a persons mouth was supposed to work.
All through this he continues to talk to me. Asking me questions “So how do you like the Army?” “Hegh Haaaag!! Heeeg heeee huuuuuah!” Which while I thought sounded like “It’s fine! Let me up!” To him apparently sounded like “Open my jaws wider so you can park your car.”
Mercifully finally he applied a local anesthetic, my jaws ceased screaming but my face no longer wondered what it would feel like to be Plastic Man.
While I attempted to keep from screaming for the MP’s in what was obviously an attempt to get me to reveal secrets I didn’t have at the time, he told me that he was going to remove my molars.
By breaking them.
While still in my jaw.
“No need to put you to sleep for this, it won’t take long.” Says he as he cheerfully goes in to the other room to prep for surgery leaving me much like a 1986 Pontiac is left on the rack by a bored transmission mechanic.
My eyes went wide, every muscle in my body screamed for freedom as he exited.
“FUUUUUHHHH OOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I attempted to chortle through the surgery grade steel, rubber, and pain. I think he thought I said “Way to go!”
The next several hours are a blue of agony, pain, and disbelief.
I got to listen in full stereo as my teeth were broken in my jaw. The local anesthetic prevented the pain of the surgery, and the pain of the actual breaking, but the muscles and bones around that area shrieked in ways to this day I shudder at.
I got to watch as he brought out, piece by piece the remains of those molars, and even morsels of my own jawbone.
It was like watching something on the Discovery channel, as he told me in great detail precisely what was being done and continued to ask me inane questions like, “So do you like the Steelers?” “Huuuhoooon haaaaah he hoooooos!” Which I thought said “Someone call the cops!” but he thought said “Why yes I think they will do very well, you?”
All the while a endless stream of saliva gathered in the back of my throat. His little suction device sat there along with more tools than Bob Villa owns, gathered in between my teeth. I felt like I was being water-boarded. A constant consideration that I was drowning, while simultaneously having my jaw ripped off my face.
I do not know how long I lay there. It seemed like hours, maybe even days.
One of my Sergeants had been kind enough to drive me up there, looked at me as I exited the surgery room with a look akin to disbelief and shock. He later told me I looked like death.
I felt like it. It was 3 full days before I could physically move my jaw again without bringing tears to my eyes. My face felt like I had tried to wrap it around my skull. My jaws were swollen to the point that I resembled a boxer…who had lost horribly.
Dr. Mengele was good enough to put me on a weeks bed rest, a pretty good deal at the time. However, I have never recovered from that episode almost 15 years ago.
Due to him I harbor a grudge against every dentist who walks the earth.
To this day I think he trains each and every Dentist I have ever seen since then in secret and undisclosed location just to torment me.
Once they have every piece of hardware they own, they immediately strike up a conversation with questions that you must answer, but you fear doing so because you might swallow a power drill.
I’ve been going to a Dentist for my TMJ now for almost a year. Not only does he do this same tactic, he charges me for it. At least in the Army it was free.
I’m seriously debating just replacing all of my pearly whites with wooden teeth.
At least then I don’t have to be asked questions when I’m using my pocket knife.