I went to the dentist today.
That in and of itself is not remarkable, except that all things are strange and bizarre in COVID times.
I was supposed to go for my 9 month cleaning / check-up in early April, but it was cancelled when everything shut down. Honestly, I was not sad about it. I dutifully go to the dentist as required, but it’s not my favourite. I had a bad experience at a different dentist a few years back and it’s sort of soured me for life.
Lemme tell you, drilling for a cavity with not enough freezing in your mouth is not recommended.
I’ve recently noticed some sensitivity with some of my teeth, and when I realized I could narrow it down to two specific teeth, I knew I should probably call.
And so, I procrastinated and didn’t call. Who wants to go to the dentist in the middle of a pandemic?!
On Sunday I noticed that my tooth was starting to hurt even when I was chewing, so I couldn’t put it off anymore. I called Monday morning and they somehow had an opening for today, so I decided to take it.
Only two days of stressing? I’m in.
They asked me a long list of questions about my health and social activities when I made the appointment, then gave me some detailed instructions about what to do when I arrived.
I’m not going to lie, it was a little intense.
M came home from work a little early today so I could go. I found some good music to ease my nerves, then drove over to my appointment–10 minutes early. You’re not allowed to enter until 5 minutes before, so I hung out in my car for a bit before going in.
You need to have a mask to enter, and have to sanitize your hands before interacting with the receptionist. She was bright and cheery, then handed me a written version of the questions I had answered two days ago and I had to complete them again, along with signing a document that outlined the risks associated with seeing a dentist during a pandemic. I signed my life away, then she took my temperature with a forehead thermometer.
Once I had all that done, I was in the all clear to stand on a red X they had taped on the floor. The waiting room is closed, so I had to stand and wait until my room was cleaned and ready for me.
I had to wait about 15 minutes past my appointment time for them to come get me, but I’m hoping that’s just because they were making it EXTRA clean.
My regular dental hygienist was back and I was SO happy to see her. She was off on a maternity leave at my last appointment and her replacement was a little, uhm, aggressive with the cleaning. She had me do a mouth wash while she explained a few procedures to me and helped into the chair. We did the X-rays, then she got to work.
It was a little weird seeing her so decked out for my dental appointment. Her hair was tied back, and she had a mask, safety glasses and face shield on her head. She wore a plastic gown over her scrubs, and she changed her gloves at least twice during my visit. The cleaning itself was pretty normal, except that they aren’t doing polishing as the risk of spreading particles from your mouth is higher.
My dentist popped in to see me, and I braced myself for him to tell me about my double cavity situation. He looked over my X-rays, then poked around at my teeth before brightly telling me that I had NO CAVITIES.
The sensitivity is from some gum recession, and they gave me a fluoride treatment and some tips on that.
I AM SO RELIEVED.
I was so sure I was going to need to go back in for fillings. Now I have shiny clean teeth and I don’t have to think about this for another 9 months. WIN WIN.
As soon as she was done cleaning I had to get my mask back on and head to the front. It was then that I knew I had a big decision to make.
While I was laying in the chair (for a good 45 minutes, I might add) I realized that I needed to pee. I hoped it was just from the was I was positioned, but as soon as I stood up it was 10x worse. I thought about asking to use the bathroom at their office, but then I panicked and worried about COVID and didn’t feel comfortable using it.
So, naturally I decided that driving all the way home with a super urgent need to pee was the more comfortable option . (Yes, I’m an idiot. ha)
I did my “I really have to pee” run out to my van, then the race was on. The whole way home I drove as fast as I possibly could without going TOO fast because getting a ticket would get in the way of me getting to a bathroom.
And, you know, it’s not ideal. DRIVE SAFELY.
The Traffic Light Gods obviously knew of my plea as I begged each light to be green as I got in my car AND THEY WERE. I swear, I’ve never had so many green lights in a row during rush hour. It’s like the universe was rewarding me for putting on my big girl pants and finally going to the dentist.
I did have to stop at a couple of red lights, and naturally I was dancing around in my seat because somehow that is just what you do when you really need to pee. I hope it just looked like I was reeeeeally enjoying the music on the radio to all the cars around me.
I whipped my vanimal into the driveway and raced into the house. I am happy to report that there were no accidents of any kind as I raced home: vehicular or… otherwise.