Thursday, November 19, 2020

Dental Impressions

Have you ever had someone come at you with what looks like a loaded caulk gun, primed to dispense into your mouth? I happened to me yesterday at the dentist's office! Pretty frightening, even when you're expecting to have an impression done of your teeth, but I wasn't anticipating such a modern approach. Despite it seeming, initially, like an inappropriate way to approach a patient, it was nowhere near as unpleasant as my previous experience.

Waaaaay back in the Seventies, I'd had dental impressions done before my first set of braces. That time, a horseshoe-shaped tray of goo was placed in my mouth for me to bite down on. The family dentist, whom we all referred to as the 'butcher,' walked out of the room while he waited for it to 'set.' He seemed to be away for an awfully long time and I began to think he'd forgotten about me.

I could hear him laughing, joking and gossiping with his nurse/secretary and waiting patients in the other room. It sounded like he was having a good time, and was unaware of how much time had passed. I thought the compound had hardened to the point of it being a fixture in my mouth. I kept thinking, and hoping, that every pause or noise I heard, was him returning, but still ... I waited. I was panicking, sure he'd let it set far longer than it needed to, and I was terrified that it would never come off. Thoughts of him pulling all my teeth out to remove the tray began to occupy my mind. The wait, the delay in his return, was a scary time, alone in the chair. But I was obedient, and taught to do as I was told, so I stayed put and waited, alone and in fear.

Turns out, I was right to be worried, because when he finally came back, and attempted to unclamp it, he couldn't get it out. He was concerned, too, and tried various methods to wiggle it and get it to loosen. He got very flustered. I imagined all my teeth being pulled out, painfully, along with the impression tray. My recollection is that finally, he practically sat on the clamp with his whole weight, to remove it. I was petrified. Is it any wonder that one of my worst nightmares is to have my front teeth fall out of my mouth?

By comparison, the caulk-gun approach seems mild!


Georgette said...

And I thought I had a bad dentist as a child! (Which, in fact, I did.) But that is a very scary story. The stuff of nightmares.

Deb said...

I was afraid of dentists for years after this of course. And the memory of it has stuck all these years. I think this is common in dentistry of old (i.e. our upbringing era).

Wendy said...

I hear ya....and you described it perfectly....!! As someone who has had numerous impressions done, you do have those few seconds of terror, as they tug and far, so good for me...LOL!

Deb said...

Oh dear, Wendy ... Is it bad to say I'm glad to hear someone else has had a similar experience? Thanks for the comfort!

Shelley Burbank said...

I’ve had those impressions, too. If it’s any consolation both D and I have dreams of all our teeth falling out! I always thought it was because of braces, but seems I remember reading a different dream interpretation somewhere. I hope your new braces do the trick!

Deb said...

Oh Shelley, those dreams! Yes - I'm sure there's a different interpretation of this fear. I hope I get relief from these braces, too. It's a long road, as you know.