I’d never had nitrous before, not even recreationally, but last time I had a crown done, I felt a little freaked out, and kinda wished I’d had the gas. So today, when I had two fillings replaced, I asked for it. That’s right. I won’t pay $30 for a fluoride treatment that my insurance won’t cover, but drugs? Totally worth that much.
And I learned something new. Novocaine has epinephrine in it. I was not aware of that. That’s why I started feeling jittery after five or six shots last time!
Today’s dental work was done on upper teeth, so two shots did the trick. But I had the added discomfort of excruciating TMJ, which made “Open Wide” quite uncomfortable.
The nitrous, though… How magnificent! The floaty feeling reduced any anxiety I might have felt from the loud noises in my mouth. (My jaw still hurt, but they put a little bite rest between my teeth to help me keep my mouth open.) Meanwhile, my mind spun with ideas for the wonderful blog I would write about the experience, but frankly, I can’t remember anything except the title, which is derivative anyway.
I felt like I was in a movie with fast edits depicting a drug-induced blackout over the soundtrack of a drill. Like: Flash! My dentist’s face looming over me. Flash! The assistant asking if I’m doing okay. Flash! Rinsing. Flash! Suction.
When I first matured into needing dental work such as crowns and a root canal, my dentist, whom I adore, suggested that probably my teeth were cracked around the fillings because I grind them. Ridiculous. I don’t grind my teeth.
I didn’t think I clenched either, but that denial has become harder to maintain since I’ve worn grooves into my night guard.
While participating in a TMJ study at few weeks ago, I told the School of Oral Medicine doctor that story, under the assumption that clenching my teeth must be the cause of my TMJ after all.
He said perhaps I was clenching because I have TMJ, not the other way around. Fascinating.