I had to go to the dentist today. The porcelain cracked on one of my crowns this weekend and I needed to go get it fixed. It’s the best time for something like this to happen, actually, because I’m still on holiday for a few days. I have had the cap since I lived in New York. It was put on after I cracked my molar on a bone in a “boneless” riblet at Applebee’s in Times Square. It’s about 10 years old, and the dentist said that’s usually about how long they last.
While checking me out, he noticed a crack in the tooth immediately behind the broken cap. He said it’s probably because the cap is slightly loose and impacting the tooth behind it every time I chew. He wanted to fix both the cap and the crack today. I have insurance, so I said ok.
“I’m going to numb the area now,” he said, “but first I will rub on a numbing cream.” The numbing cream is the biggest crock of….. It does nothing! When that long needle slid into my gums, it hurt like a mofo! Then it goes in again, and again and again. FOUR TIMES! Damn….what the hell. Those things hurt, and it’s in a sensitive area of the body as well, not in your butt or leg! Then it takes about 5 minutes before the entire area is numb and you don’t feel the injection anymore.
Once you get through the injection, and the subsequent procedure, the numbness still holds on for hours and hours. When I left the dentist, it was after 5PM, and I was ready for dinner. There was no way I would be able to eat without taking a chunk out of my lip or cheek. The problem is that I wouldn’t even know it if I did! The numbness is excessive! I don’t think there really needs to be 4 hours of numbness in a needle for a 45 minutes procedure! Isn’t there any way that they can set the amount of anesthetic to last a certain amount of time? The anesthesiologists that work with surgeons keep their anesthetics at a certain level so as to keep the patient asleep for a required length of time, why can’t dentists do the same with the Novacaine? I am not a proponent of dental procedures without an anesthetic….by far! But there has to be a better way to regulate it…..and get it into my system (without using that giant metal lance)!