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Troublesome Teeth

I try not to be one to toot my own horn too much, but after coming to personal acceptance that transitioning could cost me absolutely everything and coming out the other side, there isn’t too much left that I’m afraid of. My second worst fear is being forced into a public speaking engagement to a hostile and vocal audience with full knowledge that what I have to tell them is only going to enrage them more. My greatest fear is the dentist. Having had to face both on several occasions, and getting my ass handed to me with extreme prejudice more than once, I can confirm that they remain in the correct order.

After I joined the Air Force I was dismayed to learn that annual cleaning was a direct order; no exceptions. Had I known that, I probably wouldn’t have joined. It was terrible and the dentist yelled at me for being afraid of him, only adding to the overall shittiness of the situation. I swore that I would never go again once out after my 4 year, 4 annual cleaning, stint. I brush fastidiously and avoid chewing on wads of sticky candy whenever possible. Now I’ve got a problem. Two problems actually. First, I’m pretty sure I have multiple cavities that are becoming more troublesome by the day. Second, I’ve been told by someone that my grill is kind of male-ish, so now I’m all self conscious about it. Damn it. Looks like not only will I have to go in, but probably lots if I’m going to fix this.

The root of my fear is that although I have a remarkably high pain tolerance overall, I have zero pain tolerance when it comes to my teeth. They are sensitive in a way that goes well beyond the capabilities of Sensodyne or even several shots of Novocain. If given a choice between breaking my strongest oath of secrecy or biting an ice cube, I’d be spilling my guts before they even got to the freezer. Seriously, if I fell into the hands of the Taliban, my biggest worry would be that a DQ franchise opened nearby and they were inclined to treat me to a twisty cone. It’s that bad.

Since my company is awesome and not inclined to can me out of fear and loathing, and I survived the last few layoffs, I’m going to up my dental to the premium plan. Once I do, I’m going to find a nice sedation dentist whom I can cajole into yanking out the lot of them. Seriously, I’m more than OK with going with a nice set of falsies, preferably small, feminine, bright white and delightful to look at. Something nice, hard, and in no way connected to my nervous system. My long departed grampa had a fake set he used to delight us with by removing and swishing around in his beer. Yeah, I think I could be very happy being an old lady like that, making use of my chompers for maximum comedic value. I could even get a set with one gold one, right up front, for extra classy occasions. It’s going to be sweet.

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About michellelianna

I'm a transgender woman now in the maintenance stages of transition having all the electrolysis and surgery one can reasonably be expected to undertake. While busy exploring my new world, I took to blogging about it with dubiously popular results. I don't have quite as much to say as I used to, but I'm not quite done yet either.

9 responses »

  1. Air Force Dentist! Man run like the wind I think their Black Smith’s. I have been so lucky, I’ve had to go see a Dentist a few times for outher things besides cleanings but I have had good experiences. I have had six teeth caped because I didn’t like the way they looked and one Root canal. Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t like to go myself eather I think I just don’t mined because I’m lucky to have a great dentist.
    Love Tedie

    Reply
    • Very true about the Air Force! Nothing in the world like having your wisdom teeth taken out under orders and noting that the person doing the extraction has their training records out, hoping to finally sign off on the task. I mean really, what’s there to be afraid of?

      Love, Michelle

      Reply
  2. I’m right there with you sister! I have hated dentists and dental work with a passion since an early age and 10 years of Military time did nothing but worsen the situation (one advantage to being in the Navy is that I was often away at sea when the annual requirement rolled around lol). Thanks to the poor quality of the state funded dental care that I did get as a kid I definitely have some partially filled cavities and worse to deal with. If only I could build up the courage.

    Reply
    • Some things sister, are just beyond courage. I’ve watched the GRS videos and never bat an eye; if anything they made me more determined. “Well, that doesn’t really look so bad at all!” Bring one of those little hookey looking scrapers near my mouth and I shriek like a little girl who had a hornet land on her twisty cone. Ugh!

      Love, Michelle

      Reply
  3. I had once been so afraid of the dentist that when I had complete dental coverage by my wife’s company I didn’t use it and neither did she. As a result, I have lost a lot of teeth to gum disease which is far worse than just a few cavities. Before I began my transition, I put the issue back on the rear burner because I simply could not afford it. Then as I became more womanly “obsessive” about my appearance, the issue came up for me to revisit once more.
    Then, on the eve of my final exam and graduation from Bartending school, tooth pain so excruciating that I wanted to find a pair of pliers and yank the tooth out myself, required that I find a dentist real fast.
    Fortunately I had heard of a new clinic from my wife, who has none of her teeth at all and two full plates, that had great rates and was one of those new “Modern Dentistry” clinics that seem to be popping up all over the place so I made an appointment for an extraction and went.
    What transpired is that they could do some much needed work on cavities and my gums and gave me an application to apply for credit. Listing my income as just my Social Security and the fact that I had a house with no mortgage payments was enough to get me enough credit to buy a two year old pre-owned car along with five years of monthly payments that getting that car would cost.
    Then the dentist and staff hygienist did a full x-ray analysis and consultation to not only take care of medically necessary work but laid out a whole plan for small permanent bridges to replace missing teeth with false ones to give me back chewing functionality on one side plus a smile with no missing teeth that I now needed to not only improve my self-esteem but necessary to rejoin the workforce after a year and a half absence in a field where a charming feminine smile is the ticket to all the goodness that can come from the other side of the gender fence. Inside a month the work is done, I didn’t feel a thing, and they let me listen to music on my cellphone through the whole process.
    My picture is post op and a testament that when life throws you lemons, cannot sugar and water be that far behind?

    Deanna

    Reply
    • Your teeth look amazing Deanna! I think I’m where you were back then, just phasing into a an obsessive stage about my appearance. See, I want to make the case though that it’s medically necessary to take them all out. I really like the idea of having no nerve endings whatsoever even in my gums if at all possible (I don’t actually think that is possible). A life where something so wonderful as ice cream also brings with it the equivalent sensation of chomping down on a car battery is no real life at all.

      Love, Michelle

      Reply
  4. OK, that was too funny. I can definitely see you sitting around taking out your teeth just to get a rise out of everybody.

    I have never fully understood the pervasive fear of dentists. I have never been bothered by them. I am lucky enough to have amazingly healthy teeth, but still I never learned to fear dentists.

    I do think that you might be able to muster a bit of courage for this from the reserve that you have built up from your transition. (Ooops, I called you courageous.)

    Don’t worry you’ll be fine. The sedation is wonderful.

    Reply
    • Thanks Becky! As for the fear of dentists, you have to have it to really know it. I can actually scream out just imagining them coming at me with that little hooky thing to scrape the tartar off. Just that sound…. aaaaaaah! I hope you are right with the sedation, but maybe I should down a few pints of scotch ahead of time to make sure. Yeah, I can’t see any potential downside to that plan. 🙂
      Love, Michelle

      Reply

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