I had to go in to the dentist for some “minor oral surgery” yesterday.Â FirstÂ let me put on the record, that they should just stop using the word “minor” when it comes to things like oral surgery. (We could also dispose of “discomfort” as that really doesn’t capture it either.)
Mostly because, while it may be trivial to the man with the scalpel in his hand, there is nothing minor about the pain inflicted.Â I am not, for the record a whimp when it comes to pain.Â (Not necessarily by choice)Â When I was a kid, my parents had an “old school” dentist that was not a big fan of Novocaine for anything short of multiple extractions.Â So, by those standards, today’s dentistry is a dream.
Unfortunately for me, the oral surgeon made all three of the classic telltale signs that let me know that this was not going to go well for me.
Sign One – As he is rooting around, you hear him mutter the words, “Oh damn.”Â This lets you know that either this is worse than he thought, or that he made a mistake.Â Neither is generally good for you.
Sign Two – You suddenly feel a breeze across exposed areas in your mouth, and you can suddenly feel work being done.Â After some frantic hand waving and mumbling the best you can do with four hands and a whole bunch of sharp metal objects in your mouth, the surgeon grasps at the obvious, “You shouldn’t be feeling this.Â Is the Novocaine wearing off?”
Sign Three – Not long after the utterance of words from Sign One, you glance up when you feel a pause in the action (a time-out if you will), only to notice him looking quite surprised, and then he looks up and out of the room to call in another dentist saying, “You have GOT to see this!”Â This is one of those situations where I do not want to be unique.Â I would like it to be as textbook as routine as possible.Â But unfortunately, this phrase lets you know that there is something unusal.Â Unusual is rarely good under these circumstances.
Bonus Sign – The Surgeon tells me he is going to write me a prescription for Vicodin.Â I (mildly) protest, and ask for something not quite as… debilitating… in its effects.Â He replies, “No, you are going to WANT the Vicodin.”
So there you have it.Â Keep this list with you when you go to the dentist, and you will be able to calculate how long you will feel pain after the shot wears off by adding up the number of phrases you hear from that list.