Monday, August 6, 2012

Adventures in Dentistry

I had a relatively large adventure (by my standards) last weekend. It all started Sunday after breakfast. I was  generally expressing my satisfaction concerning the existence of bacon and running my tongue over the inside of my mouth, and then I stopped both activities. My tongue had found a large bump on the inside of my lower mouth underneath my teeth. It wasn't a bump I recognized, so I went to a mirror and examined it. My tongue had told the truth - there in my mouth was a large bump that I was previously unaware of.  I won't gross you out with the details (if I haven't already), but it looked unnatural and out of place.

I immediately took the best course of action. Namely, self diagnosing. Two things went through my head.

1) Oh my God, it's gum cancer. A large, painless lump. It has to be. I knew I shouldn't have smoked all* those cigars** during my lifetime! What if I lose all my teeth and have to eat applesauce for the rest of my life? How will I chew on ice cubes ever again?
*like, five.
**well, cigarillos, actually


2) It's an alien. Or a bug. Or an alien bug. Where could it have come from? It must've been all that swimming in lakes out west. It has a bony feel, just like how I always imagined the exoskeleton of an advanced, sentient, parasitic alien bug would feel. I wonder how long I have to think independent thoughts? What if it's already been controlling me this whole time?

So first thing Monday morning, I went to a Doctor to ask some questions. After looking into my mouth, he told me it everything looked fine, but that if I really wanted to get it checked out, I should go to a dentist. This didn't make me feel any more at ease. By this point, I had narrowed my two initial diagnoses down to just one. I eliminated gum cancer, because the Doctor would have recognized that. Also, the fact that everything looked fine seemed to be more evidence that it was an alien bug, because naturally it was in the invader's interest to keep me (the host) healthy as long as possible so it could do whatever it wanted with me.

Despite my reluctance*, I made an appointment with my dentist (whom I normally avoid despite his office's harassing phone calls asking me to confirm appointments I never made) for that morning, and went down to see him.
*which I attributed partially to the alien bug wanting me to avoid the dentist, and partially to my fear of being stabbed in the mouth repeatedly

Sitting nervously in the torture chair, I informed him that there was a terrifying bump (I wasn't calling it an alien bug yet - I wanted him to reach that conclusion for himself) in my mouth, so they took an x-ray. The dentist came back into the room and asked me where the bump was exactly. "This is it," I thought to myself, "he's going to tell me that its fibrous tentacles have worked their way up my jaw and are almost in my brain." I opened my mouth and pointed.

"That?" he asked? "That's normal bone growth, it happens in about 40% of people. You probably had that the last time you came in, it's nothing to worry about. But as long as you're here, why don't we give your teeth a cleaning." And so he sent in his apprentice torturer* who stabbed me in the mouth with sharp objects for the next half hour.
*I'm pretty sure this was her official title

All in all, I have to say, I didn't leave the dentist feeling much better, despite my squeaky clean teeth and the free toothbrush he gave me to make me feel better about having been stabbed in the mouth. I think the reason is I'm not sure I trust him. I still think it's an alien. And I think my dentist has one, too. If it's already taken over his mind, of course he would try to comfort me and tell me it's nothing...

So please, if anyone has had a similar experience and had the alien bug removed, or knows someone who has been completely taken over already, let me know. I want to know what to expect.