Arrggghhh!! I buckled down and researched dentists today, and ended up with a dental appointment next week. One week from today!
I must explain: I have severe dentalphobia. One afternoon in the gym when I was eight I broke one of my front teeth on account of a girl I never liked very much barreling into me during a game of Flying Dutchman and knocking me down. What ensued during the following twelve hours was right out of your worst nightmare. And back then, dental science was not nearly as advanced as it is today. I know they knew about gas back then--they called it "laughing gas"--nobody thought about using it on me, probably because I was a very stoic youngster who had a mortal dread of making a scene. (I internalize everything.) I ended up (after what seemed like hours of drilling without benefit of anesthetic if I remember right) with an ugly metal cap on my front tooth, which some of my peers thought was way cool (though even "cool" was a word they didn't yet know in that definition). And then eventually with a more real-looking temporary crown that stayed on through my teens. Never will I forget that night at the dentist.
Anyway, I cannot now undergo even a routine cleaning without being gassed into oblivion.
It takes me a long time to "break in" a dentist. I had a really nice one in KY--I even got to the point where I could have a cleaning without gas, but then I moved to NYC. Then I almost had another one broken in, but he moved away, probably because of me. I had a habit of spouting copious tears while under treatment, and he found it a bit unnerving.
It's been way too long, so today I called around, and the first dentist I chose I made sure to ask about the gas, and they said "No way." What's up with that? I asked the receptionist if there was some reason for this, and she said I'd have to talk to the dentist, so I said, "Well, I'll get back to you." I found another dentist on the second call who had no problem with the nitrous, so I have an appointment in SEVEN DAYS! If it weren't for my Goals List I would never have called. And without the support of all you blog people I would probably chicken out. But I am going to be staunch about this. Don't want dentures! Vanity trumps dentalphobia.