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The cat, the teeth cleaning, and my fear of the dentist

I knew I had put it off for too long.

My cat, Pippen, needed her teeth cleaned, so last Friday she finally had it done. The tooth fairy claimed a few teeth in the process, but at least it’s done, and Pippen is fine.

As I write those words I’m aware of a slight ache in one of my own teeth.

Yes, I’ve been dragging my feet about going to the dentist, too. There was a time when I marched into the dentist’s office twice a year without a second thought. I had no problems and no fears – they could drill with a little Novocain and I was fine.

And then came the root canal in 1993. I went in with the same fearlessness, but something went wrong. After 12 shots of Novacain I could still feel the pain. The dentist did the best that he could, and sent me on my way with some prescription pain meds, which I promptly took.

It turned out I couldn’t tolerate pain killers…or that with me a little goes a long way! I will spare you the details – let’s just say it involved me trying to make my way home on the freeway, going through a fast food drive up for some refried beans (probably the only time in my life I’ve done that!) and then going through the bank drive up with the teller staring at me in an odd way.

When I got home I crawled up the stairs and looked in the mirror – my very numb face was covered in beans, with little bits of cheese sticking out for good measure.

Since then any dental work has required either total sedation, or a lot of over-the-counter sleeping pills and having a friend drive me.

So I put off Pippen’s dental, and I’m very sorry I did that. I won’t be so fearful with the other cats. Hey, I may even make an appointment to go to the dentist myself.

I’m going to do that…really…



posted on September 14, 2010 Reply

We’re lucky here–I’ve never had a cavity, and none of my kitties has ever needed a serious dental cleaning. Don’t scare me!

Chris Davis
posted on September 15, 2010 Reply

Bernadette, I hope things stay that way with your kitties!

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