Last week I finally had my tooth ache fixed by my super awesome dentist. I’m not afraid of dentists, but I am not a fan of pain. For some reason (and my dentist, Dr. Dento, has verified this) I have a very high tolerance to all forms of mouth anesthesia, so I always go to my dentist super hyped-up and nervous. It takes like 30 minutes and approximately 187 shots before I am numb enough for any work to be done. So this makes me avoid the dentist, then my teeth get bad, vicious cycle!
Anyway, Dr. Dento and I have a relationship that dates back to when I worked for the Dodgers. I used to be like, “hey, our dental plan sucks, can I give you tickets and maybe you can give me a free root canal?” And he’d be like, “I’m a dentist. I could buy the Dodgers.” Every time I go in I ask him if I can have the gas. And every time he’s like, “you don’t need it. Stop being a drama mama.” But this time I said, “so, about the gas….” and he said, “yeah, your tooth is pretty infected. Let’s get you the gas.”
Maybe you will be surprised to hear this, but I wasn’t comforted.
So his adorable dental assistant comes over and is like, “I have your nitrous all ready, it goes on your nose, get comfortable and I’ll place it.” I’m thinking it’s a nasal cannula, and then she placed this thing on my face.
I look like a cross between Hannibal Lecter and Bozo The Clown.
The assistant tells me, “OK, in about five minutes, you’re going to start to feel loopy.” I think, sweet! And I get out my phone to text Mike that I’m getting legally high (he was in the waiting room). And then I tried to update Facebook and Twitter, but apparently NONE of those things went through. I realized later that Dr. Dento’s office is in the basement of a Downtown LA building, so it prevents all high patients from making bad texting decisions. Probably a good thing for people with jobs and reputations.
I’m going to cut to the chase and tell you that it took TWENTY MINUTES until Dr. Dento and his assistant thought I was “loopy” enough to GET NOVOCAIN. And while I’m not denying that I eventually felt some of the effects of the nitrous, I was NOT feeling it then. So, then I had to wait another twenty five minutes until the numbing medications took hold. In the meantime, I chilled in the chair on 60% nitrous.
Then the whole dental procedure took less than two songs on my iPod.
The nitrous was a let down. The dental assistant told me I’d feel loopy and happy and “floaty.” I wanted to see like, sparklers where my fingers were and feel like I’d performed a choreographed dance with a monkey. Television has totally ruined my expectations.
On the drive home I kept telling Mike that the nitrous didn’t work, and then I called my dad. Mike and my dad both assure me that the nitrous worked. I remember none of this. I think they’re lying. I also tweeted some things, until Mike realized what I was doing, and then he took my phone. He is no fun.
When we got home, I took a five hour nap, and then I ate an entire container of Country Crock mashed potatoes, an entire container of rice pudding, 2 dozen mini oatmeal cookies, and whipped cream out of the can.
Soooo…maybe the gas DID work.
Kate @ UpsideBackwards says:
I’ve had gas twice, both times during labour. The first time it did not work. Nothing, nada, blip. Second time (next baby), I was skeptical about even trying. But it woooorked! (It’s possible that the first time I was given a faulty canister or something.) It was looovely. But it did make me, ahem, chatty. Not that I cared
I take it that if you managed to eat all that, your toothache was fixed as well – a nice side-effect of the gas, huh?!
I’m like you – either a super sensitive mouth or a high tolerance for the numbing shot or both, because growing up dental work was an agony. Once I was screaming loud enough for my mom to hear me in the waiting room. Then my dentist retired, I told his replacement about how much it always hurt, he gave me novocain, waited, then another shot, waited, then a third and it was the first pain free dental work of my life.
I wanted to kill my former dentist who, had he believed me and given me an extra shot, could have spared me all that. Instead he thought I was “just afraid.”
I’ve never had to have gas at the dentist’s so I feel jipped. One time when I was in the ER, the nurse gave me something for my pain. I kept on insisting it wasn’t working. Then I started laughing hysterically and couldn’t stop. So yeah, I think it worked just fine.
Lynn from For Love or Funny says:
Whoa. I’d never get the gas because that rubber hose on my face would make me look like a alien from Star Trek.
so hilarious. man, I really need to get to the dentist. ugh – hate.
My 9-year-old got gas at a pediatric dentist a year or two ago (to remove his EXTRA MIDDLE TOOTH), and they actually DID use a clown nose to administer it. I have pictures.
domestic extraordinaire says:
Now every time I see you I am going to want to say ‘ballooooons’
Don’t know why but as soon as I saw that nose cup I thought they should totally make a ‘to go’ pack for the gas. Believe me, in my head it’s hilarious.
As for the memory thing, after one of my IVF egg retrievals I apparently had an entire conversation with another woman in recovery. Neither of us remember it at all, but we apparently had the exact same conversation 5 days later at transfer time. Our husbands thought we were completely insane.
Ha ha ha ha – This is EXACTLY why I ADORE YOU!!!!!
My brother in law is a dentist and I can assure you that there’s no possible way (save for ridiculously good investments or already coming from money) for a dentist to buy the Dodgers.
You should have bargained harder.
I’m going to get work done soon. Like you, I also have a high tolerance for anesthetics. I woke up halfway through my wisdom teeth surgery. During my C-section with Hannah the drugs wore off quickly and I ended up throwing up from pain while my Dr was stitching me up – this ruptured my stitches and she had to start again. I still have nightmares about that one. With my youngest, the epidural only worked on the left side of my body. Good times.
I hope you’re feeling better and that you can move to chunky PB soon.
I have a friend who’s extremely scared of the dentist. Her dentist prescribes a vicodin for her to take an hour before her appts, so she’s always calm in time to see him. Maybe your dentist could do something similar for when you need work done.
Jaime Maynard says:
Yup, the first thing I thought was Hanibal Lector all the the way.
Anyways, speaking of nitrous oxide, have you seen this video clip of another ‘victim’ haha. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txqiwrbYGrs
Ive never got the gas before and Im a little nervous about getting it, sooo I clinch to the chair and hopes he hurrys up before I pee my pants from being a nervous wreak. I freak out when I have to go!! I always wondered what the mask looked like, thanks for posting the picture!!
Hope your done going. I have to go back two more times!! Yuck!!!
I, too, have a high tolerance for anesthesia when i go to the dentist – usually takes 3 shots, and i feel all of them – the nitrous would be nice for the shots. I have a new dentist who totally gets it, and is very patient while i numb up – and wont even touch me if I can feel anything – and if I do, in goes the needle and more waiting – she is a loverly person. My old dentist didnt care if I could feel it or not – I was on his schedule, and “it will only take a few minutes”. Needless to say, that’s one of the reasons he is my old dentist…
I think the dentist is the great equalizer, no? From the lowest peon to the highest elected official, at some point we all find ourselves laying down in that weirdo chair, bright light blinding our eyes, some strange contraption attached to our faces, completely at the mercy of a man with pointy instruments. Bah! I say! Bah!
Hilarious!! I loved the tweets. SO funny!
I had a minor heart surgery when I was 18. I wasn’t put completely under, just given something that made me feel similarly to your gas at the dentist. I was cracking jokes throughout the entire procedure. The doctors and nurses LOVED me. It was close to valentines day, and they had such fun with me that I got a big Vday gift bag full of goodies.
Too bad the good feeling didn’t last and was soon replaced by pain and nausea.
Ugh, so not a fan of the dentist. I really need to go in for a cleaning but I’m avoiding it because I just don’t wanna.
You certainly rocked that gas mask!
Lisa….I have a very low pain tolerance and needle-phobia. I also avoided the dentist like the plague after a terrible filling in high school. I ended up needing all my wisdom teeth pulled, a root canal, and cavities filled in all 4 quadrants of my mouth. That equals= 1 cleaning visit, 4 cavity visits, 4 visits for the root canal, and the oral surgery for wisdom tooth removal. (over 3 years due to insurance restrictions–and my sanity) I sobbed hysterically in the office for half an hour when I found out how bad it was. But nitrous is a godsend! I dont’ take valium or anything because I hate how long it takes to wear off. The nitrous makes me feel drunk basically, takes away the anxiety/phobia issue and dulls the needle pain, also they put topical anesthetic on the gums before the needle so that it doesn’t really hurt.
PLUS! I get nitrous even for cleanings or when they do the proby-thing to determine gum/tooth condition. Otherwise I am sobbing in pain. I’m a wuss. I love my dentist!
So let me start out by saying that I think the dentist is a modern day torture chamber. They TRY to disguise it by saying they are helping you, but I’m totally not buying it.
Every time I go for a basic cleaning, they put me on laughing gas. <– Yes, I'm *that* girl. But whatev. When I had my wisdom teeth removed, they put me on laughing gas. Within 60 seconds, I was shreiking to the technicians about how my most recent ex was so much shorter than me and telling the girl to never date a significantly shorter man, it's just not worth it. The funny part is, I could see the looks of "wow that was quick, is she really telling us all this?" on their faces, but I couldnt. stop. talking.
My IV was supposed to be applied 5 minutes after the laughing gas…I think they waited all of 60 seconds. LOL. Least I haven't made any repeat appearances there.
XOXO from GA,
Hilarious! I tell people all kinds of really personal stuff when I’m on nitrous. So I avoid it when possible.
lol Heather that is something else…. you are now the ballooooooon lady!!
I am really 100% positive my 9 year old is resistant to all forms of Novocaine. He had to have a stitch put into his bottom lip 2 days ago and claims he felt it going in. (our new puppy nipped him when she was playing and got over excited ;-( ugh ) This also happened when he had a nasty cut on his arm and needed many stitches….he screamed and kept saying please god stop. they kept telling him he didnt feel it….he told me exactly how many times the needle went into his skin to stitch it and he was dead on. I wanted to punch the doc….sooooo our new ped dentist does the laughing gas before any shots and I MAKE them wait until I think he is totally numb. I made it very clear I’d deck him if he hurt my son since his old dentist basically did dental work with him feeling the drilling and all….he was screaming and I told her to stop but she didn’t because “Im almost done”. She is lucky to still be breathing! I am SOOOO tired of docs/dentists that think they know it all and they will NOT do anything to one of my kids ever again until I am sure they are ok!
Heck I have 3 teeth bothering me and I do NOT want to go…I am avoiding it like the plague!!
Mandi Bone says:
My insurance doesn’t cover the gas so I pay out of pocket for it. Worth.every.penny.
good lord, really cheap of them to make you pay extra for the gas !!! (nitros-oxide ?). ……..It’s like going for a haircut and having to pay extra for any snips over twenty the stylist needs to make. You or your insurance is paying for the dental procedure and whatever gets that job done should not be “extra”…… If you are not talking about general anesthesia that puts you out, and is different, you should check if this practice is common or just your dentist.
Ya, I totally agree with you…it should not be anything “extra”. My daughter had both eyes repaired surgically and every single time we go to her pediatric opthamalogist, they have to dilate her eyes to be able to properly examine her eyes. Well, our insurance does not cover dilation…ugh! So, I have to pay $115.00 each time just for that. Ridiculous! This post soooo made me laugh Heather! Not at you, but your description of you in the mask was the funniest! Ha!
The insurance may not cover it, but a lot of dentists don’t charge separately for it. In my opinion, the “good” dentists tend to be the ones who don’t charge extra/separately because they understand that a non-anxious, painfree procedure is faster, simpler, and will engender more faithful clients who are more willing to spend more insurance dollars by actually complying with recommendations. Find a dentist who doesn’t charge separately for nitrous and then it doesn’t matter if insurance covers it or not.
I hate the dentist so much I actually cried during an x-ray once. The dental assitant thought I was bonkers.
I had my wisdom teeth extracted about 4 years ago under local anesthetic. They didn’t even offer me gas. Bastards. I’m forever traumatised by having a dentist with blue eyes prying my teeth out. It’s the stuff of my nightmares. I want ballooooons.
I’ve never had the gas at the dentist, I kinda want to try it out. I know I get real chatty when I wake up from being put under when I had surgery last time I thought it was cool that the nurse went to the mall too (there’s only one mall where I live). BTW I hate the dentist, it makes me all naush!
Are you sure they didn’t give you a little THC in the nitrous? I’m like that…..takes FOREVER to numb my mouth. I was the same on delivering the kids. I had the IV in my spine and I couldn’t move my legs….that ‘numb’…..but I could still feel my uterus contracting and I could feel the people touching my girly bits.
LOL I never realized that was something to be thankful for but now I am very glad to know that I don’t have a high tolerance for pain meds. You are hilarious!
I’ve had teh gas only once – when I got 2 wisdom teethe out. I don’t like needles, so I was nervous when they put the IV in, but when they strapped the mask on my face? Everything started to get funnnnyyyy. I giggled for 5 minutes before I went totally under. I remember my mom asking me if I felt ok, if I was still nervous, and I just giggled like a mad woman and said noooo I feel FINE!
Then before I knew it, I woke up in the waiting area, and I really had to pee. Gas is strange.
OMG I hate the balloon taste!!!!!
BWAHHHHHH! I think this is the funniest post you have ever put out there for all of us to see. Kudos to you, and I’m glad you got your tooth fixed. Thanks for sharing.
I totally just peed my pants reading this! Everyone is staring at me for laughing so damn loud! First your picture & the look on your face & then the tweets! Love this post. I needed that laugh!
Hilarious story, it totally worked… Awesome!!
This is SO funny! Well, not the infected tooth part. I also have a really high for mouth pain medication. It takes lots of shots and time to get me numb enough for the drill. I can still feel it though, it’s just not painful. Anyway, my dentist told me that people with red hair have a higher resistance to pain medication. I have red tones in my natural hair color, so maybe that’s it? Do you?
Anyway, I hope your tooth is all better soon. Take care of your teeth!
Hope your tooth is all better. I am the same way… it takes at least 6 shots to numb an area. Never had gas! Love the pictures! and the tweets lmao… thanks for sharing!
Can you make this into a book? I want another 2 hours of the kind of escape I just had in reading this!
You can drive while on the gas?
I remember seeing these tweets in real time and I was cracking up!
I am almost 60 years old and going to the dentist is one of my favorite things because he totally jacks up the gas to MAX. It’s quite lovely when it starts working. It takes a good 30 minutes to get the max benefit. You have to be patient and enjoy the ride, just don’t let them touch you until it is working.
A friend of my daughter just lost one of her 20 month old twin girls to meningitis. When I hear tragedies like this, I always think of you and another family……..the” Pray for Joseph” Peabodys . Your blogs make us all better people.
Michelle H says:
That picture was just teh laugh I needed today – thanks!
nitrous does not work for my son either. And he needs extra novacain. You do have red in your hair – right? We need more….
Kellee R Pigeon says:
Well… if nothing else it seems to have given you the munchies.
dude!! that was hilarious..i remember thinking damn, heather’s high or something. after i read your tweet. LOL
..i’ll never forget when i was given dilauded. i remember feeling realllly good. also my husband said i was talking about the sparkly stars in the ceiling of the emergency room. lol
Too damned funny!
This was laughoutloud funny. I also have a weirdly high tolerance for novocaine. I had to get gum surgery and it took my periodontist a half hour and several injections to get me sufficiently numb. His assistant walked in about halfway through this process and responded to the sight of the empty novocaine vials with a loud “whoooaaaa.” Anyhoo, at one point I realized I could no longer blink my right eye. I pointed this out to my periodontist and he chirped “Oops, must’ve hit the 5th cranial nerve with the novocaine! Not to worry, it’ll wear off eventually!” He had to pause every few minutes during the surgery so that I could manually blink my eyelid. Freaky!
So the next time your doc injects you with enough novocain to paralyze a clydesdale and you lose eyelid function as a result, don’t worry — you will regain your ability to blink after a half hour or so.
I’m waiting for the video Mike will post on You Tube of your ride home there has got to be one ! :}
That’s a very hilarious post, and an equally courageous picture. Well done!
Soooo funny….I love reading your blog everyday….
I only had the gas once–I felt the uncontrollable urge to laugh and everything sounded like it was coming from a tunnel, but a stern voice in my head kept saying ‘Don’t laugh, it’s just the gas”. Sadly, I wasn’t loopy after–I am very sensitive to anesthetics and they gave me IV sedation, so I was doing a pretty good Linda Blair impression. It’s too bad your hubby took away your Twitter privileges
Thats creapy. It looks like the face hugger from alien.
HA! I saw those tweet and thought you were making fun of someone who was on Gas. Hilarious! I hate the dentist and they never give me gas!
The only dentist I had that offered gas was during high school. Man that stuff rocked Not so much when I was in labor with my son though.
Oh.My.Gawd, girl you are soooo halarious!!!! This post seriously made me laugh :0)
michelle in MO says:
Totally hilarious! I’m a difficult one to numb at the dentist as well. I’ve never had nitrous though. I did one time have to have a medical test performed that required me to get what they call “twilight” anesthesia. They said I’d be fully awake but wouldn’t remember anything. I had to fast before this test so I was STARVING by the time it was over and done with. I demanded that my husband take me to IHOP of all places. I then ordered the biggest breakfast they had. I promptly stuck all the bacon (like 4 or 6 slices) into my mouth. A few moments later, I look at my plate and ask my husband who stole my bacon? I am then ranting that someone has stolen my bacon and my husband is just laughing at me and taking pictures of me with his phone. I still think someone took my bacon.
Marin D says:
How funny that you were at the dentist being pulled apart because that is how I spent my morning yesterday. I thought they were just going to do a couple of fillings and they ended up pulling two of my wisdom teeth. I couldn’t believe how many shots that man gave me. No wonder I didn’t like my last dentist. (12 years ago. Yes it had been that long. But 4 cavities isn’t bad after not having been to a dentist in that long. That’s how much I HATED my last dentist.) But let me tell you, I didn’t really feel a thing for the top on. The bottom one hurt a bit, so he gave me a few more shots. It didn’t take away all the pain but it made a huge difference. He said I had some long roots. Oh and an extra one! But he was much better than my former dentist.
And on a not working pain medication note. I was kinda pissed when my spinal block didn’t work for my second c-section. That gave pain a whole new meaning to me. LOL. Glad I am done with that!!!
Hope your mouth feels better!!!
Snickrsnack Katie says:
I had gas once and it did nothing for me. NADA. Although you never know – maybe I was yammering on about my mouth feeling like balloons, too, and just don’t remember. LOL.
And dude, I SO have a high pain tolerance for oral anesthesia. They have to hit my a bazillion times with that needle for me to go numb and then in between, they start drilling and then hit a nerve and I scream and they have to hit me with more needles. It is awful.
Erica S. says:
I almost peed my pants Heather-thanks!