I should have known better. I mean, I’m a dentist for darn sakes. I anesthetize people every day and give them the same instructions; don’t chew until you can feel everything again, you will be a little sore at the injection site, your numbness will last about two hours, and so on. I guess the moral of the story is to do as I say, not as I do. Here’s how it happened.
A little while back, I had to get some old fillings replaced. No worries, I do it for people every day. You would think that would be no big deal, considering that my wife and I both fix teeth for a living. Not the case. Unfortunately, I am not skilled enough, or dumb enough to attempt dental surgery on myself, so I had to make the same arrangements that our patients make…schedule an appointment, get a babysitter, wait in the waiting room…the whole thing, start to finish. The only difference was that I know for a fact that our team treats regular patients kinder and gentler. I only thought that our girls were happy with my leadership abilities.
The actual dental work went smooth enough. Well, aside from Doctor Jennifer telling me to sit still and quit acting like such a baby. Something tells me her patience is a little better with her patients. It also probably didn’t help that I kept winking at her and screamed when I saw the needle. One of the assistants and I had a good laugh about that, but I don’t think that Jennifer’s next visitor in the waiting room was quite as amused.
I arrived home just before lunch, no worse for wear, ready to get back to chasing kids and changing diapers. I made lunch for us all. Milk, sandwiches, chips, just your average midday meal. We had just been to the store, so I made myself one of those Dagwood looking sandwiches with all the fixings. You name it and my sandwich had it going on. My mouth was watering, but the numbness was still there. I put my lunch on the counter and went back to taking care of kids, knowing it would be a matter of minutes before I could enjoy my culinary masterpiece.
One hour passed, still numb. Two hours passed, getting hungrier, but still pretty tingly. At hour number three, I thought I’d give it a shot (no pun intended). One little bite. The score, if you’re keeping tally: sandwich one, inside of Chip’s right cheek zero. At hour number four, I felt like I’d never eaten in my life. The sandwich was my arch nemesis and all I could do was stare at it from across the room. Finally, at around five o’clock (six hours after my dental work), I got to enjoy my lunch. I’ve eaten at a lot of good restaurants and have never tasted something so good. You’d be amazed at how much flavor a little anesthetic and cheek meat adds to a sandwich.
I usually tell patients to expect numbness for a couple of hours and not to worry if it lasts even longer. Everyone’s body processes the anesthetic differently. From here on out, I have one last bit of advice about dental anesthetic: Sandwiches and dental appointments don’t mix.
Until next time, keep smiling.
‐Questions or suggestions can be sent to Drs. Parrish at ParrishDental@aol.com.