He injected me with novocaine, and not enough
An Angry Dentist, Feb 19th, 2002
Reader, I've gone where others fear to tread. I've read Stephen King novels and taken the subway to Brooklyn at 3 am, but trust me when I tell you the scariest thing in the world is an angry dentist.
Gennady's father, who drove me out to Brighton Beach, was negotiating with the dentist, in Russian. Gennady's father was calling in a favor, to save me money. He does this alot, and I think every Russian on Brighton Beach owes Gennady's father a favor. I call him Godfathersky.
"Whhysky u oohn dasyks shedbdl dklseinfsky skdfhisky sk penemyuasky," he said to the dentist, who, I decided from his body language, had high-paying bridge and crown work piling up in the waiting room.
"Busyjksy ss xzysky ansdidzkyu suyma me previat spe zzsky," the dentist replied. He was shaking his head and pointing at me.
I tried to relax in the chair. An assistant was taking x-rays.
"Nyet! Wnsyfsky toshedls azzzkdurl!" Gennady's father said. That seemed to end the discussion.
"Da, da, da" snorted the dentist, turning to me.
"Hello," he barked. He appeared uninterested in retaining me as a future patient.
"Hi," I said, smiling my best please-don't-hurt-me smile.
"Open mouth," he said, scanning my x-rays. "You aren't pregnant, right?"
"No," I said.
"Good. Too late now if you are! What's the matter? I see- wisdom tooth has hole."
I explained that it was my
professional opinion that the problem tooth was the chipped one, next to the wisdom tooth.
"Let's see," he said. He stuck a needle instrument in my mouth and poked it into the bottom of my brain. I screamed my agreement with his diagnosis.
"See, that was wisdom tooth. We take it out. Ok."
This has been coming. I have two wisdom teeth, both on the top. For years, my dentist in California has been dying to yank them, at $600 per tooth. No one can explain to me why.
"They crowd the mouth," said my California dentist.
"That's fine with me- I don't want my other teeth feeling they have the room to spread out," I said. He laughed, because he was interested in retaining me as a future patient.
Now, one of these teeth was causing me great pain.
"Ok," I said to the Russian dentist, "I believe you, take it out".
"OK, $150.00. You get big discount, you understand?"
"Yes, yes, thank you." I danced a happy dance in my head. That's alot of money to save!
"Are your teeth been whitened? They look very white? You bleach?"
Reader, who among you would tell an irritated dentist that you had paid full price for a cosmetic procedure when you were unwilling to do the same for a medical one?
I thought so. I lied and told him I'd bleached them myself.
He injected me with novocaine, and not enough. I yelped when he went after the tooth the first time.
"You feel that!?" he asked.
I nodded. He gave me another shot and took a pick-ax type of thing to my mouth. I heard a crunch and felt nothing. He pulled out my tooth.
"That's it already,' I asked, "it was so easy!"
"That's it. You make appointment for other tooth. Bye bye."
I couldn't believe a tooth could come out so quickly. No wrestling, no ropes, no pulleys. Just one whack with a pick and one from the only set of adult teeth I will ever have is gone. The assistant stuck a gauze in my mouth to absorb blood, the doctor left and the pain was gone.
Tonight, Tuesday, I have a big corporate gig in Boston. They're flying me out, picking my up, putting me and sending me home the next sweet. Why isn't all of show business like that? On Wednesday, along with the rest of New York City, I am auditioning to be a Daily Show correspondent. And Thursday, I drive to Montreal for a weekend at the Comedy Zone.