Weekend Plans Post: Advancements In Dentistry
I quit smoking over a decade ago. I still think about smoking all the time, though. Every day, really. (I don’t know that I think about my mom every day… I think about smoking every day…)
The different cigarettes that had different effects. The First One Of The Day. While your teeth were still slightly minty from the toothpaste. The cigarette that you had after a meal, where it made new flavors. The cigarette during a break that would reboot your thought processes and you’d remember something you’d forgotten or figure out the problem that had been bugging you. The cigarette while you watched the sun set, at the end of the day. The cherry of the cigarette glowing bright in the twilight.
One of the bloggers I enjoy wrote something about how you never really quit smoking, you’re just too far from your last cigarette. You remain in a state of being BETWEEN cigarettes. He then talked about what it felt like to have that smoke. That first inhale after a while. Feeling your brain turn back on.
It probably wasn’t a good idea to re-read that essay, now that I think about it.
Anyway, one of the habits that got me through quitting that I still have not yet abandoned is Sugarless Gum. Preferably the Mentos Spearmint variant. It’s got a nice sharp mint flavor and has a really good texture that lets you blow nice CRACKING bubbles as you’re driving from here to there, wishing you had a cigarette dangling its ash out the slightly cracked window.
A cigarette while chewing gum. That was another good one.
Anyway, one of the downsides of growing older is that you have to quit smoking. Another is that when you’re chewing the gum that help you keep not smoking, sometimes it messes with your dental work and you lose a filling.
I lost a filling. I held it in my hand for a second and saw that it was silver amalgam, which means that it was one of the ones I got decades ago before all the dentists switched to composite. Decades ago when I still smoked.
Anyway, so I called the dentist up and they scheduled me to come in the next day for a short session where they’d give me a temp filling and schedule the longer session where they’d really get in there. Did you know they take your blood pressure before an appointment now? Well, they take your blood pressure before an appointment now. Mine was SPIKED. THROUGH THE DANG ROOF. I couldn’t believe it because, seriously, I’ve been running 5ks! I mean, I guess it’s not THAT impressive (not like I run them quickly or anything) but it’s better than nothing. They patted my shoulder and told me that it happens to everybody. They gave me a temp filling and told me that I needed to get my BP under control before the next appointment, though.
So I go home and check my blood pressure again and it was 130 over 80-something. I mean, that’s not GREAT, but it’s not bad. So I do my jogging, I run my 5ks, I take my BP the morning of the appointment and, yep, 130 over 80-something again. Good. Well, not GOOD, but not spiked. I get to the dentist and sit down and they take my BP there and it’s 150-something over 90-something.
My eyes bug out of my head. WHAT THE HECK. I freak out and tell them “seriously, it was normalish this morning!”
Apparently just going to the dentist causes a BP spike. Huh.
Anyway, the interesting thing about this visit wasn’t the laughing gas or the drill, it was the New And Improved Isolite Dental Isolation System. It works like this, they put a piece of plastic in your mouth that has light shine through it and, at the same time, has suction so you aren’t exhaling into the air, you’re exhaling directly into the piece of plastic. Here, check out the mouthpieces.
They explained what it was to me and then asked me to open up and… well, they put the plastic in my mouth and then they just kept putting the plastic in my mouth. And then they put some more in there. When they were finally done, it felt like I had a plastic jellyfish in my mouth. A plastic jellyfish who was distantly related to Charybdis. It keeps your mouth open, it gives you something to bite down on when you’re freaking out, it vacuums all of your aerosols into a safe place protecting your dentist and any of his/her assistants, and it was the most unpleasant thing I’ve experienced for the last couple of months.
If there wasn’t a global pandemic, this thing would NEVER have taken off.
But, alas, there is a global pandemic. We’ll probably never go back to the old way.
Anyway, this weekend will be spent enjoying chewing gum and NOT smoking. The usual litany of chores and outsourced errands apply, maybe I’ll cook something fun.
So… what’s on your docket?
(Featured image is Bliss. Taken by Maribou.)