Things went badly from the start. I took a new bus route, one that goes right by the office, so I wouldn't have to walk from the mall. That was nice, but I didn't realize that the bus route wrapped around and came at the dental office from the east, so I didn't recognize the intersection until we were upon it. I belatedly pulled the cord to ask the driver to stop, and he slammed on the brakes. I apologized for signaling late, but he still gave me the 'stupid people who don't know where their stop is suck' look. As I stood to get off the bus, I whacked my knee on a pole. Ow.
No, actually, OW. Weird; I couldn't have hit it that hard. I stood still for a minute, leaning on my other leg. Fiddled with my iPod so as not to look stupid or lost as somebody walked by. Then I looked at my knee, which was covered in blood. Oh, that's why it hurts. By then it was no longer so painful that I didn't want to walk, so I went up to the dentist's office and asked for a band-aid. I usually carry them, but I hadn't yet figured out where in the Ameribag the first-aid stuff will go. I went to the bathroom, blood trickling down my leg, and cleaned up. You're all lucky I decided against taking a picture. Once mopped up, of course, it wasn't really that bad, just a nice deep scrape.
Back to the dental office and to my appointment. I had a temporary crown made of resin put over the implant at my last appointment, and the dental assistant guy was having a hard time getting it to come off. It didn't hurt, exactly, but there were some slightly alarming crunching noises as he clutched the temporary crown with pliers and wiggled it. To no avail. More wiggling and tugging and ow those are my gums not the crown. More fiddling with a pokey thing. More fiddling with floss. More fidding with pliers. More ow. More "I hope my implant is implanted really well and is not about to come out with this crown." Dental assistant gives up, goes away, comes back and shows me a... device. "This is a reverse-action hammer." And this is your jaw, being pummeled with a reverse-action hammer. The crown still does not come off, but starts fragmenting ("That's just as good, it'll come off one way or another."). He starts pounding at it again, and that hurts, and I finally tell him to stop, but it turns out that's just when the remnants of the crown come loose. To which I say, ow. And 'thank goodness I am not going to be needing any more temporary crowns anytime soon.'
I should not have said that.
The dentist fiddles with the permanent crown for a while, adjusting it and drilling on things. I'm still a little shaky from all the yanking and hammering, my head is throbbing, and, hi, I'm phobic, so this is all sort of on the edge of my tolerance level. The crown also feels like shit, pressing hard on the adjacent tooth when the dentist fits it onto the implant. He adjusts it, and it feels better, but now he's grumbling about the other side being too far from the other adjacent tooth. In the end, he simply does not like the crown, and he's sending it back to have more porcelain added to the one side (he's pretty well taken care of removing the excess from the other). Which means another temporary, and another appointment. "I've got to do this again?" I protest, thinking of the reverse-action hammer and feeling a bit abused. But there's nothing to be done for it. They try to give me a more easily removable temporary crown, which will have to do until next Tuesday afternoon.
On the way out, the other dental assistant, who I very calmly freaked out to about the $1800 charge last time, tells me she talked to the dentist about it and he can give me $200 off, but no more. I didn't think he'd be giving me anything, so I am actually grateful in the face of her "sorry it isn't much." It's two days' wages.
So the moral of the story is: never say that #29 will be finished on any particular day unless you want to anger the gods, and run screaming if you hear "reverse-action hammer" in a dental office. (Although "watch out for the blowtorch" is a close second.) And here I thought I'd seen just about every tool that could be applied to a person in a dental office. Including the aforementioned blowtorch.
I altered my usual dental icon just for the occasion.