15th June 2015
The internet is not a nice place to visit when you’re scared or sick. Somehow, google always manages to give you the most negative of results with each search term you input. All I had to type in was “hole in tooth” and from nowhere these horrendous results started attacking me with their appearance on the screen “Cavity and causes”, ” Why you can’t cure cavity without a dentist”, “the deadliness of untreated cavity”, “Man in Chicago dies of cavities after three months”, “Why you shouldn’t leave your cavity untreated”, “Untreated Cavities; The Silent Killer”. It was almost like they were saying ” Here are some horrendous results, see it and be scared, that’s what you get for putting off seeing a dentist for so long and spending the money for your bills on shoes.
I shut my screen in defiance as hard as I could; I owned the computer, I was definitely not letting google oppress me this morning….. hopeless. The image had stuck in memory and had already began a sinister torment. “Ssssssss cavity cavity cavity”. I walked down to the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee, maybe I was sleep-hearing, maybe I needed a jumpstart to my day. I walked down the stairs, no more whispers…good. I brewed the coffee as quickly as I could and settled down on the counter ready to savor the already tingling smell that promised good taste. As I gently brought the cup to caress my lips, it began again ” Ssssssss cavity cavity cavity, your tooth is probably darker than that coffee.” Okay that’s it! I poured the coffee out and grabbed a bagel, it wasn’t dark colored at least “Ooooh cavity cavity, bagel has too much carbs , sugar feeds the cavity.” I really wasn’t letting google have this win; I was hungry who cared, so, I shut my eyes and bit deep into the bagel “Eeeeew cavity cavity, dirty, stank, rotten cavity, you really want to swallow that?” I spat the bagel out as quickly as I had bit into it … Damn you google!
I was now convinced that the end was near. It was bad enough that these images kept tormenting me but to literally wean me off food, that wasn’t nice at all. I dragged my self back to my room and waited patiently for my aunt to come back; I had to get this teeth taken care of once and for all, for real this time. Twenty minutes later, I heard the sound of her car pull up the drive way. I ran down as fast as I could. “Lilian” she said to me, “this one that you are downstairs today, o di kwa nma?” I ignored her comment. It was true that I rarely came downstairs, except it was time to eat. I’d rather just read or watch a movie in the solace of my room. My appearance downstairs, I hoped, should buttress, the importance of what I had to tell her . “I have a cavity” I said to her. “For how long?” she asked ” 9 months” I replied. “Hei! and who did you tell?” she screamed in exasperation. ” Don’t you know it can kill? Your uncle’s best friend died of it, the bacteria entered his blood stream”. Ummmm not helping!!! “I know , I want to see a dentist.” She paused suddenly in her tracks and let out a low laugh. “You know its expensive right?” Ummm duhhhh that’s why I never mentioned it.
It took me about a week but I had finally gotten all the necessary documents needed to waiver any extra charge I might incur at the clinic. I lay patiently in the chair waiting to see the dentist and hear what he had to say. His assistant walked in, she was a Hispanic lady with short black hair.” Did you ever visit a dentist before?'” she asked ” No” I replied. “Have you ever gotten your teeth cleaned? “No” I answered again. All this small talk wasn’t helping, I was already imagining an army of germs in my mouth so… okay. ” The dentist will be with you in a second” she said and then left the room. He came in a few minutes later. He was a tall, handsome man, elderly with patches of grey hair. ” How are you doing young lady, let me just take a look at that.” He drew up the scanning machine and shook his head. “That is a mighty big cavity” he said, “You’ll have to take out the tooth, just avoid problems”. Oh no no no no, he didn’t just say that. I couldn ‘t take out my tooth, the number one compliment I got was on its perfect spacing. Taking one out would devoid all that and then when I smiled people will see the space? No no no, aesthetics mattered … or did it? I sat there pondering until my sister called in and made the decision for me. “People take out their tooth all the time take yours out and end the worry.” ” Okay I’ll do it” I said to him, the reluctance clouding my vision.He brought out his tools and set to work, first numbing the entire half of my face. I couldn’t ‘t feel it, I couldn’t speak properly, I felt paralyzed, it was extremely weird. Then, he brought a suction pipe and placed it in my mouth to get rid of the saliva.
Drill, drill, swipe, swipe, those tools kept manipulating the core of my oral cavity. “There you did a great job, bite on this gauze ill be back.” he said to me. I did as I was toldTwo minutes later, he came back. “You were very good in there”. “What do you mean? Are you done?” I asked ” Yes” he replied, “Do you want to see it?” “Of course!” I said. How could he be done? I had barely felt him pull out the tools, more or less, my tooth. He handed me a plastic bag, in it was shaped something that did not look like my tooth at all. It was long and had a forked edge. It lay there, proud, like a warrior whose head was conjoined to his body, with two legs but no arms. “That’s a tooth?” I asked. “That’s your tooth” he replied. I looked at it again, oh! There was the cavity , It was mighty big, almost half the size of the entire tooth… ewww.
“I’m not supposed to let you take this but you can show it to your mum”. I grabbed the plastic bag from him and got out of the chair. “Thank you so much sir.”Night had fallen and my paralyzed left cheek already had some feel to it. I put down the hot water bottle I had been advised to place on my cheek and went into the rest room, eager to see what this tooth looked like. I had taken a huge bout of pain killers so I was a little less pain free. I swished my mouth with a bit of water, enough to clear bloody residue but taking care not to apply pressure so as not to juxtapose my healing socket. Then, I leaned towards the mirror and opened my mouth. It was the fifth tooth from the right and although not significantly visible to the public, it was gone. I could live with that. I was about to turn off the light when I sensed something in the sixth tooth, the one directly behind the other I had taken out. I peered closely again , silently hoping that my fear wouldn’t be confirmed.Oops, sorry! Like I feared, it was a black spot alright, comfortably seated on my tooth like it was queen over my mouth. A tooth decay? Another cavity in the making!! Oh lord not again!!!!