My wife says one of my great talents is my ability to sleep anywhere, anytime. And, it’s true — I generally have no problem nodding off.
It’s my superpower.
But like every other superhero, I have at least one weakness. Where Superman’s is kryptonite, mine is the dentist’s chair. That’s the one place where getting any zzz’s is next to impossible.
Of course, it’s not really the chair that foils me. Have you ever noticed how comfortable they are? They should sell those things to the general public. If I had one at my house, I’d never leave. But I guess that’s the point. They are probably made that way to lull you into a false sense of the warm-fuzzies before you’re obligated to open wide.
So, no — it’s not the chair that’s my real nemesis. It’s the stuff that goes on while I’m IN the chair that blocks my superpower.
As a general rule, I try to avoid the dentist like we all try to avoid the flu this time of year. I would happily line up for an annual shot if it would keep me out of the dentist’s office. But that’s not going to happen. No matter how diligently you brush and floss there are just times when going to the dentist is necessary. And, believe it or not, there are times when it’s actually enlightening.
Back in August, my dentist told me that I needed a couple of crowns. It was just what I wanted hear. I was so “eager” to get the job done that I put off making an appointment until a couple of weeks ago.
After arriving for my appointment and having my jaw numbed, I started thinking things weren’t so bad. In fact, I was getting so comfortable in the chair that I started wishing I had a refrigerator filled with refreshments handy and a flat screen TV. That’s when my dentist came back to check on me.
I soon found myself sprawled in what seemed to me to be an almost vertical position. The blood was rushing to my head as he bore down with the drill at full throttle. It’s a good thing he thought to wear one of those plastic shields to protect his face. From my vantage point, what was spewing from my mouth looked a lot like the water show at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Too bad it wasn’t as entertaining.
After a while, I realized my dentist was running into trouble. The teeth he was trying to reach were in the very back of my mouth. He kept telling me to open wider and to move my head this way and that.
“Wider,” he kept saying. “As wide as you can.”
I was straining so much that I thought about suggesting we just dislocate my jaw.
Finally, he sat back on his stool, shook his head a little and said, “It’s hard to get back there. You’ve got a small mouth.”
My dentist may not have had much room to maneuver, but I finally left his office that day with a couple of temporary crowns and some insight into why I seem to lose most of the arguments around my house.
It’s hard to win when you have a small mouth.
Then again, having a superpower like mine means I’m not losing any sleep over it.