I called the emergency dentist this morning. My face feels like a skeletal hand has worked it's way under the skin and is slowly contracting and releasing my face. To my horror, the receptionist said I could go straight there.
You must understand, my dentist died about 10 years ago and I pretty much decided there and then that that was that with me and dentists.
The dentist I saw today noticed immediately that something was wrong by the way I was skirting round the chair, making polite (polite as possible, when facing raw, animal fear) conversation. When I couldn't put it off any longer, I finally sat down and was lowered into place. (I blame this on a work colleague, who cheerfully reminded me that you have nothing to fear until you sit down.)
After another few minutes of cajoling, I finally opened my mouth far enough for her to have a look inside. Not bad, was the verdict, but that didn't solve the problem of where the pain was coming from, so it was off to the x-ray machine.
For anyone who hasn't been in one of these before (and I'm pretty sure there must be a few wusses who like me, haven't) It's basically a bit which you bite down on, while two curved panels whirl round your head. Weird and futuristic, it almost took my mind off the pain and the fear.
The result was inconclusive; my now irradiated head failed to reveal it's secrets.
The dentist said it could be sinus infection or a tooth and gave me a prescription for antibiotics. I was rather too quick to latch onto the idea that it could be sinus related. She told me not to be so bloody soft and register with a dentist, pronto. So I have, with the same dentist my wife and kids go to. Can't wait 'til we all go for a family checkup and the kids get to see dadfear up close. The more I think about it, the more illogical the fear seems, in the face of massive agonising face pain, but the more I think about it, the more I have to think about dentists and the fear returns with a vengance.
There's probably a moral in all this, but right now I'm going to eat a Green and Blacks 70% Dark chocolate bar and then spend 45 minutes rinsing my mouth out with water, just in case it eats a final, terrible hole in a tooth and my not bad teeth cave into my jaw, shortly before my whole face collapses inwards.