I disagree with that interpretation.
When I dream of losing my teeth, it's because I'm really afraid of losing my teeth, because that would mean a trip to the dentist. And well, I'm absolutely terrified of going to the dentist.
Why? I don't know. I've never had a bad experience with a dentist. I'm just afraid to go. I'm afraid of the pain they are going to inflict with their drills and sharp instruments, while I lay helpless in their reclining chairs.
It's because of this fear that I refused to go the dentist last month when one of my wisdom teeth started giving me trouble. After all, it was just a little pain, swelling and sensitivity. Nothing some over-the-counter pain medication and an ice pack couldn't cure. (Funny side note: The day my toothache started, I was at a birthday party surrounded by a dozen dentists.)
A couple of days passed and the pain disappeared. I was ecstatic to have avoided a visit to the dentist.
Then the pain returned. This time the over-the-counter stuff wasn't working. So I went to ask my dentist brother-in-law for something stronger. Only he had already left for the day, so I asked our close family friend Dr. Manny. (You've read about him in Jack Goes to the Dentist.) When Dr. Manny handed me my prescription, he said "If the pain doesn't subside in a couple of days, come in and I'll take it out."
Luckily for me, the pain disappeared after a few days.
Until this last weekend.
That darned tooth hurt like the devil Saturday night. I wasn't able to go to sleep until 4 o'clock in the morning. And I was up by 7 because the pain was just too much. Nothing worked. I tried pain medication, ice packs and warm compresses. When we arrived at my in-law's for lunch, I practically begged my brother-in-law to remove my tooth.
I no longer cared about the horror stories I had heard from friends and acquaintances about the immense pain one experiences when having your wisdom teeth removed. I had even forgotten the story about the woman who bled to death and died in her sleep after her wisdom tooth was pulled.
Dentist brother-in-law prescribed antibiotics and pain medication and said he'd take an x-ray in the morning.
Yesterday morning, over breakfast, bro-in-law asked Hubby about my toothache when Dr. Manny chimed in that he could see me at 10 that very morning. When Hubby came to tell me the "good" news, I started panicking. I came up with 20 excuses to get out of going, BUT...the pain I was experiencing far outweighed any fears I had. So, I willingly went to the dentist.
While Dr. Manny worked on removing my tooth, I waited and waited for the excruciating pain that I'd heard so much about. I was sure I would feel it, since Dr. Manny had only applied a local anesthetic. But the pain never came. All I felt was a minor discomfort and it was nothing compared to the pain I had been feeling over the weekend.
I may have lost a wisdom tooth, but I found this pearl of wisdom to be true...
"There is nothing to fear, but fear itself."
(P.S.) For those of you who are curious as to how much it costs to have your wisdom teeth removed in Mexico...I was charged 200 pesos (less than 20 dollars) and a cake!