In my ongoing effort in my humor column to warn the public of various situations, today I will forewarn you about a barbaric form of dentistry.

There will come a time in your life, most likely in your forties, when you may experience searing pain in a tooth, whenever it comes into contact with something wild and crazy, like cold water. You will yell and beg for mercy from the happy tooth gods.

A couple of days will go by, and you will find it’s like one of those guests who doesn’t ever leave, like Uncle Eddie from “Christmas Vacation,” who shows up, wreaks havoc on your life, but you must accommodate him because he’s family. So you grin and bear it, while wondering if a glass of wine, or four, will make it feel better; followed by brushing with Sensodyne.

And at some point, you will break down and face the dentist because you can’t take it anymore. You don’t want to visit him, of course, because once another dentist in Virginia almost killed you. Yes, you almost died in that comfortable reclining chair when the dentist did what he called “an accidental intravascular injection.” Three times. OOPS.

These are bad.

Accidental intravascular injections, or AII, my made-up acronym for ‘hell’, can be cured by 45 minutes of oxygen, a 911 call, and a praying hygienist who will hold your hand and pray with you that you don’t die in their office. (The parking lot is fine, of course. Doesn’t scare the waiting room as much.)

So once you get over the fact you almost died in dentistry, you may find yourself in yet another dentist’s chair because of searing pain to cold.

The dentist tells you that you clearly need “the ice cube test” for further diagnosis. Do NOT fall for this trick. “The ice cube test” is actually code for “medieval barbaric torture.”

So, if it is convenient, please bolt. Climb out of that reclining yet deceptive dental chair and say you have to go to the bathroom. Then, make a run for your car.

Do not be fooled by the words “ice cube test.” This makes it sound as if the dentist is going to serve you a glass of lemonade–or perhaps a scotch on the rocks–from his little tray. Untrue.

He will use a chemical colder than ice, and will admit “this is actually colder than ice, which is good, because we need to see how long you can withstand this ‘sensitivity.'” (Sensitivity is code for “pain.” Again, not good.)

He will then proceed to test with this chemical “ice cube” on the front and back of your tooth, which is actually TWO painful tests, to see how long your scream lasts. You will consider belting him during the scream. (Do not do this, as he has sharp instruments nearby.) Then, he will say that he has to check the teeth surrounding it, front and back, so while you are thinking “ice cube TEST” it is actually six “ice cube TESTS,” which sounds very similar.

Again, please take this opportunity to bolt. Be sure to thank the dentist and assistants for their time.

However, if you submit to the torture, because basically you need to in order to save your tooth, please be advised there is not a scotch on the rocks in sight.

And in the end, he may pronounce the case “undetermined at this moment,” which means you will face more impostor ice cube tests in the future, but that is okay, because at least you are not getting a root canal today.

And for that, you can thank him.

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