Monday, February 14, 2011

adventures at the dentist

So I went to the dentist last Monday...I had a cleaning and exam appointment after work. And I don't know how it is for anyone else, but I have had horrific fears about dentists ever since I was a kid. The first dentist my mother took me to until I was about eight or nine used to whack me with his towel and tell me to quit my crying. I had, and still have, a hypersensitive mouth. I don't deal well with tooth pain. And he never ever gave me enough Novocaine. I always felt it when he was drilling.

So by the time my mom figured this out, I was terrified of going to the dentist. She switched to a "children's dentist", whatever that meant. From my perspective, they still thought I was a baby, but they were just more discreet about it. Instead of yelling at me and telling me to shut up, I could hear them talk about me crying when they muttered to each other under their breath. But still, not enough Novocaine. Pain every time I went.

Fast forward to becoming an adult. Do you think I made one single move to go see a dentist after I was responsible for that decision? Just guess.

If you guessed no, you're absolutely right.

Well, after finally finding a great dentist who was understanding what had now become a full-fledged phobia, I started to get some work done. But it was a long process, and I did not have the money to pay for it all. Long story short, some of them had to be pulled.

Now everything that is still remaining is finally cavity-free, and I go in every six months to make sure it stays that way, right? My dentist is perfectly willing to give me an extra shot of Novocaine so I don't feel a thing. I don't care if I walk around all day with my nose numb, as long as I don't have to feel the drilling. I still have to hear it (!) but I won't feel it.

But back to my story, (after going all the way around the block with that explanation), they find one tiny cavity and put me into an appointment three days out. I take the morning off of work, get in there and wait. And wait. And wait. And a half hour later, the lady calls me up to the desk and said they were running behind. No, really?? And she wants to know if I can come back in an hour. WHAT? An hour?? Well, okay fine. They give me a couple of gift cards for the local coffee shop and I'm on my way. Although I was thinking that it was awfully convenient that they just happened to have those on hand. And just offered them right up to me without me even complaining about it. Does this happen often??

Anyway, I went back and when they brought me back to The Chair, a new dentist that I've never seen before came in. He looked like he was about twelve. No kidding. A regular Doogie Howser. My first instinct was to run. I always schedule my appointments with one specific dentist there. This is not cool! But, I think to myself, okay, maybe he went home sick and this guy is filling in. I had to know. I asked him, but nope. He was the one I was originally scheduled with.

Take a deep breath, I'm telling myself. It's a tiny filling. What could possibly go wrong? And the next thing he says, is, "Sorry your appointment was delayed. I was doing a crown fitting, and we had to start over three times before it finally went right." WHAT?? Oh, no! It really is Doogie Dentist Howser! I wondered, if I got up very quickly and just RAN out of the office, if they would charge me for the appointment since they hadn't done the work yet. LOL.

I was too chicken to cancel, but still chicken to stay. I was definitely in a pickle. I decided to stay and tough it out. So instead of running, I clasped my fingers together very tightly, and just prayed like crazy! Please let it go right. Please let it go right! Oh please, oh pleaseohpleaseohpleaseoh!

It didn't go as smoothly as it does with the other dentist, but it was okay, and I am now, once again, cavity free. What a relief.

It's funny to think I'm such a spaz about this now, when I used to avoid anything to do with it. I have to brush, floss, everthing. Every night. I can't sleep if I don't. And the payoff is very good. It's so much easier to get fillings done one at a time if I need to instead of needing to get twenty-six of them done at once. I read somewhere that it only takes 21 days of doing something to develop the habit of doing it. I'm happy to claim this as a habit.


Becky K. said...

The former dental assistant in me wants to hug you! The patient in me says I so understand!!!!

Nezzy said...

I hear ya long and strong sister!!! I too have been hear sayin' "I'd rather give birth than go to the dentist!" Heeehehehe!!!

I once had to wait a very long time in my dentist office due to an emergency that came in. When the DDS apologized I just laughed and told him I'd just take the discount. Surprisingly when I checked out they'd taken a third off my bill!

I too was in the dental chair last Monday. I'd popped a crown off an eyetooth flossin'.

God bless ya and have a marvelous Valentine's Day sweetie!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't know where you go to the dentist but I hear of this place advertised on the radio and they specialize in people with dental-phobia. Supposedly you can get all kinds of great drugs to get you through the horrible experience. Check them out:
Hopefully everything continues to go well!