A Continued Sigh

April 28, 2009 at 10:02 pm (Life) (, , )

So, where was I. Ah yes, telling you all about my trip to the dentist.

I went to the dentist yesterday. I don’t like dentists. I’d go as far as saying I have a dental phobia (549,000 hits on Google – The top hit being http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/, which is a British site). I don’t like admitting to this fear because it makes me feel babyish. After all, what is there to be that afraid of, asks all the grown-ups surrounding me and the grown-up inside of me!

I had a horrible dentist growing up. She was a Bitch (and I don’t use that term lightly). It did not help that we were welfare cases; my worst experience as an adult also occurred when the dental office knew that welfare was paying for my treatment. And I mean worst in how my fears were handled. I was made to feel infantile and that my fears were totally unfounded.

They are not. The dentists I have been to have, for the most part, ignored my concerns, would not listen to my opinion on what pain I was feeling and rushed through my treatment. As soon as I was on my own, I stopped going to the dentist . One, because I could not afford it and two, because I did not trust the dental profession to have my interests at all in mind.

Which, of course, led to my only interactions with dentists being when pain necessitated a trip to their offices. Not a tactic I would recommend. I want to keep my teeth healthy which means regular trips to the dentist are required.

I thought I was there. After twenty years of not having a regular dentist I thought I had found one I could work with. She listened to my concerns. She didn’t push the cosmetic stuff (well, not too much). The office was close to work. Payment plans were possible. Then she moved across the city. I could tolerate the fact that she was now a bus ride away instead of within walking distance. 😦

However, I always needed work done whenever I saw her. A cavity here, a cap there, a tooth that I thought should have been pulled didn’t get pulled. Then she moved out of the city without informing me. Then my cap broke; the one she had just installed less than two years ago. Two months to get contact information for her and numerous letters and emails later I learnt that the only way to get the cap replaced was to travel to her new office a half day away. I have no car and I am not going to pile expense on top of expense to travel somewhere I shouldn’t have to.  This is money I can’t afford to spend and I no longer trusted her judgment or care. This put me back to square one.

square-one

But like I said, my cap broke just around the same time as my dentist moved. So, I needed a new dentist. I got smarter; I asked around and found someone with a good reputation and ties to the community. I feel treated professionally at his office which is all I ask for.

But going to the dentist is never going to be a task that I enjoy. Remember the tooth I mentioned that should have been pulled by my last dentist. That’s what I got done yesterday because the root structure had split in the last six months or so and the tooth had to go before infection set in.  So after a half hour + in the chair, a cut in my gums (thankfully no stitches were needed after), and a lot of tension, the tooth is gone! The experience has improved since I was young. The freezing is quicker and better and the freezing leaves quicker – which is nice. It wasn’t a painful process – just annoying and uncomfortable.

So the lesson in all this. Find a dentist you trust and work with them to ensure good proper dental health.

Thank you for reading my blog’s annual public service announcement (LOL).

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2 Comments

  1. halloween spirit said,

    What is it with dentists being reluctant to pull teeth that clearly need to go. It must be something they emphasize in dental school. I once had a dentist who tried to talk me into a procedure that would have amounted to thousands of dollars rather than simply pulling the tooth. I was almost 40 before I worked up the ability in these situations to say, “Just pull it!”

  2. solitaryspinster said,

    What amazes me is that I can question my doctor’s diagnosis but not my dentists.

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