Saturday, January 14, 2012

Does everyone hate the dentist?

Hating going to the dentist seems like one of those universal things like hating taxes, and knowing that every other driver on the road can't drive.  I don't 'hate' the dentist, but I'm not a big fan. My dislike is probably due to the fear that I'll either be in chronic pain, have them do more damage, or lose the pretty teeth that I still have. No one else in my family has decent teeth, so I cling to the hope that I can stay as far away from the dentist as possible (and still maintain my award winning smile).  Insert here: funny joke about my husband's name and how I 'won' him...

This week, that didn't happen since I was in that tilted throne 3 times.  I chipped a back molar around a filling and was told that I had get a crown. With apprehension I returned, prepared for the duel pain of having a tooth drilled and having to shell out a thousand bucks for the privilege of dental care.  No, we don't have dental insurance, and our research has shown that we would pay just as much, if not more, if we did.

The drilling, not so bad. The getting numb wasn't pleasant but not unbearable.  Next comes the most digesting thing you've ever tasted--having the impression of your tooth done. That...was awful, but not as awful as my dentist's assistant first jamming down my gum around it--bruising my gum, and making me tell her that she needed to 'be done, like now.' I'm pretty tolerant but when I can taste blood, my tolerance quickly wanes.   The goo in the mold is awful...and since she used way too much of it the first time around, the dentist told her she had to do it...again! Oh joy, 20 minutes of nasty.  Then we get the temp put in place.  I was worried because they were having trouble getting the bite correct, and when I left and started to de-numb I realized that, despite all of the shaving it was still too high.

I had all of this done the morning I left for MAGfest, so I was out of town for the next 4 days as the stupid tooth continued to hurt. Actually, for the first two days, my tongue, where I apparently bit it, was horribly painful (thank God for ibuprofen) but the jaw wasn't happy either. I went back 5 days after the initial appointment to have her file it down a little. She did, but the pain still didn't go away. What do you do when you have weird pain? Why, I ask my friends and the Internet.

All of my facebook friends more or less told me to go back, and that pain for a week isn't normal, so I called her and they got me an appointment within 2 hours.  At this point the staff knows my name, and finally I managed to slink into at least one appointment on time.  The previous two appointments I'd managed to sleep through because of alarm snafu's--yeah, that was embarrassing.   After explaining that the pain felt like a nerve was exposed and peeling me off the ceiling when she blew cold air on it, she realizes that the cement wasn't sealing well and decides to take the temporary crown off, and use a different type of cement.  I heard her describe that she was going to 'pop' off the temp...but it wouldn't move.  Her assistant (this one I really like) came back with pliers and I braced myself. 'Pop' "oh, that wasn't too bad but umm, you want me to bite down on cotton? Crap that hurts!!!" At this point my complains are muffled by Dr. Phil on the TV, and the cotton in my mouth.

Ugh...did I mention there was no numb going on at this point? Aside from the pain when the temp was removed, it wasn't really needed but I'm generally leery about dental ANYTHING without a big shot of something numbing first. After removing the temp they used a new kind of cement, a kind that I had had put as a temporary filling before. This stuff is glorious--tastes like cloves and burned the side of my tongue like super strong toothpaste.  The pain almost immediately subsided and hasn't come back.  Oh glorious clove laced, nerve soothing, cement.

The moral of this story? If it hurts, tell the nice lady with drugs. She can fix it!
Not my teeth...mine aren't that white


  1. Sounds really painful Eileen pobrecita me imagino tu dolor!!!! Ya allah!!!

  2. I kind of love the dentist? I don't know why because I've had horrible dental experiences, but I don't dread going at all. But ever since I've had my kids, none of the pain relievers work, so getting a filling is a nightmare. :/

  3. omg Sara--that sounds awful! What can they do for you!?

  4. I have finally had most of my teeth taken out and have a full upper plate and partial lower plate made. Of course they are state made dentures and they suck but what the heck I have teeth. I had to do a lot of filing down myself to get them to feel good and food still gets up under the top ones but HEY I HAVE TEETH. I'm happy just for that. I can chew food again. Before I got the dentures I usually chewed as best I could, which wasn't very good and swallowed. That resulted in me have heartburn and all kinds of digestive problems. It got to the point I wouldn't eat anything I had to chew. Now I can eat just about anything. I have problems with things like Star Bursts.
    Of course I went to the dentist a little bit ago and found I had 2 more cavities and they are what they call double sided so in order to get them fixed it's going to cost me double. I don't have the money to get them fixed and the state no longer pays to get fillings done. They pay for cleanings and X-rays but not the actual fillings and of course I don't qualify for the credit to get the fillings done even if I could make the payments. Guess I wait for them to fall out of my mouth as well.

  5. hell I haven't been to the dentist in 10 years! But being in the National Guard we do get a "dental exam" once a year. By that I mean we get x-rays and then several hundred people wait in line for about 5 hours or so to see the one or two dentists that the state threw some money at to be there that day. You lay down, unhinge your jaw, and the dentist pokes around with that pokey stick counting while the assistant holds up the copy of the x-rays....keep in mind this is right in front of that group of soldiers waiting for their turn (so much for HIPAA!). After all that the dentist will tell you if there is anything wrong with you, and then send you on your merry way. It is then up to the individual to go see a dentist of their choosing and get their shit fixed (on their own dime). If your teeth are TRULY messed up....the Army will pay for them to get fixed, but this is worse than paying your friend's cousin JoBob to punch you in the face until your teeth unwillingly fall out of your head. So I'm told.

    I'm happy to report that I usually get praises from the rent-a-dentist for my oral hygiene :)

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