Monday, December 19, 2005

My Dental Affair

I love my dentist. Really I do. It wasn't always this way though. I used to think of going to the dentist as the worst experience in the entire world. I didn't think my parent's could think of a more cruel punishment for me. My mother and father were sticklers for seeing the dentist every 6 months growing up. I hated it because I had teeth that were prone to cavities. I brushed and flossed and brushed and flossed some more and still always had cavities. "I'm sorry, Sheri" my dentist would sadly say. "It looks like you've got 4 this time." How I would cry and scream it wasn't fair! My brother could give two shits about brushing his teeth and I don't think a piece of floss ever touched his mouth. He'd being whistling Dixie out the door with a "No Cavity!" shit-eating grin on his face and it would make my blood boil. We always had the same dentist growing up and I continued to see him as an adult. However, after becoming an adult..... something started to happen to my dental-going ways. I stopped going out of fear. Fear of the Cavity. Then that fear manifested into anxiety and before I knew it.... I was petrified to go to the dentist. It was agony to actually get to the dentist's office. I'd be nauseous and sick for days before my appointment worrying about it. For those of you who have never had an anxiety problem..... you're probably saying to yourself.... "Jesus, Lady... get a grip on life, will ya?" For those of you nodding and understanding what I'm saying about anxiety..... you know what I'm talking about. I'd cancel at the last minute because I was so worked up about going. I'd tell the receptionist "I just can't do this" and she always just said "ok, Well, let's reschedule". When I'd finally work up the nerve to go.... he'd find a dreaded cavity and the whole process would have to start over with the filling appointment. I was constantly in dread over the dentist.

Then my current dentist came into my life. My husband is a stickler for patronizing local business' and people who do business with our company . "They put food on our table, Sheri, so we should do the same to them". This particular dentist is a customer of ours and one day when Gary was working in there, he made an appointment for me. He must have told them how I freak out about the dentist because the hygenist called me a few days before my appointment. She said to me "I just wanted to give you a call to let you know that we are looking forward to seeing you. If you would like, the doctor would be happy to give you something to help you relax before coming in. We don't want this to be upsetting to you." "I think I"ll be ok" I said. She didn't know that I had made Gary promise to go with me. How pathetic is that? I needed my husband to hold my hand at the dentist but I figured if it gets me to that chair, he can concede to it.

It wasn't bad at all. She took me right in as soon as I walked in the door so I didn't have to sit in the waiting room getting worked up. As she was cleaning my teeth, she kept stopping to ask how I was doing. There wasn't any severe poking, scraping or stabbing with metal instruments. It was almost... enjoyable. When I left that first day, I felt on cloud nine. I had gone to the dentist! Me! Who would practically faint walking into a dentist! I had endured and enjoyed it! And I had NO CAVITIES! The only issue I had was a cracked filling that I had let go too long and had destroyed the tooth under it and was in need of a (big gulp$$$) root canal, but they told me when I was ready, they would do it.

Who would have believed that three years later.... I have since had that root canal and still have not had a cavity? I have had fillings replaced and am getting a crown on my root canal tooth. I truly don't' mind going to the dentist now and actually look forward to it. I n fact.... today I went and had my teeth cleaned. I laid back in the chair, with the special glasses on to cut the glare from the lights and almost fell asleep. I'm not kidding you. I thought I was here:


The only question I have now is..... why did my first dentist always find a cavity? ALWAYS. EVERY TIME. And this dentist doesn't? I don't brush my teeth any more or less than I did before. I don't floss any less or more than I did before. Was I getting ripped off? What do you think? Hannah had three fillings with him before we switched to this dentist and she hasn't had a cavity either. Hmmmmmmm........

14 comments:

FunkyB said...

I really hope that old dentist wasn't putting you OR Hannah through the wringer! How awful!!!

I have a horrid fear of the dentist, so I'm really encouraged by your story. Now... I wonder if I call up a dentist and start with "can you give me something first", will he agree, or have me arrested? LOL.

Julie said...

I've had similar experiences with the dentist also...My former dentist was a smoker and stunk like hell when I went in. Drank coffee and we all know what coffee breath is like. And EVERY SINGLE TIME I had to have any work done, he'd inject me with the novocaine and hit the nerve ending in the back of my jaw. Because of him I discontinued going to the dentist once I was taking care of my own bills. It wasn't until a few years later taht i had an abcessed tooth and went to my new dentisit...Dr. Andy is quite a hottie and that alone made the whole thing more enjoyable. The tooth that was abcessed got that way because the idiot dentist before hadn't drilled out the entire cavity and it got infected UNDER the filling. So, my first experience with the Hottie Dentist was an extraction. 14 shot of novocaine and white knuckles the whole way through it, I MADE IT! It hurt like hell but my new dentist made it not so bad. I still go to him and I still HATE the dentist but at least now there are no white knuckles.
Great post Sheri...gave me things to think about.

. said...

I guess I have been lucky in that I have never had a cavity. Not once...not a single solitary one. The irony is, growing up I never brushed my teeth. Only when mom made me. To this day, I STILL hate going to the dentist. The one I have right now is very nice but I just don't like it.

3outta5 said...

First of all, I share your dentaphobia!!

Secondly, there are two possiblities with regards to the old dentist and the no more cavities. Either the majority of the surface area of your teeth is now made of fillings, or he was lining his pocketbook with every patient.

Or you switched toothpaste or something. LOL

I hate the dentist. Just hate it. Finally thought I had found a good one, and wouldn't you know it, they completely screwed up some work they did in my mouth that bothers me every day, and I went back to have it fixed, and it is different, but just as bad, and now I've gone like almost 2 years since I've had a cleaning and I was doing so well and I just made a super de dooper run on sentence, and I didn't mean to make this all about meeeeee.

Melody said...

I think you may have been getting screwed lady...and NOT in the good way.

ccw said...

I had a dentist that found 8 cavities once and it was only 6 months after a previous dentist had found none. Naturally, I freaked and had them filled, but I have always wondered which dentist was an idiot b/c it seems impossible for half of my mouth to rot in 6 months.

Mr. S has perfect teeth with no cavities ever. He never flosses where as I floss and brush like crazy. Fortunately, I have not had a cavity for a decade or so, but I am now stuck with having the 8 fillings fixed as they get old.

Heather said...

Hmmm...can you say scheister? Hard to believe you always had them, then they suddenly stopped??

Glad it is now enjoyable, however!! :)

Stephany said...

I think your old dentist is probably one of the richer dentist in the world if he was doing that to all of the people he seen. What a JACKASS!!! Glad you got a good one this time! Hope the no cavitys keep up. Wish i could say i had no cavitys...lol. All i have to do is look at a chocolate bar and yep theres another cavity..ugh

Kerry said...

I learned just a couple of years ago that my dentist as a child was termed a "drill and fill" man. He'd drill out and fill any little old soft spot he could conjure up. I have a mouthful of silver now, but haven't had a new cavity since leaving that dentist 18 years ago. I too now have to deal with the old fillings aging. I will be a much better advocate for my own children.

LibrarianOnTheLoose said...

Yes, Sheri, definitely seems kind of fishy to me, although I don't know what kind of subjectivity there is in the criteria for determining whether or not to fill a cavity. You know, if there's competing philosophies or if the other guy was just a dick.

lime said...

wow, that's a really good question. i am so glad you found a dentist with a gentle demeanor and a staff that is likewise. you should seriously ask him what accounts for the difference. he sounds very trustworthy.

lime said...

wow, that's a really good question. i am so glad you found a dentist with a gentle demeanor and a staff that is likewise. you should seriously ask him what accounts for the difference. he sounds very trustworthy.

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