Tuesday, December 02, 2008

You Don't Like The Dentist??

Holy Glory...
I decided to let the Mr. book me in at the dentists this morning. I thought, ok, we'll just let them do that one quick filling and it will all be over and done with. Pfft. Yeah, right, amber, and what world are you in?!
We arrived at said Dentist office (a 35 minute drive away in another town) and the Mr. had his appointment first which was just a check-up and a cleaning. He got in no problem...I knew I was in trouble when I had to explain to them that all I wanted done was the filling and not a cleaning. Yikes. Do you know how difficult it is for a Canadian to get Insurance coverage here in the states? Suffice to say that I don't have any, so I'm very conscious of everything I do medically because it costs an arm and a leg. ANYhow.
They got me back there early, and took an X-ray, then numbed me up (HORRIBLE, the silly needle gave me a shock that I felt in my tongue and actually hurt) before asking me the filler questions. What kind of filling would you like (silver or composite)? Do you want this or that? Are you allergic to penicillin? Yadah Yadah.
Did you know the silver fillings are a whole 45 dollars cheaper than composite here in Ohio?? Can you guess which one I went with?
Anyhow, the Dr. comes in (a lady by the way...I can honestly say that I've never had a female dentist do my work for me) and proceeds to scold me while prepping me for the work. "The decay from the cavity has gone far enough down that it's very close to the root. Now, if I get in there and it's touching I'm either going to start a Root Canal, or just pull the tooth, do you understand??", and because I had previously been in there earlier for the problem, in April, she said: "Things grow over time, they don't just stay the same!"
Wow...yeah, what a stressful way to begin my work. The minute she said Root Canal I could feel my whole body tense, even after I had been silently concentrating on making it relax so I didn't look as nervous as I felt.
I have to mention that the assistant must have been new to the office, as she knew where very few things were kept. Every time the Dr. asked for something, she had to ask another assistant in a neighboring cubicle where she could find it. Very time consuming.
Yeah, the work got started, and I was glasses-less. I hate not being able to see when I'm nervous...and I kept getting bits of bone splashing up on my face. Yuck. As she finished the drilling, she sets the thing down and says It's right next to the root...and you can hear the "I'm worried" tone in her voice as she instructed her assistant to get this and that, and then says "I'm going to try and protect your tooth, we'll know in about 3 weeks if it worked." Yay.
By this time I'm breathing deeply at every few intervals to calm my heart because it's now racing and all I want to do is climb out of the chair and make a run for it.
Did I mention their headrests weren't adjustable? Yeah, so my head was right on a big seam at the base of the silly thing while she's pushing it farther into. Is it a good idea to flinch or adjust when someone's holding a drill to your tooth? I didn't think so, so I just sucked it up and dealt with it.
So, she slips on the sleeve (you know, that round piece of silver that they slip around your tooth and then tighten up so it completely surrounds it??) and requests the silver stuff for filling. During this time, I happened to glance over at the Dr. and notice that I can see a reflection of my tooth in her work glasses (the big protective kind) and I discover I can actually see the nerve in the root of my tooth. Horrifically I couldn't stop glancing at it, now that I've discovered it, all bloody and foamy. The assistant had to mix up a batch 4 times before they were finished filling the damned thing. During this time, she flexed the little suction thingy (you know, the spit sucker) and hooks it on the edge of my mouth and turns away, leaving it unmonitored cause the Dr. was frozen, waiting for whatever it was she needed. I have three mini-hickies on the base of my tounge now, because at least 4 times the stupid thing got painfully stuck to the bottom of my mouth, and each time it stayed there for at least a minute or two before anyone thought to pull the stupid thing off. A hickie means it broke blood vessels. Does that sound safe, or comfortable??
Anyhow, after they get it filled, the Dr. begins smunching the silver stuff down into the empty space, and during the time, she begins taking turns pinching my lip between my teeth, and either her hand, or her metal instrument. That really hurt. I had to really try and keep my lips flexed and out of the way once I had an window of opportunity to move them.
During this entire time, the assistant and Dr. are having a conversation with the other assistants about their dental experiences (biting themselves while numb), their admitted mistakes while on the job (did I give you this needle instead of that needle, ooops), and their job experiences (you know, the freak accidents, or the like). NOT a conversation regular patient ears should be hearing. Each story got worse, and each one made me want to run away faster. Dear god, I'm in the chair of the couldn't get any worse.
Just when I thought I was surely going to die because I was so anxious...the Dr. said she was finished.
I was shaky getting out the chair...and I stayed that way for a good hour after I got outta there. I really, very badly wanted to cry, but as I was in a public place, I held it off...I'll probably be a sobbing fool later this evening before I go to sleep, cause that's when I think about the days happenings.
I got a prescription for Amoxicillan and T3's. Apparently the Dr. covered my root/nerve with a medicinal agent before sealing it with composite, then she filled it with the silver stuff. She's hoping the medicine & Amoxicillan will kill the rest of the decay before I get an infection, but if it's still sensitive after 3 weeks, then I know it's failed, and I'll need to go back to have something horrendous that I don't even care to consider done to my mouth. As it is, I have another appointment in January for another filling that needs to be done on the upper right above the one I just had done today. Joy...what a way to bring in the new year.
I used to wonder why people didn't like going to the dentist. Now I know why.

4 thoughtful remarks:

Nietha said...

I had a dentist appt when I lived in Guildford that made me cry afterward... not cool.

I think you should try to get a new dentist, as with all things, some are better than others/work better with you.

Hope your tooth stays okay!

Anonymous said...

ick, dentists. yes there are some better than others, I like the ones that say raise your hand if you need something/or if it hurts. At least you know they are considering your feelings.
I actually made them stop once to give me a breather.
It's not nice when they scares ya like that.

Bethany said...

I came by to thank you for stopping by and got stopped reading your dentist story!! I *HATE* going to the dentist, so I can definitely sympathize. I hope your filling works. For one of my teeth, they gave me 2 options-- root canal or tooth removal. I chose the removal, since it was less $$ and I'd already had a few teeth removed. Anyway...thanks for stopping by, and I'll be back!

Anonymous said...

We'll DEFINITELY find another dentist for you Amber...perhaps one that uses 'twilight sleep.'