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I Dread the Dentist

Dentists have a very tough job.  I mean, they have to look into people’s dirty mouths and clean their plaque laden teeth.   They have to floss and get all the junk that’s hiding in a person’s mouth.  And they help to ensure that teeth are perfectly aligned and healthy.  I personally would not like that job.

But I also do not like going to the dentist.  Don’t get me wrong.  I appreciate all that a dentist does, but I’ve just had too many horrible dental experiences.  So, I avoid the dentist at all costs.  I try to keep my mouth healthy to limit the number of visits that I make to a dentist’s office.

The last horrific experience I had still haunts me.  My mother referred me to one dentist.  I went in for a regular routine cleaning.  The teeth cleansing, removal of plaque and scraping of tartar.  The procedure seemed to go as expected.  Of course, there was some pricking and bleeding.  There seems to always be that.  And I left feeling pretty pleased with the visit.

But a few months later, I realized that the dental cleaning had caused an infection in one of my teeth.   Needless to say, I returned to the dental office to inform them of the issue.  I was told that the dentist was no longer practicing and there wasn’t much done to help me with my situation.

So my mother referred me to another dentist (scared to take any more referrals from mom).  He explained that I would need the dreaded root canal for the infected tooth.  I didn’t know much about what a root canal was, or what the procedure entailed.  But I had only heard bad things about root canals.  I was very hesitant to have the procedure and asked about alternatives.  

The dentist stated that I could have the tooth removed, but he didn’t recommend that because it could realign my teeth.  The tooth was in the very back of my mouth and I didn’t see how removing it would be such an issue.  Plus, it would be much cheaper to remove the tooth than have the root canal.  Hundreds of dollars cheaper!  But the dentist convinced me that the root canal would fix all the problems I was having.

So the day finally came for me to have the root canal.  There I was sitting in the chair with my mouth forced wide open.  The sound of the drills made me feel like I was in a “Saw” movie.  The dentist couldn’t get all the roots removed so I had to return another day.  The next visit things were insane.  The dentist started to try and remove the rest of the roots, but the crazy thing was I could feel pain.  I knew that I had already been given a shot to numb things, so I thought it was strange that I was still feeling pain. 

source:  Microsoft clip art

When the pain continued, I expressed to the dentist that I was hurting.  He said that wasn’t possible because he had numbed me.  The pain became excruciating and I began to cry and plead with him to stop.  But he wouldn’t.  After he got irritated with my crying, he did finally stop.  He left the room and one of the assistants asked if I was okay and if I could really feel the pain.  I expressed to her that I would not be sitting there crying like a baby when I’m a grown woman if the pain wasn’t so unbearable.

Because the dentist couldn’t deal with me anymore (really?!!), he sent me to a oral surgeon to complete the root canal.  When I arrived at the surgeon’s office, my eyes were completely red from crying.  He placed me in a room with a warm blanket, turned the lights out and gave me a few minutes to calm myself.

When the surgeon examined my mouth, he realized that my tooth had an abscess.  He stated that the other dentist should have known that I would never go numb with the abscess, and that he shouldn’t have tried to go through with the root canal.  I expressed to the surgeon how I had initially wanted to remove the tooth, but the other dentist was against it.  The surgeon said that removing the tooth was now going to be the best option.

So, he began my injecting medicine into my gums.  He explained that I wouldn’t go numb completely, and that he would continue to inject it when the pain was too much.  He continued this process, injecting meds and  pulling the tooth, until the tooth was completely removed.  I was very grateful for the work that the oral surgeon did.  But I couldn’t help thinking that I would have never endured all that pain if the other dentist had just removed the tooth like I asked in the first place.   

My mother has since referred me to another dental office.   You can guess that I’m very reluctant to go.  The next dentist I visit must have stellar patient reviews and recommendations.  I do not want another dental nightmare.  But for all those great dentists out there, Happy National Dentist Day!  Thank you for keeping our mouths healthy!

What is your worst dental nightmare story?