Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I am, without a doubt, a big girl's blouse. I fear many things, but the thing that is "fearing" me most at the minute - well the last year and a half anyway, is "the Dentist". My dentist had the nerve to retire. This left me in a dilemma of major proportions, who would take the time to drug me, keep me calm, what to do. I remained at the same surgery because they do gas, and a few other drugs, that allow the dentist to get on with their work without me "assisting" . This worked well as a system for many years, so I decided to try another dentist in this practice. This dentist was a newby and when I returned a couple of days later complaining of tooth pain on the wisdom tooth just filled(yes I still have all of mine), x rays were taken and it was decided I needed a root canal. Next dentist in the practice to have a go, was herein after referred to as Dr Kevorkian. I was suitably drugged up and gassed and ready to go. First needle, he says - do you gag? and without a reply something hits the back of my throat, even drugged I start to flail, "just some salt to help with the gag reflex" - he starts to drill, I yelp, another injection and the drill hits the tooth again, apparently I have now wasted enough of his time and am sat upright and told to wait in the waiting room for my beloved to come and get me. Mental note, find a new dentist. A referral is made for an endodentist - they don't do drugs. I am now panicking. Endodentist suggests jaw issue not root canal - I ask him about new dentist - he recommends one (4th dentist in three weeks) - he looks at me and recommends his associate (5th dentist) - there is talk of crowns - many crowns (obviously he has many children requiring private school tuition or has a world cruise booked). Crown one is completed - this is not without incident, but I try not to cry whilst I am in the surgery, only in the car on the way there and on the way back. A couple of months go by and I head back for crown two. I suggest perhaps we could look at drugs, he assures me that I did so well the first time around, that I will be fine - I double my deodorant strength, I sweat, I shake, I cry, and mostly I panic. Get to the temporary crown part, two days in I ring and ask about the fact that my face feels like it is on fire - guess what - you need a root canal - good gravy - my blood pressure is going through the roof. Back to the endodentist (different one this time - that makes dentist 6) and we are only in June. Still no drugs on offer - they have the audacity to ask me to be still whilst trying to inject me - not just one lot, but 4 lots of needles to numb my face and don't get me started on the "dam". I endured the two root canal treatments with a temporary crown. This became almost comedic as I would be back at the dentist every two weeks or so (I think they lost money on this one) having to get the stupid thing re glued. I lost it on a long weekend and had to go to see an emergency dentist to get it re stuck, (dentist 7), I lost it on holidays in July (kept in a safe place that time, until I got back home) apparently in Cairns the dentist didn't have 5 minutes for a re glue and wouldn't be able to fit me in for a week!! Of course, by the time the root canal and waiting time had passed the proper crown that had been cast month earlier - DIDN'T FIT - you know what this means don't you - another set of impressions - oh the indignity of it all. So fast forward to the start of this year and its time for teeth cleaning - that fabulous form of water boarding that you get to pay for, still showing fear, still being reassured I would be fine. I then loose a temporary filling on another tooth that was lined up for a crown. With shoulders slumped, I return once again to my arch nemesis. After discussing options with regards to making a start there and then, (his faithful assistant is in the background making noises about mixing the impression stuff) he can see the deranged look that is forming on my face (he had seen it before on tooth two) - we opt for another temporary filling - let's face it, I wasn't going to open my mouth if I saw the impression plate coming at me - by the end of this session - the dentist admits defeat. He says - "you know - I hate to see you so distressed" -I interrupt with - "not as much as I am hating to see ME so distressed -"so I think I should give you a Valium for your next visit". A Valium(READ ONE) - is he kidding - I could drive on A VALIUM - I make an appointment for some time in the future or when the next temporary filling falls out and hit the Internet. And there I found it, the holy grail of dentistry - sleep dentistry - I make an appointment - he is a nice quietly spoken chap and his faithful assistant looks into my eyes and I feel calm - yes - you can get that done whilst you are asleep, no you won't know anything about it. I leave the surgery feeling like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders - appointments are made. Fast forward to last week the visit went off without a hitch - one minute I was talking to the anesthetist and the next I was awake and in an armchair drinking apple juice and taking my coffee with a syringe with my beloved leaning over to wipe up the overspill. SO calm, so easy - I still have to deal with the actual crown fitting, but if you have terror at the thought of the dentist this is the way to go. Whilst all of these dentists (with the exception of Dr Kevorkian) were all very calm and patient and even though my appointments that should have gone for a hour, went for longer because I kept stopping them and generally interfering - they didn't get the "fear" and were convinced that in some superior being fashion they could fix it when in reality I was under so much stress and it was only making it worse. So for those of you who feel the fear, you are not alone, there quite probably is no rational reason for the fear, but this may be a way to resolve it for you. True, you are not actually fighting it (cause your asleep) but as long as you have somebody to drive you home, who cares??