- Subscribe to RSS Feed
- Mark as New
- Mark as Read
- Printer Friendly Page
- Report Inappropriate Content
Okay. I've shared a LOT with you guys. But here's a new guilty secret revealed (and not a good one)--I have really, really bad teeth, through neglect....and because of fear.
Now at the risk of not “holding myself accountable” for the issue, I had an incredibly abusive dentist as a child. Seriously. Psychotically abusive. He used to slap my brother and me if we’d whimper in fear or pain, and when we’d make that “SCREECH!!” face when he’d spear a nerve with the Novocaine needle he’d yell “BULLSEYE!” And do not EVEN get me started on having my wisdom teeth extracted. Grisly. Let’s just say that if they were to make a movie of this guy’s dental “practice” it’d have equal parts of Little Shop Of Horrors and Marathon Man with liberal doses of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Mommy Dearest thrown in for good measure.
So fast-forward to today. I’ve been scrupulous about brushing my teeth all these years, but despite the *excellent* dental plan I have as a Southwest Airlines Employee, 30 years of phobia-induced dental neglect have taken their toll. I have 14 amalgam (silver) fillings that need to be replaced, need a “deep planing and cleaning” (read: lots of novocaine and then cram the dental probe as far down my dental roots as the hygienist can reach, then scrape like crazy), and extraction of my lower left third molar which has become infected. To add interest to the story, the tooth infection started on a Friday afternoon, so I got to sit through a whole weekend looking like I had the mumps on my left side in absolutely miserable pain.
So when I declared a “dental emergency” (yes, I actually used that phrase) to the new dentist Monday and went in for my consultation, she examined my teeth and her summary remark was “…oh, my…..” The suggested plan of dental treatment would take me through at least four lengthy appointments involving nearly two dozen separate procedures, which had me imagining entire salvos of Novocaine missles landing agonizingly in my gums as my alarm level neared Defcon Four. Then the dentist added, “or, we could do oral sedation, and get it all done in one day.”
You’ve probably heard radio ads for dentists crooning “take a pill before your appointment and sleep right through your dental procedure." Well, that’s what she was talking about. Although it’s not one little pill—its several little pills, and you still wind up getting the Novocaine shots and all that stuff….the COOL thing is that the pills are supposed to make you (1) sleep right through even lengthy treatments and (2) not remember ANY of it. Still, my Southwest Employee dental insurance, while superior in every measure, doesn’t cover the sedation.
But after thinking about it—condensing the series of four or more appointments into one and minimizing the time away from work, plus not having the procedures done while I’m as jumpy as a platoon of Paratroopers about to leap from an airplane, PLUS not feeling or remember anything of the procedures, made the additional out-of-pocket cost worth it. So guess what? Very soon--in less then two weeks, in fact--I’m having seven hours of dental work done while I “snooze” through the whole process (which makes me wonder--when will the staff have lunch?).
Now, let’s be honest. If I wasn’t going to take advantage of sedation dentistry and I was facing this array of procedures, I would either be already jumping through the ceiling or wouldn't have scheduled the procedures at all. My phobia is, seriously, that severe. But I’m currently feeling pretty relaxed about the upcoming process. I suppose it's a testament to the hope of better living….through chemistry.
So we’ll see. I’ll post something after the procedure, and we’ll see how it goes. Who knows….maybe this is the alternative to being miserable, hurting, giving into fear, or simply doing nothing and letting your teeth rot. We’ll see. Updates to follow!
Bill had his procedure on Thursday May 7, and all went well.
Vicki Zerbee http://AntiAgingByDesign.com http://twitter.com/VickiZerbee firstname.lastname@example.org 814.931.8041
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.