Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dentists Are the Devil.


Okay, so the title of this may or may not be 100% true for all dentists. But for me, in my heart of hearts, this is the truth! You see, I have a phobia of the dentist. Not a "I'd rather not go" or a "The dentist really sucks" kinda fear. No. It's more like a screaming, cussing, biting, heart palpitating, God honest fear. I have actually been clinically diagnosed with dentophobia. Yeah. It's real.

As with most good stories, it all began when I was a little girl. My mom happened upon a shit dentist. I had an abscessed molar that had to be pulled. This evil devil of a man gave me, a sweet unassuming angel of a child, ONE- count it ONE- shot of Novocain and yanked that sucker out of my head! I naturally cried. That shit hurt! And this douche nozzle dentist told me to shut up or he'd send me home like that. And let the phobia begin!

Let me please clarify that my mama didn't just let him yank teeth out of our heads like that. She went in and gave him what for. She also did her best to ensure that we had better dental experiences moving forward. I remember having to have a crown put in after that and the dentist could clearly see how upset I was. They asked what smell I liked- strawberry or orange. To which I said neither because it was clearly some evil trick. I soon found out, that it was no trick. It was goo goo gas goodness! I remember getting giggly while Wham's "Wake me up before you go-go" echoed in the back ground. My mom even found us a fun dentist who had a Frogger table video game in his waiting room and would come out and play Frogger with us. So, they weren't all bad. Just the one. But isn't one all it takes?

As I got older, my phobia only increased despite my mother's best efforts. Once I became an adult, I certainly wasn't subjecting myself to the cruelty of these people unless I needed to! It was so bad that my oldest son didn’t go to the dentist for the first time until he was...well, let's just say "older". He did fine. He's a dental trooper! Me? I’m a spastic nervous wreck who can't even take my kid to the dentist without a panic attack. So my husband mans all child dental appointments.

My point here is that my fear is bad. Real bad. I cry on the phone when making appointments. I only go in when something falls out. I carry a small dental arsenal with me everywhere (dental pics, Whisps, etc.) in an attempt to keep my teeth is tip top shape so I can minimize dental visits. And when I go in I cry, cuss (involuntarily), and I bite. Yes. I have bit dentists.

But a few years ago I discovered something beautiful. I happened upon a dentist who gets it. I went in for my first visit. They always require that you come in and show a "valid" fear before prescribing laughing gas and/or valium for a visit. Like crying on the phone isn't enough. Anyway, I'm sitting in the chair shaking and crying. There are dental techs and hygienists gathered around staring like something from their text books just walked in the door. The dentist finally came in, looked at me, tilted his head and turned back around and left the room. When he came back in he held 2 little blue pills. No words. Just understanding that this was going to take more than laughing gas and Frogger. This dentist wasn't all butt hurt because I didn't like him or his field. He just got it. So this is where I've gone ever since.

The people at this dental office all get it. They are kind on the phone. They take excellent care of me. And most importantly- they knock me the F out! I haven't even SEEN my dentist in years. See, my dentist is a sedation dentist. I take 3 sleeping pills (sedative hypnotics) an hour before the visit and another once I get there. Though I never remember taking the 4th. These little blue magic bullets allow me to get there and home with the help of my hubby and I don't have to recall anything about my visit. This is how it should always be done. It's a shame that not all insurances acknowledge this as vital therapy. I have paid thousands out of pocket to go to this dentist because insurance companies won't cover it or only cover a small portion because it's "unnecessary treatment". That's why I had to get clinically diagnosed. It's a shame.

All I know is that I have a real phobia. I am comfortable with it and I have found a solution. I know some people don't get it. Phobias are unique to that person. I personally LOVE snakes! I love holding them, kissing them, I love how they look and feel. But there are people out there who have genuine fears of them. Therefore I wouldn't force them to hold a snake. I wouldn't ever tell them to get over it and let it go. But when it comes to a fear of the dentist people write it off like you should just get over it. I won't. I just don't plan to. I have found a solution. It may cost me lots. But this is what it is. You can't change this in me.

Dentists are the devil. I'm good with that.

6 comments:

  1. Growing up, my dentist put a sealant on my molars once they were fully in. The problem was that he didn't install it properly, and there was a tiny break in the sealant that itsy-bitsy pieces of food would get stuck in. Brushing/flossing...it didn't matter, the tooth became a trouble tooth.

    A few months before my wedding, I experienced pain like I've never known in the tooth - turned out that the filling up & cracked on me. I told my dentist to just yank the tooth, but he wanted to save it . . . during the appointment where they molded the crown, a periodontist joined us to do gum retraction surgery in addition to a root canal. Two balding dentists staring down at you during these two procedures, combined with the taste of crown molding . . . yeah, that day sucked.

    However, I actually like going to the dentist. It's the only place where I can really "turn myself off." I mean, you can't be doing anything else when you're in the chair. I've been known to fall asleep during a cleaning, the last time I woke up with a wedge in my mouth, keeping it open. The hygienist thought I looked too comfortable to wake.

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  2. I totally get your phobia. When I was a kid we didn't have the worst dentist but the worst assistmants! They would make our gums bleed with that thing they jam in for x-rays. We would cry like babies, my sisters and I. They just told us to suck it up! I pretty much stayed away until I had to and now I don't mind so much.

    My husband on the other hand had many bad experiences when he was a kid so he has always tried to avoid at as long as he can. I finally told him to get some balls and just tell them what a wimp he is so they can coddle him.

    You can't turn off your fear, so tell them to f off!

    Megan

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  3. I have to go to the Dentist on Monday. Uggg.

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  4. Phobias are real. My husband is a big strong manly man- but you're right about the snakes. He will actually cry if someone tries to force him to hold one.
    You go with your sleepy drugs, girl! Whatever keeps you smiling.

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  5. Can't blame you if you don't like dentists, Dear. But someone must take good care of your teeth; we simply can't do it alone. Dental health is very important, and it's the dentist's job to assure you that you will have brilliant smiles for ages.

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  6. There are now techniques and tools to make your dental experience really convenient.

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