Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Love/Hate Relationship with Dentists

I went to the dentist this past Friday afternoon for the first time in one or maybe two years. I was beyond excited for it and I’m not quite sure why because I don’t really like the dentist. However, since the dentist I had been going to in Virginia for years was a pediatric dentist {yes, you read that correctly} my dentist experience on Friday was a bit more extensive and different than what I’m used to.

Because I’m sure you’re wondering all about my dental history and why I don’t love my life as I lie there in the dentist’s chair, I’ll give you some background info:

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  1. When I was younger and my adult teeth started to come in, my mouth was far too small to fit them. Because of this, I had a palatal expander placed in the palette of my mouth that was used to widen my upper jaw. My parents had to wake me up in the wee hours of the morning to turn a “key” in this device in my mouth to make it expand more. I’m sure some of you may have had this too.
  2. In second grade, I had braces for the first time.
  3. In fifth grade, I had braces for the second time.
  4. After I got my braces off, I had to wear special retainers because… I was born without two adult teeth.
  5. Finally, my senior year in high school after lots of appointments with dentists, specialists, and oral surgeons I had my wisdom teeth removed while also getting two implants put into my lower jaw where the two adult teeth were missing.

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It was NOT pleasant. Sure, I had fun the first ten minutes after coming out of surgery and the first thing I said was, “LET’S DO THAT AGAIN!” Ohhhh, laughing gas. Looking back, I would NOT want to do that again. I had two horribly painful dry sockets from my wisdom teeth being removed and the pain of having two metal rods drilled into the bone of your jaw cannot be explained. I’ll leave it at that.

It wasn’t over, yet. The rods were in my jaw but I had to have two crowns made to fit on top of the rods to complete the process. After having impressions made, many appointments to have the crowns fit and re-fit and having tools dropped into my mouth {which has scarred me for life!!}, and having a crown pop out while chewing delicious Valentine’s Day chocolates, I had them permanently glued in and was finally set and they’re still holding up today! Here’s what a normal tooth looks like versus what I now have:

Implant

{via}

But, after all those years in and out of the dentist, orthodontist, oral surgeon, etc. I don’t like being in that chair. This time going into the dentist, I was scared to find out how many cavities I had. After two years of not going to the dentist, I had to have a couple, right? Wrong. All EIGHTEEN X-rays showed I was cavity-free and had healthy bone density! I was most worried about the area around the implants. Because of the implant, gum disease is much more likely to occur if the area is not properly cared for and can eventually result in bone loss. I take good care of my teeth and, while flossing under the crown is difficult for me, the dentist said I was doing a great job. He went in and cleaned under the crown for me with that lovely pick they use. And, let me tell you… it HURT like crazy. The gum there is SO tender and sore and it felt like having a needle repeatedly shoved into my gum. Painful, right? He was great, though, and explained everything he was doing and answered the many questions I had.

This place had a flat screen TV that hung down from the ceiling so you could watch a show while having your teeth cleaned! How could I NOT love this place? Oh, AND the fluoride I got was cheesecake flavored. Yes, cheesecake. It even tasted like the real deal :)

In the end, it was a great experience! I felt wonderful about the news of being cavity-free and having healthy dental implants! It looks like my dental future is only looking brighter, friends :)

12 comments:

Raquel said...

eeek that doesnt sound fun at all!

dana @ wonder forest said...

eek!! I also grew up with tons of tooth issues. I used to go to the dentist all the time and even throughout highschool mine was a pediatric dentist as well!! As I got older for some reason I became more and more terrified to go to the dentist... it's been years for me now too :S and i am 90% sure i have a cavity right now :S i need to muster up the strength to find a new dentist here and just go!!
xox dana
thewonderforest.com

K_stets said...

I understand the dislike for dentists. My aunt was my dentist growing up. Always hated going to her place.

I got my wisdom teeth removed, and that was a horrible experience because my pain killers were not mixing well with the anesthetics, so I got really sick and was without meds of a little bit. Then had to move into college two days after and eventually got dry socket. (I went back two years ago and my aunt told me I had a wisdom tooth growing back in, I didn't even know they could do that!)

But that implant! Ouch! Glad you finally had a good experience though. I'd gladly go if they had cheesecake flavored fluoride!

Katie said...

Cheesecake flavored fluoride? THAT IS AMAZING! I would love to watch TV while getting my teeth cleaned, that sounds fantastic- hopefully my dentist would talk to me less (with hands in my mouth) if there was a television to distract!

Brianna said...

I'm a dental hygienist so I know exactly what you're talking about! I'm glad you had a better experience this time though! Even though I'm in the profession, I hate being in the chair myself haha and getting my wisdom teeth out was, to this day, the worst experience of my life haha so glad that's over with!

katie.michelle said...

Awwww that sounds like so much pain to have to endure!!!! But it was all so worth it, because you have absolutely BEAUTIFUL teeth and a pretty smile now!!! Aren't you glad it's all behind you?!

ashley said...

oh gosh girl, you went through a lot for that pretty smile of yours :) i hate going to the dentist and my appt is coming up soon. ugh :/ great post!

Ashley said...

eeeeek this sounds painful! i'm not a big fan with dentists either. glad its over and done with and enjoyed delicious cheesecake yaaaay!!

Lindsay @ Delighted Momma said...

Oh NO!! I also have a love hate relationship! I feel ya girl! I have had every dental procedure you can imagine

the girl in the red shoes said...

I totally feel for you! I HATE the dentist too and dread going!

Lindsey said...

ohh yum, cheesecake flavored! I always just pick mint to be safe but maybe I should be more adventurous.

Eduardo Tomlin said...

The teeth is filled with gums, nerves, and sits on top of your bone, but your gums is sure to filled with nerves, which is why they get scared when they visit the doctor. I believe feeling the vibrations of the drill in your teeth is rather unnerving, especially when receiving root canals, where the tooth is drilled to remove the abscess that is causing the gums to hurt. If it isn’t removed, then your teeth could fall off which is a scary thing. That’s why you have to brush and floss everyday so you won’t have any kind of trouble.

Eduardo Tomlin