For me to say this, is a HUGE thing. I loathe going to the dentist. I know this is not unusual, I know a lot of people get sweaty and anxious about having someone poke around in their mouth, the possibility of pain, the general feeling of powerlessness as someone rams a suction tub into your oral cavity and chips at your teeth with a sharp instrument, whilst humming cheerfully, or even worse asks you “so, got any plans for the holidays?” knowing all the while that you can’t actually answer without inhaling whatever it is they are chipping off your teeth (gruesome) or choking on the annoying suction thing. Also, the cost of dental treatment makes some people anxious and sweaty, that alone can be off-putting. My previous dentist drove a large, silver Mercedes, and I know why, having paid a small fortune to her practice….
We hadn’t been very happy with our previous practice for some time, we’ve felt that they were over charging and trying to carry out work on myself and LSH that wasn’t needed, and also when we compared their costs to other local dentists, we realised they were charging quite a lot more. I did have a good relationship with the dentist there that I saw, and she was incredibly tolerant of my very freaky issue. I have a very sensitive oral pharyngeal reflex. In other words, I gag, a lot. I can’t tolerate anything in my mouth, and dentists trips usually require a dosage of valium for me to be able to cope and allow the necessary poking and prodding to happen.
After we spent money (and we also have dental insurance, which I’m very thankful comes from LSH’s work, but it doesn’t cover all the costs) on a dental treatment which, we subsequently discovered when he sought a second opinion that was totally unnecessary, and my dentist was pressuring me to have a filling removed and a crown placed on a back tooth (a two-part procedure that would have meant two lots of medication for me, and would have been very costly and painful) we decided to look for a new dentist. My one issue with finding a new dental practice was the need for a place that would be patient and understanding of my oral phobia, and would take me on know that I wasn’t the easiest patient to deal with in that respect.
A local practice was recommended, by several friends. LSH went to check it out, was seen, came back pronouncing his satisfaction, so I rang them and explained my freaky oral issues and asked them if they would take me on (they happily accepted the children – a bonus. I may not like dental visits, but I am fairly scrupulous about dental visits for my children, both have been going since they were a year old) and was told “oh, you’ll be no problem, I’m sure we can help you, Dr B is very sympathetic I’m sure he’ll cope with you! “. This sounded positive. I had to wait a month for my first appointment. This dental practice is so popular, that they are usually fully booked out, which is a good sign. So this week, off I trotted, feeling very nervous. I had a very bad cold, and chest infection, so I wasn’t feeling at my best, and anticipating a new dentist poking in my mouth didn’t help.
Well, I can cheerfully say, that I think I LOVE this new dentist. He was so kind. He immediately accepted when I told him that under no circumstances can I tolerate the oral x-ray plates, and did a traditional x-ray. He was gentle, thorough, and wasn’t phased by my needing to take the examination slowly. He immediately confirmed my suspicions that I didn’t actually need a lot of dental work, a crown wasn’t required, and that actually, unless the tooth in question was causing me pain, that it could be left alone! Yay, music to this dental phobic gagging woman’s ears! He also diagnosed me with a sinus infection (a side effect of my bout of flu) and prescribed me medication for it.
I am delighted. I get myself in such a pickle over going to the dentist, that to find someone who is sympathetic, is able to do all of my treatment on the spot (getting x-rays involved a trip to the local hospital for me) and who was honest about what work I needed doing, and clearly isn’t just in the job to make money, is a huge thing for me! I have to go back in 3 weeks for a dental hygiene appointment, I may even attempt this without the aid of my usual dose of trusty valium to get through it!
So, there you have it folks, my Saturday confession, I think we may be at the start of a long and beautiful dental relationship….
(If you live locally to me, and want to know details of the dentists in question, please e-mail me! )