We were talking at work lately about dentists, and I recommended the practice I go to for a coworker. She asked why I like them so much, and I told her why I hated dentists for many years.
When I was young, like most of my generation, I had cavities. And my dentist filled them. With no anesthesia. My dentist didn’t believe in it, I guess, and that left me terrified when I had to have my wisdom teeth out. Luckily, that dentist did believe in anesthesia.
But still, six fillings done without it? I cringe thinking about the pain as the dentist drilled near the root.
So now I’m older and I have reached the stage where fillings need to be replaced.
The first time one fell out, and my tooth ached, I called the doctor’s office. He was rude, because it was on a weekend. (Why give out your number if you don’t want to be called?) Anyway, since this joker was also the one who x-rayed my sinus cavity and told me it was a tumor, I sought another dentist.
The second dentist, recommended by a friend, used the excuse that I was pregnant as a reason not to use anesthesia. I spent the entire time tense and came out feeling like I was going to faint. That dentist used white fillings instead of the traditional silver and that replacement soon came about a year later.
When the filling came out again, I asked a friend at work for a recommendation. I’m still at that practice, 16 years later.
Why? Because they listened to me.
When I went in for the filling replacement I got really tense. The doctor noticed and asked why. When I told her, she decided she would tell me everything she was doing – including the anesthesia. She took the time to make sure I was completely numb, and then talked me through the whole process. It wasn’t pleasant, but at least it didn’t hurt.
The next time I had to have one replaced, I didn’t have to explain. It’s in my chart that I was traumatized, and the next dentist that worked on me also talked me through it.
So now I don’t mind going to the dentist. It’s not my favorite place to be, but at least I’m not scared. All because someone took the time to listen.
Photo by stan