Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Dentist Appointments

Today I had my third dental appointment in the past month. I don't know how many of you enjoy going to the dentist but I dread it as I have ever since I can remember. One memory I have is as a child, hiding from my Mom behind boards and boxes in the garage because I did not want to go. Ultimately I was found but she had to call and say we would be late. I am fairly certain I was in big trouble for that one! Thank goodness my kids love to go to the dentist and I cannot believe that I pulled that kind of stuff in those days. Because of my dread/fear, unfortunately, I have not gone in years. Combine that with being pregnant and nursing almost constantly, thereby depleting calcium and causing hormonal changes and what not and you have a mouth of problems. So I had four cavities on the outside of my molars to be taken care of.

My first appointment four weeks ago was great! I was so numb that it didn't wear off for six hours! That was okay with me though as I felt absolutely nothing even as they worked on two teeth that could have possibly needed root canals (thankfully they didn't!) An added bonus for me was that they have special glasses you can wear and watch a movie through. That was a perfect distraction! Unfortunately, my mouth was so sore for over a week after that visit

I went again last week for the other side and after being numb found that I was still able to feel the drill. The dentist tried to numb it further but I still felt pain. He explained that once the brain knows where to look for pain he would not be able to do anything more to prevent it. I had never heard of this but he asked me to come back again where he would numb it differently. (My brother-in-law told me it was all psychological and I wondered if that could be true as I know how my mind works.)

So my third appointment was today. Thankfully I did not find out how they go about numbing it until after. That alone took 1/2 an hour before they could begin. I found out later that they put a small hole in my gum and put the anesthesia directly into my bone (something called an x-tip). So that worked great except for the fact that it wears off quickly and toward the end I began to feel pain again. I endured and literally sweat through that while gripping tightly to my volume control (from my movie that I couldn't get loud enough to cover the sound of the drill!) but I am sure it wasn't as bad as it could have been. My Mom likes to tell me how as a child she would go to the dentist and hold on tight to the chair as they did not have anything to take away the pain. Oh, thank you Lord for anesthesia! I am also thankful for my new dentist who was very caring and did his best to keep me comfortable at each visit. (At one visit they covered me with a heated blanket as it was so cold there, in addition to my nerves, that I couldn't keep warm).

Lesson learned -- I will now be scheduling regular check-ups to the dentist for myself and keep on top of my teeth. I have yet to figure out why it is that I almost have an easier time having a c-section than going to the dentist. That doesn't quite seem right.

1 comment:

anneliesekmcdowell said...

I have the same fear! I had trouble teeth growing up and went to my dentist regularally but almost always had cavaties. Add in a small mouth that required a lot of teeth needing to be pulled and you get an irrational fear of the dentist! I can't stand even the smell!

I love the place my kids go to - a pediatric dentist! She is so kind and gentle. Thankfully, my kids take great care of their teeth and we have had only good visits. This is due mainly to my husband requiring them to brush at least three times a day - it is usually more!

Anyway, I too procrastinated going and finally went after Peanut was born. I knew that I would be told to get my wisdom teeth removed and sure enough, I was told that if I didn't get them removed I could be in for a root canal! Needless to say, my husband insisted that I make the appointment with the Oral Surgeon. And, with much trepidation, I scheduled a day to get them removed. Thankfully, my husband wisely decided to have the Surgeon put me under completely. I don't remember anything! The healing wasn't too bad - healing from childbirth was worse at times! And, now it's over! Yippee! Anyway, I feel your pain!

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