A Needling Suspicion They Did That On Purpose

, , | Healthy | December 13, 2017

(The dentist’s assistant has treated me like a child the whole time because I said I have a needle phobia. Important note: I am in therapy for this, and the coping mechanism I learned was to steel myself for it, to watch it. I know most nurses think that it’s better not to watch, but I got the phobia from a bunch of medical students practicing on me at age 10, and not letting me say no or have any control over the situation at all. They practiced until my parents came in and threatened them. Since then, I have needed to prepare and watch.)

Assistant: “So we’re going to give you some numbing, okay, sweetie?”

Me: “Okay. Just tell me when you’re using the needle. I need to know.”

Assistant: “Of course, honey. Now I’m just going to make sure your teeth are squeaky clean for the procedure.”

(She starts using different tools, and I let my mind wander… until I feel a needle pierce my gums. I jump.)

Me: *mumbling because of her hand* “Hey! I told you to tell me!”

Assistant: “Tell you what, sweetie?”

Me: “When you used the needle!”

Assistant: “There’s no needle, silly!”

(I push my tongue against the side. I can also feel it on my lips. This is freaking me out worse than if she had told me.)

Me: “Uh-huh!”

Assistant: “Stop being ridiculous!” *finishes the injection, pulls out the needle* “There. That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

(I started having flashbacks so I couldn’t even respond. I got up and ran into the bathroom, barricading the door. The dental assistant acted confused and surprised and asked me what’s wrong. I didn’t answer her. The dentist ended up rescheduling my appointment, but brushed it off when I told him what she did. I didn’t let her touch me again.)

Mouth Wide Shut

, , , | Healthy | December 11, 2017

(For some reason, all of my baby teeth didn’t come out on their own, so at 13 I had to have all four of my canines removed. The dentist removes the ones on the left side without issue and I go back a few weeks later to have the ones on the right removed. The bottom one comes out easily enough but when the dentist tries to pull out the top one, he winds up roughly yanking my head forward.)

Me: *yelps but keeps mouth open* “Ow! That hurt!”

Dentist: *grasps my tooth again and tries to wiggle it* “Hmm, looks like it’s still got the root. That’s weird.”

Me: “Does it need cutting out?”

Dentist: “Nah, it just means you have to open your mouth wider.”

Me: *frowning* “It doesn’t get wider than that.”

Dentist: “Sure, you can.”

(He then proceeds to put one hand in my mouth and tries to force my mouth open wider than is physically possible. My jaw makes a loud, clicking sort of pop as he does and I shout in pain then, without thinking, I bite down on his hand. HARD. He screams and he and his assistant pry my mouth open. I’m given another shot of Novocaine and he finally RIPS my tooth out. He gives me the tooth as a souvenir and his assistant packs the holes in my mouth then sends me on my way. I can’t get out to my mom out fast enough and refuse to let her schedule a follow-up or the cleaning I’m due.)

Mom: *as we’re getting in the car* “What was that screaming? Was that you?”

Me: “Nope, I bit the dentist. And I bit him good, too.”

Mom: *shocked* “Oh, my god, [My Name]! Why?!”

(I relate what happened and she stares at me with her mouth hanging open.)

Mom: *muttering as we drive off* “We are NOT coming back here. Ever. And I’m telling everyone I know to never come here.”

(About a year later the dentist closed his practice.)

X-Dentist

, , | Healthy | December 8, 2017

(After looking for a good long while, I finally find a dentist that takes my insurance. I’ve only been to a dentist twice in my life — I grew up very poor — but I’ve been having bad pain in my jaw. An older gentleman, the dentist, ushers me behind a curtain and sits me on the dentist chair.)

Dentist: “So, how long since your last dental appointment?”

Me: “About six years ago I went to a free dental clinic. Before that, I think I was in second grade. That’s it.”

Dentist: *flatly* “Ah. So you probably have bad teeth. Open up; let me see the damage. Do you even brush your teeth?”

(My wife and I make significant eye contact around the curtain. The dentist puts on gloves and pokes my teeth a couple of times with a finger.)

Dentist: “Huh. You’ve actually got great teeth. Did you grow up in a third world country?”

Me: “I grew up in Tennessee.”

Dentist: “Oh, so THAT’S why. Southern people don’t take care of their teeth. Well, your teeth look really good actually, except for that overlap in the front.” *he pokes my top front teeth, one of which overlaps the slightest bit onto the other* “That’s unfortunate because without it you’d have perfect teeth. I’m not sure why you came in today. You don’t have any cavities.”

Me: “…what about that jaw pain?”

Dentist: “Right, that. Well, I guess I could take X-rays if you want. I’m not sure why you’d want them. You’re just grinding your teeth.”

Me: “I’ve never had dental X-rays done, though. Shouldn’t we get an X-ray to check?”

Dentist: *massive sigh* “Fine, fine, we’ll do them. I think you just want to waste some time.”

(Lo and behold, the X-rays showed my bottom wisdom teeth needed to come out ASAP. They grew sideways and are pushing the roots of the teeth next to them, shifting the teeth and causing my pain. The dentist was surprised, and then tried to sell me a $100 mouth guard that would stop the pain, because he thought I’m grinding my teeth and that my wisdom teeth had nothing to do with it. We did not take him up on the offer and are looking for a new dentist.)

Got More Than A Chip On Your Shoulder

, , | Healthy | November 29, 2017

(I go to my routine semi-annual dental check-up, and tell my dentist that I think I have chipped a molar, as there is a rough patch on my tooth that keeps catching my tongue, causing it to blister and bleed on a regular basis.)

Dentist: “Oh, yes, there is a small chip.”

Me: “Can we get it fixed?”

Dentist: “Insurance won’t cover the procedure as it’s ‘cosmetic.’”

Me: “It’s literally causing my tongue to bleed. This chip is painful, and it’s actually causing injury to me. I think it’s more than cosmetic.”

Dentist: “Oh, you’ll be fine. Just don’t play with it.”

(This went on for months. I kept asking him to fix the chip, and he kept refusing. I also got opinions from other dentists that said the chip needed to be filled, but my dentist still refused. Ultimately I switched to a new dentist due to a change in insurance; the new dentist took one look at the chip and had me scheduled for an appointment to get it filled a few days later.)

New Dentist: “Yeah, let’s get this taken care of; you shouldn’t have to suffer with this chip causing you pain and open sores. Plus, it’s deep enough that your dentin is exposed. If we leave this open any longer, your whole tooth would be in danger of forming an abscess, which would need a root canal to fix.”

Me: *in shocked disbelief* “My tooth could have rotted away from the inside out because my old dentist couldn’t be bothered to give me a filling the size of a pin-head?!”

New Dentist: “Yep.”

Extra Nerve-ous

, | Healthy | November 27, 2017

(I’m deadly afraid of dentists, but one day I finally get the courage to go see one for a routine check up. They tell me I need to get my wisdom teeth removed and we set up an appointment.)

Me: “Please be patient.”

Dentist: “This will not hurt at all in a few minutes, after the anaesthetic kicks off.”

(He gives me three injections. A few minutes later he pokes me with an instrument.)

Me: “Aaaah!”

Dentist: “Okay, more anaesthetic.”

(He gives me another injection, waits a few more minutes, then pokes me with an instrument.)

Me: “OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!”

Dentist: “Don’t lie; it doesn’t hurt.”

Me: “Please, I swear it does.”

Dentist: “I can’t give you any more anaesthetic. Go home and come back next week. Take a valium.”

(One week and one valium later:)

Dentist: “I gave you all the anaesthetic I can. Stop crying for nothing.”

(In extreme pain, I manage to get to the opening of the area around the tooth, then he begins pulling.)

Me: “No more! Please stop!”

Dentist: “Just a bit more. Let me pull some more. It doesn’t hurt.”

Me: *refusing to open my mouth any more* “No.”

(The dentist even called my mom, and she screamed at me to stop being a wuss. Still, I refused to get anything else and he was forced to close the gap and let me go. He was kind enough to recommend another dentist with access to morphine. Thankfully the new dentist thought that my problem was probably that I had an extra nerve around that area. He gave me a normal anaesthetic where he thought it was and took out the tooth without so much as a peep from me. The lesson is: trust yourself.)

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