A Needling Suspicion Of What Happened

, , , | Healthy | December 4, 2018

(Thanks to starting a new job, I am finally able to afford to go to a dentist for the first time in five years. After the x-rays, it is determined that I have a cavity in between two molars, so I’ll need to be numbed. My last dentist, who was a pediatric dentist, had a habit of practically stabbing the needle into my gums, so when the hygienist towards me with the syringe, I instinctively grip the chair’s armrests.)

Dentist: “Are you okay?”

Me: “Just fine; I just don’t have good experiences with dentists and needles. But I can deal with it.”

(The dentist and hygienist exchange a concerned look and administer the shot. Instead of a jab, I barely feel a pinch. While we wait for it to take effect, we just make small chat.)

Dentist: “[My Name], you said your last dentist was a pediatric dentist, correct?”

Me: “Yeah, I think I was 15 or 16 when I last saw them. I had to get sealants on my back molars.”

Dentist: “Did they numb you?”

Me: “Yeah, only on one side, though. When they numbed me on the left, I swore the needle nearly hit bone, so I begged them not to numb the other side.”

Dentist: “And they listened?”

Me: “Yup, it hurt less than the needle.”

Dentist: *pause* “Was your dentist, by chance, the one whose practice is at [Location Downtown]?”

Me: “Yes?”

Dentist: “Dear God, no wonder we got so many of his patients when we opened.”

Unfiltered Story #123627

, , | Unfiltered | October 16, 2018

I run a mobile dental hygiene business, where I visit several nursing homes and provide dental hygiene services to patients who are residents of Nursing Homes.

Me:  (calling the client’s husband)  Hello sir, it’s the dental hygienist calling, just wanted to let you know that your wife is due to have her teeth cleaned again.
Husband: Um, ok, but I don’t want that same red headed bitch that was here last time.
Me: Oh, well then, I’m very sorry to tell you that I AM that redheaded bitch.  Have a nice time taking your wife to the dental office.

Name, Time, And Place

, , , , , , | Healthy | October 2, 2018

(I’ve chipped a tooth. My regular dentist puts a filling in, but recommends a crown as a more stable, long-term repair. Since I already have a rather large cavity and filling in that tooth, they also refer me to an endodontist to see if I’ll need a root canal first. I call their office to set up a consult.)

Receptionist: “Good morning. Thank you for calling [Office].”

Me: “Good morning. I’ve been referred to you by [My Dentist]. I need a consultation to see if a root canal is necessary.”

Receptionist: “Okay, are you a patient of ours?”

Me: “No, I’d be a new patient.”

Receptionist: “Can I have your name?”

(I give my first and last name. My last name is somewhat unusual, and has a lot of letters that sound like other letters, so I always go the extra mile and spell it out using the phonetic alphabet.)

Receptionist: “I’m sorry, can you repeat that?”

Me: *spells it again, still phonetically*

Receptionist: *spells it back, inverting the last two letters*

Me: “No, no.” *spells it out again*

Receptionist: “Oh, okay, no R.” *spells it back incorrectly*

Me: “No, there is an R.” *spells it AGAIN* “It’s like [word], but with an A at the end.”

Receptionist: *finally gets it right* “I’m not finding you in our system.”

Me: “Right, no, I’m a new patient; I’ve just been referred for a consultation.”

Receptionist: “Oh, I’m sorry, okay. I’ll need more information from you, then.”

(We very slowly and carefully go through the rest of my details.)

Receptionist: “And what do you need done?”

Me: “Just a consultation right now. I’m getting a crown, but my dentist would like to see if I should get a root canal first.”

Receptionist: “You need a root canal?”

Me: “No! Just a consultation.”

Receptionist: “Okay, a consultation. When would you like to come in?”

Me: “Anytime Monday is good.”

Receptionist: “We have 3:30 on Monday?”

Me: “Yes, that would be fine.”

Receptionist: “Okay, there’s also 1:50?”

Me: “Um, either one, I guess? 3:30 or 1:50, whichever is more convenient for you.”

Receptionist: “Okay, 1:30 on Monday, then.”

Me: “I’m sorry, 1:30 or 1:50?”

Receptionist: “Yes, 1:50.”

Me: “Great, thank you.”

(I think I’ll show up before 1:30, just to be safe!)

Numb From The Pain

, , , , , | Healthy | September 25, 2018

(I am in high school, with braces on my upper and lower teeth. My orthodontist decides that the overcrowding on my lower teeth is proving a big enough problem to warrant the removal of two perfectly healthy molars. I can’t say I am impressed, but I don’t have a choice and I am assured it won’t hurt, so I am not too worried. Sitting in the chair at the dentist, I am mostly nervous of the needles I’ll receive for anaesthetic. I receive a needle on each side and am given a moment for it to set in.)

Dentist: “How’s that for you?”

Me: “I can feel that.”

Dentist: “Yes, you’ll feel pressure.”

(The dentist pokes a pointy tool into my gum.)

Me: “Ow, no, I mean it feels like it always would.”

(The dentist looks sceptical, but gives me a second dose of anaesthetic and another moment for it to set in. My mum sits next to me. She’s been quiet all this time. The dentist pops out of the room. I lean over and tell her that everything feels normal; nothing is numb. I ask her, “Please don’t let her do this.” She begins to say something; I can’t remember what. The dentist comes back in.)

Dentist: “Nonsense. She’s lying. You can’t feel anything.”

(I protest, but the dentist basically forces her tools into my mouth and my mum kind of holds me down. The dentist starts cutting into my gum. I scream and wail.)

Dentist: “Oh, stop; it’s just pressure.”

(She continued the procedure, and I kept wailing and crying and gripping my mum’s hand. Afterwards, Mum’s hand was red raw, and she was flustered. She legitimately thought I was just scared, like most kids and teens. I remember shaking and feeling too woozy to say anything further to the dentist. I don’t know whether I’d have been physically able to, either. What I do remember is that the procedure had happened at eight am and that before lunch time my entire face went numb, so I had to spend about five hours with my face over a bucket, the drool pouring out in a constant stream. I vaguely remember my mum and dad both on the phone with the dentist in the other room with some muffled shouting of some kind.)

A Teeth-Grinding Generalization

, , , , , | Healthy | August 27, 2018

(I haven’t been to the dentist for several years, but an old family friend — who cleaned my teeth when I was a child — has recently moved to the area, so I go to her for a cleaning. The following takes place with her hands and tools inside my mouth, so I can’t spit.)

Hygienist: “You really need to brush your rear teeth better. I know you can, because they’re clean right now. But your lazy brushing has caused all sorts of problems back here. And you really need to lay off the soda. Really, sugar in general. And high-acid foods and drinks. Soda is pretty much the worst, though. And greasy food isn’t much better! You clearly eat too much fast food, and it’s not good for you. Your back teeth are just falling apart because of all that junk food!”

(Her tirade continues for more than ten minutes. She lectures me like I’m still a child despite that I’m in my mid-20s, before she finally removes her hands so I can pause to rinse and spit. She immediately reaches to start again, but I hold up a hand.)

Me: “We need to get something straight. I don’t eat high-acid foods, or greasy foods. I can’t afford to eat out, even cheap fast food. And I have soda maybe once a month. And while I don’t claim to be perfect, and do occasionally forget to brush before bed when I’m exhausted, I am meticulous about cleaning all my teeth, especially the molars. The reason why they’re so bad off is that I have severe acid reflux. I have had it my whole life. I even had an ulcer a few years back. That’s why I can’t eat any of that crap, and why I can’t help my teeth being somewhat decalcified. Until my doctor and I get the reflux under control, there’s nothing I can do to improve my teeth.”

(I sat back, opened wide, and let her resume cleaning. She was silent for a few minutes, before softly starting to catch me up on the doings of her own kids, who I hadn’t seen in years and was glad to hear about. The rest of the appointment went smoothly after that, and the dentist was informed of my reflux before walking into the room, so he didn’t repeat her mistake. I ended up needing all five of my wisdom teeth removed — apparently I had an extra one — due to extreme decalcification. They were honestly getting spongy by that point. But the visit ended well, and I still go back to the same folks, sans lectures now.)

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