Nope, Still Terrifying

, , , , | Healthy | January 28, 2021

My wife has had some persistent issues with gum infections ever since having an extremely severe jaw injury. It was probably about as bad as a jaw could be injured. Despite this, she had relatively minor scarring, and many people do not immediately realize that she has major injuries just when looking at her.

The two of us go to the dentist together, each with our own appointments. I just have a basic cleaning, but my wife will be having a root canal done. The dentist, who we have been going to for years now, has a new assistant. She finishes with me fairly quickly, just in time to witness the dentist go straight from talking to drilling into my wife’s tooth, without the use of any anesthetic whatsoever.

She is immediately horrified. I think the dentist decides to mess with her a bit, as he just tells her:

Dentist: “[Wife] is pretty tough. She can handle it.”

My wife responded with a thumbs-up.

The dentist initially just went back to work, but relented after a few seconds and let the assistant know that my wife actually had no use for local anesthetic for this because she’s actually already completely numb. The root canal was in her lower jaw. The jaw has a nerve running through the bone on each side, and her injury had completely destroyed these nerves, leaving a complete lack of any sensation from her lower jaw including gums, lower lip, and part of her cheeks and chin.

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The Whole Head Will Have To Go

, , , | Healthy | January 16, 2021

I’m at the dentist having some work done. The dentist has just placed a permanent crown in and is attempting to floss around it. Unfortunately, the floss keeps getting stuck because of the cement. He asks his assistant to hand him a tool to help and it isn’t exactly one I was expecting.

Dentist: “Pass me the saw.”

I’m surprised and try to figure out if I heard right.

Dentist: “It has what looks like little saw teeth on it.”

Nope, I definitely heard right. Once she handed it to him, I could see that it was a very thin, flexible piece of metal with tiny teeth. It reminded me of a band saw blade. He used it to go between the crown and the tooth next to it to break up the excess cement. It worked perfectly, but it was not something I considered a dentist having.

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A Most Unfulfilling Dentist

, , , , | Healthy | December 17, 2020

I’ve had two cavities in the past. Both were found and filled by the company dentist, but the procedure left me thoroughly afraid of having another cavity. Alas, three or four years after I leave the company…

Dentist: “Oh, no. You’ve got two cavities in your molars. I’ll have to fill them up.”

Me: “S***. I hate getting cavities filled.”

Dentist: “Yeah, I see that you’ve had another pair filled at some point. Don’t worry. It’ll all be over soon.”

Me: *Sighs* “Agreed. Let’s get the torture done quickly.”

Ten minutes later:

Dentist: “There. All done. I’ve also touched up your old cavities.”

Me: “Wait, what? I barely felt a thing.”

Dentist: “Indeed, you have one of the best tolerances to discomfort I’ve ever seen.”

I study my teeth in a mirror

Me: “Wow. I can’t see the fillings anymore.”

My molars look completely natural now. She even covered up the big patches of grey metal from the last time I got cavities filled.

Me: “Thanks a lot. This was way better than the last time I got my cavities filled.”

Dentist: “No problem. What happened the last time?”

Me: “It felt like my teeth were being sandblasted last time. Is that normal?”

Dentist: “No, it is not.”

She then proceeded to tell me that all the pain and suffering I experienced the last time I got my cavities filled shouldn’t have occurred. Granted, there was some pain and discomfort this time, but it was far less.

It soon became apparent that the company dentist I saw for my cavities used low-quality filling and outdated and cheap equipment and was apparently either ham-fisted or determined to make me suffer. He also overcharged my insurance for the filling.

I got rather angry and wanted to submit a complaint, so I went to some of my old coworkers and told them what I found. They then realised that he’d been giving us inferior treatments while charging us way more. And he didn’t make much of an effort to be gentle with us. He didn’t get caught, as most of us weren’t really knowledgeable about dentistry, and the price he charged us was technically less than market price, but it was still more than what the inferior service he gave us cost.

We were about to take legal action against him, but then the global outbreak happened and the spreading disease got him before we did. The running joke between all of us later was that the disease was a kill stealer.

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Dental Health Isn’t Their Only Area Of Expertise

, , , , | Healthy | December 4, 2020

I do not like shots. I don’t faint while getting them, but I turn into a nervous wreck. I also have a lowered pain tolerance, which doesn’t help matters.

I have to get a cavity filled. The first time this happened, I was knocked out since, as I said, I hate needles. Between that filling and this one, my periodontist pulled my last three baby teeth. He’s really good at what he does, so it didn’t hurt. Because of that, I decide to go with the novocaine shot.

I am told beforehand by my parents and other people that there’ll be pressure. I don’t expect much out of it. But I am still a nervous wreck when the day arrives. My dentist knows this and genuinely reassures me.

I shut my eyes. They warn me before the needle goes in, and when it does, I start screaming my head off. I’m not crying, just screaming from unexpected pain probably heightened by nerves.

Someone wordlessly squeezes my hand until I calm down. The rest of the procedure goes without incident, though I am on edge the whole time. I apologize to the dentist and hygienists afterward for screaming.

Dentist & Hygienists: “Don’t worry about it.”

Then, this exchange happens afterward.

Me: “Mom, did you come back and hold my hand?”

Mom: “No? Dad and I heard you screaming, but we didn’t come back.”

It was at that moment that I realized one of the hygienists held my hand. So, nameless hygienist, thank you so much for helping me.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for December 2020!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for December 2020 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for December 2020!

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Brace Yourself!

, , , , | Healthy | November 22, 2020

When I am a teen with braces, I have some problems with the brackets popping off fairly often — sometimes even when I’m not eating or doing anything with my teeth at the time. After yet another time of one of my brackets popping off for no reason, I am once again at the dentist getting it fixed.

The hygienist scolds me pretty strongly, even though I told her it popped off when I wasn’t eating anything.

Hygienist: “You need to be more careful! You’ll have to wear braces for even longer if you keep this up. You need to be much more careful about what you eat.”

Then, the dentist checks my teeth and tells me they are ahead of schedule and I might be able to have my braces off early.

When we are about to leave the dentist’s office, my mom has to use the restroom, so I wait for her by the front door. I haven’t even made it out of the dentist’s office, and I haven’t put anything in my mouth, and a bracket pops off.

As soon as my mom gets out of the restroom, we turn right around and walk back to the dentist’s reception desk… only to find that the dentist has just left for lunch. We have to make an appointment for later in the day.

But at least they stopped blaming me for the problem, and they started being more careful to attach the brackets thoroughly.

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