Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Why Is Having Dental Work Done Such Torture?

After not going to a dentist for years, due to personal dread and the high cost, I finally made an appointment with the local dental school in Mesa.  The first few visits were wonderful.  I could not have been more impressed.  The visits are long since the students are being extremely thorough and careful, checking and double-checking every entry on the computer.  Then a professor comes over and pretty much repeats what the student has done. So, count on 3 hours instead of the one hour you. usually spend at the dentist.  But I learned more about my mouth than I had in my previous 70 years! I completely understood what needed to be done and why.  At least this time I didn't feel like maybe the dentist said I needed that crown for $700 because it was time to make a payment on his cabin in the White Mountains!

I went twice, once for soft tissue investigation, and once for hard surface examination, and then the third visit was to go over a treatment plan and to make a mold of my mouth in case I opt for a partial on the bottom.  The total charge for all this was $69.00.

The first item on the treatment plan was deep cleaning.  You know, the kind where they go under the gums and scrape the crap off the roots.  I really don't know what happened to make this so frickin' miserable, but I don't know if I can go back for the second quadrant.  First, they used lidocaine instead of novocaine.  Every other time I have been numbed up, the dentist would stick the needle in and it was kind of painful, but it was over quick.  Not this time.  The professor was right there, telling Milen just where to put the needle, and telling him to "deposit" slowly, slowly.  Oh my God, it was torture!  It seemed like he had that needle in there at least 5 minutes.  And that was just the first of three!  And, to make matters worse,  it wasn't really that effective.  It was completely worn off by the time he was done.  I wasn't a very good patient after that, I'm afraid.

By the time the cleaning was completed (on that one quadrant) my arms were quivering from gripping the arms of the chair with a death grip, my whole mouth was throbbing, and I was pissed because the technology hasn't improved since I was 10 years old.

Why is it still so awful?  I don't know if I will go back or just let my teeth fall out!
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