Apr 30, 2010

What a pain.

I feel like I've blogged about my tooth before. Have I? I checked back on my list of blog posts and if I did I can't find it. If I have and this seems familiar to you, stop reading and do me the favor of leaving a comment that says "Stop repeating yourself".  

I'm in the market for a new dentist. I am not happy about it. It's hard to find a good dentist. Same is true of a good hairdresser. Getting your hair cut or having dental work is tough for an introvert. Both are very personal services to begin with. Then to make matters worse the people providing the service try to chit chat you up while they are doing it.

You can tell when they are faking a personal interest in you. Please don't bother. Just (cut my hair), (fill my tooth) and I'll be on my way. What I liked about this dentist was his sincerity. Quiet guy who really seemed to take an interest in his patients. It took me a long time to find him and I've been going to him for years. My whole family goes to him now.

In the beginning everything went wonderfully between my dentist and me but over the last few years our relationship has deteriorated. I blame him.

He botched a root canal and ignored me every six months when I told him that the tooth felt funny. Not painful, just funny. He always wanted to wait and see..... Fast forward eight years ... my tooth got infected to the point that my gum swelled up with a nice little pocket of pus. Gross, I know, but that's what it was.

I made an appointment. Finally, he gave me a referral to an endodontist who re-did the root canal. My misery wasn't over though. The infection was so bad I had to go back four months later and have oral surgery to scrape the infection from my bone.

I decided I had had enough. I was going to find a new dentist. I know some of you are thinking "Hello?? Why did you wait eight years?" Please see above where I mention I "hate" finding a new dentist. I finally had to admit though that quality of dental work surpasses the quality of the social experience while in the chair.

As I was procrastinating about actually doing something to find a new dentist one of my fillings fell out. I had no choice. I went back to my dentist.

He put a new filling in and told me we would have to do a crown. I asked if I would need a root canal before he did it. He actually answered me "Well, I know how sensitive you are about root canals because of that problem you had with the last one. If you think you need one, we can do it."

If I think I need one? Aren't you the freaking dentist? Shouldn't you be telling me what I need? And how dare you act as if my root canal problem was an emotional issue on my part. That's it. I am REALLY finding a new dentist now.


  1. i'm not a fan of high pressure doctors/dentists, but for guinness sake!

    but there's a time when the "chill out, lets' wait and see" attitude is NOT the way to go, and that's whey the patient keeps saying "hey! there's something wrong here!".

    good luck on your dentist search.

  2. I wish you MUCH luck...I went through a summer of dental hell a few years back, until I finally found a dentist who did a great job AND was pleasant to talk to.

    Even though I still don't like actually going to the dentist, at least I know that he'll be friendly and do a great job...and not harrass me too much about not flossing every day. :)

  3. As I proceed with my training as a nurse, one of the points they hammer into me us is that the patient needs to take charge of their care. You absolutely need to find a new dentist, who understands that he or she needs to work with you.

    BTW, the picture you used is a clip from "Novocaine," which a good friend of mine, Karol Kent, was in. If you've ever seen it, she plays the detective who is rummaging though the dumpster.

  4. Hum, I had a root canal about a year ago and it still bothers me....not painful, I am just really aware of the tooth and it kind of twangs when I use my water pic. My dentist said it takes a long time for root canals to "settle in" and some "stumps" don't like the edges of the crown. Now I am gonna have to find out more. My dentist talks to me like I am 7....I want to find a new one too. my doc recommended one but he isn't taking new patients. Steve flies to So Cal to see the son of the guy that was his childhood dentist. Not always smart like when both of his bridges broke. Waaaay too much info from me....I had a late afternoon latte.

  5. Aw geez, we have the same dentist don't we? Maybe that explains the problems I've been having with a filling he replaced several weeks ago; already been back once for an adjustment and I need to call him again this week for another. Maybe I'll be in the market for a new dentist soon, too. :(

    btw, I thought the pic was from Little Shop of Horrors...

  6. Tell him that,yes,you think you need a root canal,..and then ask if you can borrow his tools.

  7. My teeth hurt just reading this. One trick to see if a dentist is any good is to see if you can get an appointment within three months. If you can, forget it - a) because not enough patients find the dentist to be worth the wait and b)s/he's not getting enough practice in.


  8. Finding a good dentist is like pulling a tooth from a rooster -- by the time you find there isn't one, you're all cut up!

    I wish you good fortune in finding the dentist that will not hurt you.

    Your great blog shows the obvious effort and creativity and love you put into it. Thanks, Roland

  9. Well, that's odd - an authority who won't exercise authority? Maybe not so odd as much as frustrating.

    On the other hand, nothing like a dentist or chiropractor who goes in with gusto and comes out with what the hell did you DO to me?!?

  10. mi - Eight years seems to be sufficient time for that new crown to settle in.

    MHP - I hate going to the dentist. I'm going to have to before I go over to Europe this summer to get this crown put on. I'd hate to have to go to a dentist in Germany because my tooth broke.

    Mom - I heard they have the highest suicide rate of any profession. Not sure if that's myth but it makes sense. All those negative vibes from people in your chair that would rather be anywhere else.

    Johnny - Hey, nice to see you. Like your blog. I have nurse horror stories too. My Mom has been in and out of the hospital my whole life. Had some awesome ones too. Treating you like a person instead of a bed occupant seems to be the determining factor.

    Rosemary - drop him like a bad habit. Oral surgery is no fun.

    G - Not sure how your guy is. I have never gone to him. I have the other guy. They do kind of look alike don't they? I thought it was Little Shop of Horrors when I downloaded it.

    Sling - Or better yet, have his assistant do it. She's seen plenty of procedures.

    Coffee - Good advice. And who doesn't want to postpone that visit as long as possible anyway.

    Roland - Hi there. Nice to see you. Roosters don't have teeth? Hmm.

    Booda - I like chiropractors who adjust you with authority, leaving no joint uncracked.

  11. I hate dentists. And I hate hunting for new dentists even more. I'm in the market for a new one, too after my current dentist poked in my mouth and said (in his creepy dentist voice): Now, there. Let's get a close-up of these little monsters. I've got *just* the tools to scare these boogers.

    No joke.

  12. You are very lucky not to have ended up with jaw cavitation - bad root canals can affect more than your teeth and jaw...are linked to heart disease. Root canals are not necessary...if the tooth is too far gone for a filling just have the bastard yanked out...nice and clean and save the megabucks...
    I had a bad one and went to a dentist whose main work is removing amalgams (mercury) fillings and root canals....

    Dentists are not actually doctors you know...the Dr is honorary at least her in Oz and few really have the title dr. Most have spent too long sniffing the amalgam dust as they drill and are as mad as hatters (he sinffed the mercury form the hats he was making.
    I know because have been fighting the bastards for years

  13. BTW, I'm letting "Here Comes Johnny Yen" lie fallow for a bit, for various reasons. My new one is:


  14. I don't trust dentists anymore. They always act like salesmen now! What the hell is up with that? If your looking for a new one, make sure you don't go to this guy...