Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Is that a Drill I hear?

So yesterday I went to the dentist to get one of my ‘pits’ filled in (that I mentioned in my previous entry). I also stated in the entry that I was not worried because I have the best dentist, and I thought they would just fill the hole w/ some clear goo, smooth it down and I’d be off. WHO WAS I KIDDING?

One of my co-workers told me that they would still have to drill, but I didn’t think she knew what she was talking about… BUT SHE DID!

I have never had a cavity in my life and take great pride in that. Because of this, I never EVER thought I would have to be drilled on AND receive multiple numbing shots!

When I showed up the receptionist told me ‘oh you’ll do fine…it won’t hurt a bit.’

I thought, ‘oh I know...’ But why did she tell me that?

So I then ask the assistant if this was going to hurt at all. Then she proceeds to tell me about the ‘injections’ I’ll have to have and the drilling! I seriously almost ran out the front door! I really started to panic, and I don’t think I heard much after she mentioned ‘injections.’ All I could think about was when I was a kid and had to have a shot and it hurt SO bad that I cried.

I asked her again how many shots I’d have to have, and she said ‘oh you mean injections.’ I said ‘no crazy lady I mean SHOTS!’ I still don’t even know what she told me as I was getting more and more petrified.

Soon the time came and the doctor went over a few more details and told me that I need to tell her if I’m uncomfortable or in pain, because they wanted to do everything they could to make it as painless as possible. She also told me that she’s had a lot of dental work done before from dentists who weren’t concerned with how much pain she was in.

I must say that I have never had a dentist like her. Every time I meet with her I’m impressed with her demeanor and knowledge. Granted this is the first time she’s ever ‘worked’ on me, (besides check ups), but we met quite a few times going over John’s new teeth. I really can’t say enough good things about her.

So back to the trembling dental patient who has no tolerance for pain… she gave me the injections and they really weren’t that bad. She described the pain as being similar to getting your blood drawn, which I agree to. (They also giving me some numbing gel before the shots too which was good).

Then they setup that rubber thing over my mouth and put that metal bracket around my tooth. Now that was awful as well because I started having ALL these flashbacks of getting those metal brackets put on my teeth when I got braces. Then I realized that most of my dental fear is from the orthodontist!! I would be in so much pain going there and bleeding all over, and never once did they ask me if I was ok, or if the could have given me something for the pain. Granted who knows if they had anything, but it was so awful… all that hammering and that metal taste.

Anyway she tells me to let her know if I feel anything cold when she starts the drill. I felt a little something on my lip, but I didn’t think that was it, and what do you know?? I’m not numb enough and she hits my nerve! I totally jumped in the chair because it was such a shock! So then they had to remove everything and give me more ‘injections.’ They really weren’t that bad since I was already semi numb. My dentist did tell me that since I’d never been numb before that I had no idea if I had enough numbing meds…but now I know!

So then they had to put that metal thing on my tooth AGAIN and then drill. I knew the chances of me feeling the drill again was slim, but just the fear/anxiety itself was so awful. I could not relax. She was explaining everything in the beginning, which was great, but then I think she got in the zone and stopped. I really hated not knowing what was happening and what they were doing.

This brings me to something that I have learned about myself this year… when it comes to medical procedures I really want to know EVERYTHING. Had I known what was going to happen to me yesterday I would have had time to prepare and probably cut down on my anxiety by 25%. But same goes for when I had my thyroid surgery… the doctor should have told me I’d have a breathing tube that would scratch up my throat… or that I’d have mysterious sticky patches on my body from the heart monitors….or that the vicodin will most likely cause me to be constipated…or that I’d have to do a bowel ‘clean out’ for my body scan! I mean these are important things! I do not want ANY surprises and I've had way too many this year.

Overall I know the procedure could have been WAY worse, and there was really hardly any pain. Remember…I have a non-existent pain tolerance and what seems to be a pretty serious anxiety issue. It was just unpleasant, invasive and reminded me of my biopsy. Well the biopsy was more painful. How did I ever survive the thyroid surgery, which was way worse? Maybe I should get put under when they have to fill my other side. You think they will go for it?


Sarah said...

I feel the same way about the dentist. Even a great dentist still causes me serious anxiety attacks. I literally sit in the chair and shake. I can't stop. They did give me some valium to take before I had my wisdom teeth out and it helped a little.

BTW, who was your orthodontist? Johnston? I still have nightmares!

Big D said...

You and your LOW pain tolerance. Thank God that you are never going to have a baby. There aren't enough drugs in the world for that operation.

Molly said...

I love your dentist too, she makes everything sound nicer. Like, it's not that bad, if you relabel it!

insted of cavity = pit
insted of shot = injections
insted of horrifing pain = slight discomfort

jay said...

Awesome dentists must congregate in SLO. My favorite dentist ever was in SLO (Peach Tree Dental). After my my notorius scooter accident when my teeth got all mangled and I had to get about $5K in dental work done, the dentist I had was awesome, and made it no big deal to bend the tooth back into position, give me a root canal, and 4 veneers... It took forever, but there wasn't much pain at all (could have been because I was still on pain meds for my other injuries, though)

Jenna and I are both still in our "never had a cavity" streak, though, so maybe that's just a different story (like maybe they punish you for having cavities to make sure you take care of your teeth)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like big d is getting a little dig in with that "baby comment"........Don't worry Amber, if you decide to have a baby they offer "spinals" now that numb most of the pain. Oh, and unless you have a "C" section, childbirth isn't considered an operation.

jenna said...

Wow, now I am scared to death of ever getting a cavity!!! Like Jay said, we are both cavity-free. I have however had to have many many numbing shots because I had to have most of my baby teeth pulled out by the dentist because they just wouldn't come out on their own! I hate those stupid shots. I also went one time because I was having tooth pain and turned out I had an abscess in one of my teeth, and I opted out of the shot and just had them take care of the abscess without the numbing shot because the shot is so bad!!! By the way, the abscess had to be sliced open and "cleaned out" but I still don't think that hurt as bad as the stupid shot, and then my mouth wasn't all numb for the rest of the day causing drooling and the inability to drink anything without it spilling out all over the place.