Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Which Is Worse: The Dentist, or The Dentist?

image from HERE

I had to go to the dentist yesterday. I'd been having some pain in my pain-in-the-ass wisdom teeth.  I was MUCHOS nervous about going, because even though I'm 39, I'm a MAJOR WEINER about the dentist.  I was pretty sure I had a cavity.  My sister assured me her dentist was super nice.  Still, yesterday I was NOT a happy camper.

Not too long ago, my 6 year old niece informed my sister that her mouth hurt.  After a quick examination, my sis saw a bump on little L's gum.  If you know my sister and I, you will know at this point that our first conclusion is always going to be:


So, I looked it up online, and saw that a bump on the gum indicates an abscessed tooth.  Oh brother. The poor kid's only 6.  A trip to the dentist confirmed this:  one little old rotton baby tooth, causing an infection.  The tooth would have to come out!  Oh, and there's more good news, she has a cavity that has to be filled, and another cavity that can probably be left alone since it will fall out soon. 

I immediately turned white, hot, cold and sick.  Why? 


Lily survived her SUPER YUCKY ordeal.  My sister, however, was wracked with guilt.  Oh, she was a terrible mother, why did she let the girls eat candy for little treats, etc, etc (Me?  I'm the sugar nazi.  I'll tell you about my mean mommy ways sometime).   I reminded her that she just inherited the unfortunate tooth gene from our Mother.  I have the lucky, mostly trouble free teeth of my Dad's side of the family, and The Man, barely gives a crap about his teeth and never has a problem.  In fact, he has a WACKY DENTIST, who once told him that he DOESN'T NEED TO FLOSS, because there's enough space between each tooth.  Okay, before you conclude that The Man is some sort of hillbilly with a set of choppers like a picket fence, this is not so.  His old dentist, clearly, is WHACK. 

Still, I couldn't convince my sister that she wasn't evil, even when I revealed Jack's typical lunch habits:

1) chocolate milk

2) 2 pieces of cinnamon toast
3) 3 cinnamon snap cookies (source of calcium?  Heh?  Heh?)
4) rolls on back to school without brushing his teeth

The shame!  The horrible shame! 

Okay, in my defense, all I do is fight with my son, and I AM working on integrating lunch time tooth care into his schedule.  However, before I get there, there will be much anger, frustration, calling me "Stu" (short for stupid, of course...very could write a whole post on being called "Stu" and what it does to their blood pressure over time) and all around bad times. 

So here's the deal:  in my opinion, dentistry has hardly advanced in the 30 years or so that I've been going for that horrible visit. And by this I mean, why isn't there some sort of happy pill one can take before they get a filling or have a tooth pulled?!?  Laughing gas?  Toke on a doob?  3 fingers of rye?  COME ON DENTISTRY PEOPLE, WORK WITH ME. 

If you ask me, dentistry has gone BACKWARDS as far as personal comfort is concerned.  My mother in law told me this story:  when she was a kid, she'd get a whiff of this gas, and the next thing she knew they were waking her up and her tooth was gone. 

Uh, hello??  That's FREAKING BRILLIANT.  I'd totally sign up for that.  Wake me up when the mouth carnage is over. 

I had to have a tooth extracted once.  When I was in my first trimester of my Ella pregnancy, I got my first ever toothache.  I had to wait a good couple of weeks until I was in my second, and safer trimester to get the tooth yanked out, because I'd have to take antibiotics.  Horrifying.  But, the dental surgeon seemed really nice beforehand.  In fact, he sounded so soothing, so reassuring.  And then he brutalized my mouth, like the psychotic butcher he was.  Okay, I'm not in the know about having teeth pulled.  Is it "typical" for tooth fragments to be flying out onto one's face as their tooth is being crushed, cracked, tugged and pried from their head? 


Do you remember being a kid, left alone in one of the little rooms, with teeth immersed in that most heinous fluoride solution?  If you were old enough, maybe you just got abandoned there, in that room, for a long time, holding your own sucker tube, left to take care of your own river of spit. 

Remember when you reached the magical age whereby you could choose if you wanted to continue fluoride treatments or not, and EVERY SINGLE KID SAID NO? 

How about the time I was getting my mouth torn apart during a routine cleaning, and the hygienist stuck her little hook into my gum and actually pulled a small chunk out.  Then she paused and had to dab away blood for a bit. 


I particularly enjoyed the little anecdote my dad told me recently, after his visit to the dentist:  he was having a convo with the hygienist about kids and the dentist.  She told my dad that sometimes they've had to STRAP KIDS ARMS DOWN TO THE CHAIR so they could work on their teeth.


Where's that magical happy gas when you need it? 

I can't think of anything I hate worse than getting that needle in my mouth, and then the drilling, with the burning tooth smells and that ZZZZZEEEEEE!!! horror noise. 

OH man.  I'm going to have to end this post now and turn it over to you guys.  I want to hear your dental horror stories. I want to hear if there's anyone out there who doesn't mind going to the dentist (unlike my freak brother in law, who, I was told, asked if he could hold up a mirror and watch his own tooth extraction). 

Oh yeah..and that tooth I had to go in for?  Well, turns out it has some infection around the root because the last dentist had "over-filled" it.  So much for my theory that maybe they could just turn the whole tooth into a filling, thereby creating one great SUPER TOOTH THAT CAN NEVER BE TOUCHED BY DECAY AGAIN!

Anyhoo, I was so relieved I could have fainted.  I came home with my prescrip for antibiotics in my hand raised my arms high for victory and said to The Man:

"I don't have a cavity--I have an INFECTION!!!!"

The Man:  "is that good?!?"


Hooray for infections! 

And now it's YOUR turn. 

click HERE if you wish we could all just replace our teeth with harmless wooden pegs
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  1. OKay, here is goes...I do not mind going to the dentist. Even as a child, didnt mind one bit. Mind you I didnt have any dental issues until I was 18 adn had my wisdom teeth yanked out...but even then...didnt bother me too much...I got my forst cavity when I was about 21...and one tooth pulled when i was about 26. My dentist was super gentle..infact most times I couldnt even tell you what he was i could barely feel a thing. he even would rub freezing on my gums befor egiving me the needle to freeze my mouth..ahhh such a nice guy. Hes retired now and I go to a different dentist...this made me a bit nervous as EVERYONE else I talk to about going to the dentist has horriable feelings about this topic (ei Beamy) Turns out...perhaps a i am a freak...i dont even mind the new dentist. He wanted to fix one of my fillings as it was done "old school" and such..I agreed. this new dentist guy didnt freeze my mouth before freezingmy mouth hahah (following me?) BUT even still...I was okay...he sang to himself (?) whiel he ws working on my mouth...adn he chatted about the craziest things with his assiant that i was totally distracted...before i knew it...all done...what?? You are done already?? But i wasnt to finish watching Wheel of Fortune! (my new dentist has TVs in each room!)
    When I had to take Ben for the first time, I "practice" with him, what to expect...turns was a good thing, I guess, as Ben LOVES going to the dentist. I thought this would quickly change when teh dentsit told me aobut 2 months ago, that poor Ben has a small cavity that he would like to fix up. I was even moer uneasy when my husband told his appt would be during the day while I was at work. the big day came...I was pretty matter of fact about it when chatting to Ben about it...all day I was sad...adn more sad that i couldnt be there to hold his hand. I even called home a few hours after the appt to ask my hubby how it went...he said "fine" Hows Ben? "fine" okay i ot home wanting to HUG my child and prepared to give teh kid anythign he wanted...i get find him in his room playing..."so buddy, hwo did it go today?
    "How did what go today?"
    "ug, the dentist???"
    "oh was good"
    "its no big deal mom, can we have supper now?"
    Thats my boy.
    Are we freaks???
    to even further prove my freakiness...when i go for a cleaning...its so relaxing...I actually look forward to it.

  2. no real horror stories here, i have never really had a cavity, hence no needles in the mouth,and i did not even see a dentist till i was 14!booya!thems some good teeth genes!better keep goung even if you hate it,or you may end up with your picture in "the big book of british smiles".[that is a simpsons reference, if you can youtube it really really funny]

  3. Diane has to read this post. SHe gets totally stoned before going.
    Karen my two fears in life were child birth and wisdom teeth removed!!!
    I fear the dentist too...big time!
    I started taking Sam when he was a year old! I'm sick...he had one tooth! But everyone hates to hear this He loves the dentist!! My strange child thinks its neat...not one cavity yet for him.He's every dentists dream. Me I stress them out big time!!!

    I'm going to need crowns one day and i am not looking forward to this at all!!!!!!!!! Or the bill!

  4. between the 3 of us, we have some really bad dentist stories. brooke's were the worst since she's the biggest over-reacter. actually, she's the kid who would need to be strapped down. it took me, 4 nurses & the dentist to hold her down long enough to get one rotten baby tooth yanked out. i was sweating profusely & needing big drugs when i left there.
    now you're making me want to write a post about it.
    i've had no inspiration of my own for blogging lately, so i keep wanting to mooch the ideas of others.

  5. Your post made me laugh... and we are in the middle of a nasty tooth ordeal with our 3 year old. Similar situation, discovered a bump on gums which I learned could be an infection. (Found my info on this helpful Mom's Guide to caring for little teeth. Copy and paste:

    My husband took him to the dentist 2 weeks ago and they were ready to restrain him and pull his tooth without even taking an x-ray to see what kind of erosion was going on under those gums! Poor kid was screaming his head off! Visited our pediatrician (a major advocate of good oral care) and he was hopeful that the tooth might be saved with the proper treatment. Needless to say, we are in the process of finding a board certified pediatric dentist who will be gentler and even do light sedation. I don't care for the dentist myself, but I just hate the thought of my little guy having a lifelong fear/hatred of the dentist.

  6. Well Steph, I'm impressed. The next time I'm at the dentist's, ready to have a panic attack, I will remind myself not to be so wimpy. Still, I've never been to a dentist where I could watch Wheel of Fortune at the same time.

    That's good that your little buddy had no problem at the dentist. I think Jack would FREAK if he had to get a filling at this age.

  7. thems ARE good teeth genes, Paula! That's good you've never had a yucko experience. And by the way, I used to be a major Simpsons fanatic, so whenever you quote those episodes, unless it's one from the past 3 years, I know exactly what you're talking about!

  8. Pam, maybe it truly is a good idea to get a kid used to the dentist from a VERY early age, instead of thinking; "ew, I hate the dentist so much, I'm putting it off as long as possible!"

  9. Aw, you've still got bloggy block? Sherilin, I would be in the same boat as you, since I have a classic OVER REACTOR in Jack! I would need some major relaxation medication if I had to go through that. As it is, I've promised myself that if the kid had to have a filling, THE MAN is taking him!!!

  10. Oh Emily, how I shuddered in sympathy even reading your tale! Good gravy! Yes, MILD SEDATION--why don't they all do this??? My sis was told if her daughter couldn't "handle" her tooth extraction and filling, she'd have to go to the dental specialist and have it done there. Thanks for the link. I've gone back to brushing my kids teeth, even though they'd been independent for a while now. SCREW THAT! No cavities!

  11. a couple of times I've had 3 needles for a filing, because the freeze didn't take. one baby tooth yanked out. a million filings as a kid, and one as an adult to replace one that was wearing out. Still all my wisdom teeth - which is good because one is impacted (sideways). From time to time I actually 'teethe' and need to chew some gum or something. One time the hygenist 'slipped' during a tooth cleaning then laughed while she tried to apologize.

    Overall, not really to much bad at the dentist. I liked the plastic spider rings as a kid.

  12. I got some stories. I was NEVER afraid of the dentist till about 6 yrs ago when we were in an insurance dilhema. We had to take whoever could fit us in.

    Turns out he was a pscycho.

    Mean and rough.
    We moved and had to see a new dentist, and I sat in the bloody chair and balled my head off I was so scared and traumatized.

    She had not even done anything except look at my teeth and I was a freaking mess.

    I have had 3 teeth removed. And now I need to see a dentist asap but am too freaked out. Plus I think my teeth are going to fall out.

    I used to have dreams all the time of my teeth falling out, and I am subconsciously fulfilling that prophecy!

  13. Matt, what do you mean by not too much bad at the dentist?!? None of what you described sounded fun!!! I've got a wisdom tooth that I FEARED into remaining in my head. Let it stay there!

  14. See? See? MELISSA GETS IT!! Teeth and dentists are HORRIFYING. All y'all who had pleasant stories of the dentist, well you go give that dentist a FREAKING HUG because most of them are MONSTERS!!!!!!!!!


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