Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Do you trust dentists?

I have a friggin’ dental appointment at 7:00 this morning. What a way to start the day.

It’s just a cleaning, but I’m dreading it as much as a root canal. I hate going to the dentist, and it has nothing to do with the pain factor; I have a pretty high tolerance and rarely get Novocain. No, the problem is, between my dentist and her staff, I always walk out of there feeling like I’ve been insulted. Remember a few months ago when I posted this little gem of an exchange?
Hygienist: “Your overbite is really bad. Have you ever noticed that your top teeth completely cover your bottom teeth?”

Me: Oh, really? I never noticed that, you stupid fucking moron. I only look in the mirror a hundred… no, make that two hundred times a day. Thanks for clueing me in.”
That’s what I’m talkin' about. Or this.
Hygienist: “You have a lot of fillings.”

Me: “Oh, really? I was wondering why dentists were drilling away in my mouth all those times. Thanks for clearing that up (you stupid fucking moron).”
They can never just clean my teeth and be like, “Good job!” They always find something that could go wrong and maybe give me a problem someday.

I’ve always had one of those mouths that’s required a lot of dental work. And the thing is, God only knows how much of it was absolutely necessary. I’ve come to believe that dentistry is extremely subjective; you can get a treatment plan from one dentist and the next one will say, “No, no… you don’t need that done; you need this done.” That actually happened to me a few years ago when I took a treatment plan from a dentist in Vegas to my old dentist in Albany; their opinions were totally contradictory. (My dentist in Albany won out.)

Is it me or do you, too, feel dentists have us by the balls? Like if we have a medical problem, we’re all over the Internet, right? We march into the doctor’s office armed with our research and a million questions, telling them how to do their jobs according to our demands. But with dentists, we’re at their mercy. How do we know if those fillings really do need to be replaced, or if that root canal must, in fact, be done? We just open our mouths like idiots and let them have their way with us.

This has been bugging me for a while. What do you say?


Anonymous said...

OMG I am so with you!!! and my niece works for one and I still feel that way....they are always looking for trouble so they can get more money out of you!! It is sad, isn't it?

I hate the dentist because I have a small mouth and it hurts to keep it open (feel free to think dirty thoughts about what I DONT like to do!!) so dental work is ALWAYS painful or uncomfortable.

And.....I live about 45 minutes south of Albany and I read you are moving here for awhile??? I am friends with Julie (47 and starting over) but I would love to meet you in person...I will have to keep an eye on your blog to see if you are appearing anywhere for maybe a book signing??? I think I need one of your books... I have a bastard exhusband too...

Jill from NY

Doreen McGettigan said...

I think I actually 'hate' dentist! Every one I have ever met is just plain weird..like they really wanted to be a doctor and could not make it and every woman I have ever met working in a dental office is a bitch; they are so rude! I also have a healthy fear of dentist because when I was 8 months pregnant one but his knee in my crotch; still give me the creeps ..I never go alone..and another time one nearly killed me because I was allergic to bonding agent and he had NO epi in his office..and besides all that how dare they charge SO MUCH..I swear they take complete advantage of your pain..because they can!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely hate going to the dentist. My teeth are far too sensitive. However I do love my dentist and my hygenist so they make it easier and are always so nice. Sorry you had such a crappy experience!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ Jill: Yeah, I'm told I have a small mouth, too. But a lot sure comes out of it! I'm hoping to set up book signings and writing workshops while I'm in upstate NY--would love to meet you!

@ Doreen: YIKES! Poor you. And you have to wonder how anyone can work in a dental office and be bitchy--they should be extra nice.

@ Danica: You're lucky you like them--makes the experience a whole lot better!

Bar L. said...

I'm very lucky. My dentist is honest, friendly, tall, dark, handsome and has a great body with very gentle hands. I totally trust him.

The Vegas Flea said...

I've had a ton of dental work done lately, and you are correct.

However, if you're semi-firm with them about what exactly you'll have done, nothing more, nothing less, they tend to back off.

Speaking for myself, I tell them,

"Cleaning and fixing cavities, that's it, that's all, don't even mention anything else."

It seems to work.

As you know, I've had two root canals in the past 6 months. However, I can honestly say that they were both necessary, as I saw the pictures and x-rays. I have soft Irish/Welsh teeth and always need a ton work. But, by telling them beforehand that I only want the absolute minimum done, seems to work.

Good luck!!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ Barbara: Make an appointment for me--he sounds like he's worth the drive! I have a cute as hell dermatologist--I love going to him.

@ Vegas Flea: Good idea. I used to tell dentists that I have my own guy back east and I just want a cleaning and take care of whatever looks to be an emergency. Of course, nothing was. I should have taken that approach with this dentist.

Bar L. said...

Linda, He'll see you on June 2 at 3 pm

linda said...

Mine gave me the story of how he got through his first prostate check. It was so funny except laughing with my mouth jammed open and his fist inside made it nigh impossible to laugh properly.

pukerimu said...

You are right. I'm an anti-dentite too. You can come forward now, Seinfeld is diminished.

Those dentists are always drilling us, and then they charge us for it!

The shame.

Anonymous said...

As I just had some oral surgery last week....and an abscessed tooth a month prior...I can honestly say...I don't hate them...I'm AFRAID of them and the pain associated with them!! LOL!!! This is why I ALWAYS get knocked out for anything major!! having said that....after being up for 3 nights crying with the pain of the bad tooth....I mean I was taking Tylenol 3's with codeine every 4 hours and 4 Motrin every 2 hours and swabbing Anbesol like crazy....I don't care what they have to do...or how much I have to pay for it....just, for the love of all that is holy,..MAKE THE PAIN STOP!!!!!

BTW....please change the color on your site...the blue is so dark that you can't read anything!!!

Also....wth is it with you and Mikey(maybe) leaving Vegas at the same time??? How the hell am I supposed to get my vicarious Vegas thrill without you guys!! Have a little consideration for us poor downtrodden people stuck in the Chicago area!! Jeez!!

Seriously....how m=bad do you want to smooch that gorgeous new grand daughter!!! She is a beauty!!!
Tracy from Chicago