My trip to the dentist

by Mulan 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • Mulan

    For those who wonder why on earth I am writing about this, Mimilly had a thread on Wednesday about being afraid at the dentist. I contributed and got lots of warm fuzzy help. I'm not the only one with an unreasonable fear of dental work.

    It wasn't too horrible. The cute, young dentist (28) was very good, and careful not to hurt me. I was mostly terrified about the deep cleaning, which is usually done by a hygienist, but he did it himself, with a new "toy", as he called it. It's an ultrasound teeth cleaner. It was painless and took about 1/4 the time of scaling. They look so nice too.

    I had about 7 shots, for pain, for the filling he had to replace. I am unbearably slow to numb, and he was even surprised how long it took to kick in. But it was a painless experience, and I am going back next Wednesday for the left side work.

    My face was numb from my lip to my eyebrow, for about 5 hours, but it was worth it, to not have pain.

    Now, who's the baby?? ME!!!

    Edited by - mulan on 9 August 2002 14:25:50

  • YoursChelbie


    Sounds like a nice dentist. The younger ones seem to be more on top of the new techniques. I think I will try to get a young dentist next time.

    Take care!


    Edited by - YoursChelbie on 9 August 2002 14:29:30

  • Vivamus
    The cute, young dentist (28)

    I want him!!!!

    As my dentist off course. No pain, and a cute man as a bonus, couldn't ask for more.

  • Mulan

    This is the other thread, for anyone who hates dentist appointments, you might get some help here.

    It would help if I had actually added the thread.

    Edited by - mulan on 9 August 2002 14:38:39

  • wasasister

    Having worked in dentistry for the past 5+ years, I can vouch for the fact that many, many people have a fear of dental work. For most, it starts with some unpleasant visit in early childhood, leaving subconscious scars. Unfortunately, the fear of pain becomes a self-fulfilling reality.

    I frequently receive calls from people who have put off seeing a dentist for years because they are afraid it will "hurt". By the time they finally call, they have multiple problems in their mouths and it really does hurt, both physically and financially.

    Modern technology has truly advanced pain-free dentistry. Many procedures can be accomplished with little or no discomfort to the patient. Most dentists offer comfort enhancers such as: N20 (laughing gas), massage chairs, stereo headphones, virtual movies, and even drugs such as Valium and Halcion when necessary.

    Speaking as someone who has observed much needless misery over the years, it pays to keep up regular visits to your dentist. Such preventative appointments can avoid uncomfortable and expensive things such as root canal therapy.

    If you hate your dentist, ask around among trusted friends, neighbors, and co-workers. There are bad dentists out there, some unethical or unskilled. The best referrals we get is through word-of-mouth. People like and trust our team, so they tell their friends. Also, inquire at to what continuing education requirements your state has. Some states do not require ANY, so look for a dentist who qualifies for membership in such organizations as the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. If the dentist specializes, look for professional associations in that speciality. This usually means the doctor spends quite a few hours in workshops and seminars enhancing their skills.

    Recent studies indicate bad oral health, especially periodontal disease, can affect the heart and overall health. Good for you, Mulan, in getting your deep cleaning done. It usually never as bad as we think it's going to be, right?

    Yours in continuing good oral health (sorry, couldn't resist the marketing ploy)


  • Incense_and_Peppermints

    i love my dentist, though i only get to see him once a year when i go in for my annual cleaning. he always pops in to say hi and brings me a miniature troll doll. actually, it's a pencil topper. i think if everyone had cool dentists like that, dental phobias would be a thing of the past...

  • Mulan

    Thanks wasa. Good advice.

    I took Valium, but it did NOTHING. I felt exactly the same. I think I have a body resistant to drugs. Nitrous works pretty good with me, but my insurance doesn't pay for it. It would have been an extra $50. As it turns out, I didn't need it. Before I went, I took a dose of calcium and an herbal stress formula (neither conflict with Valium, by the way). Maybe those things helped.

    I am sure the dentist I went to before doesn't have this "toy", the ultrasonic device for cleaning, because I had an appointment scheduled for Tuesday, with them, for a 1 1/2 hour cleaning, same as before. Yesterday, with the new dentist, it was about 15 minutes, and a pleasure!

    I am VERY glad I changed to a new clinic with young, recently trained dentists.

  • wasasister

    Glad you found something that worked for you, Mulan.

    Remember, those "toys" are expensive, so don't be surprised if you find the cost of dentistry way higher than you remember. New technology and CE courses cost thousands of dollars, thus doctors who do not keep up can undercut fees of dentists who do. Price shopping is usually not the best way to pick a health care provider.

    Many people react differently to drugs such as Valium. Some pediatric dentists are enthusiastic about Halcion for high-fears child patients. Besides the tranquilizing effect, Halcion is a short term amnesia-inducer. Kids not only don't mind the drilling, they forget it ever happened. It works the same way on adults. I personally would not want to take any drug that caused me to forget an event, no matter how unpleasant, but I can see why some would choose it.

    In extreme anxiety cases, general anesthesia may be indicated. If a patient decides on GA dentistry, they should be sure it is being administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist, NOT a regular dentist who has taken a few weekend courses in anesthesia. In the state of Washington, there are a few board-certified anesthesiologists who are also dentists. They will come to your dentist's office, administer the GA and monitor the patient during the procedure. Done under these circumstances, it is safe and effective especially for patients who have extensive restorative needs and cannot face being awake. I've observed many cases of young children who got all their work done in one visit while asleep, and woke up with no memory of the procedure.

    Thanks again, Mulan, for giving me a chance to bore you all with dental technology.

  • RN


    Do you know Russell Paravecchio? Just wondering.


  • wasasister

    No, the anesthesiologist I was thinking of is Dee Isackson (MD, DDS). She's a wonderful person and has impressive credentials. I'd trust her with my own kids.

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