Friday, June 20, 2008

I Love My Dentist

I LOVE my dentist! (no not "lovey love" with hearts and swirly smiles etc, just love as in Wow! he's good at what he does!) Don't get me wrong...I detest GOING to the dentist but as far as dentists are concerned, I think I hit the jackpot.

A little background. When I was probably about 10 years old, things were done differently at the dentist's office. The biggest difference is that the dentists didn't use Novocaine to fill cavities (at least mine didn't). That Hurts!! I remember once I must have groaned or made an "ouch" sound and he stopped working and looked at me and told me that if I didn't shut up he was going to shove my head down the sink! OK, I got quiet. I told my mom afterwards...but she disregarded it. Even his name was scary. I usually don't post names here but his name says it all...Dr. Stern.

Fast forward, I'm about 18 yrs old and on my own. I was careful to take care of my teeth so I could avoid the dentist. I probably didn't go to a dentist for 10 years.

Fast forward about until I'm about 28 or 30 years old. WISDOM TEETH. I put it off as long as possible but eventually I had to call and make an appointment. Luckily my teeth were all in pretty good condition, especially considering the lack of proper dental check ups but the wisdom teeth had to go. I was truly terrified.

If you have read my profile, you know that I am someone that will crawl into a burning building, climb into that overturned car and pretty much do whatever needs to be done to help someone during an emergency. Not only WILL I do it, but I WANT to do it.....yes, of course I would prefer there never be a need for firefighters and emergency workers and that it was a perfect world, but it isn't perfect so I am glad that if an accident or tragedy occurs I can be there to help.

BUT, put me in that dentist chair and I am a wreck!!

Anyway I love my dentist. He really is great. He's calm and relaxed and just takes me as I am (which of course is exactly different from calm and relaxed...even on a good day). We'll call him Dr E. When I go in for appointments the entire staff turns out to say hello to me. They laugh, wave, and smile and know that it is not going to be a "routine"day. First of all I need the Nitrous (sp?) Gas (I'll just call it the gas, but when I say my dentist gives me gas....don't snicker...we're all adults here...right?) ANYWAY, I even need the gas for cleanings. Without it Dr E and his assistants would need to scrape me off the ceiling every time they touched me. Every time I go in there, IF there is a different hygienist, I tell her to be sure to turn the gas up as high as it goes. It's written in Big Red Letters on my chart. They still look at me like I'm crazy, and turn it on low. Then Dr E comes in and says, "Turn it up all the way" and they finally comply. But the new hygienists always will look at me with that "we're going to have to preform CPR" look. They'll learn. The hygienists that have worked on me before just smile and say "Look who's here. We'll need to replace the bottle". It started out with 20% nitrous and 80% oxygen. Now they give me 60% nitrous and 40% oxygen. As a matter of fact, Dr E told me that he didn't realize the machine even went that high until I convinced him to try. He told me that a 300 lb man would usually be knocked out by that amount. But there I sit, gas on full blast, carrying on a conversation with him like normal. PLUS, that is all with the help of a Xanax that allowed me to get in the chair in the first place.

I KNOW I am a challenge for Dr E but I think he knows that if he can get thru me, he can do ANYTHING. Here's the funny part. I am always SO nervous going but he is SO good at what he does that IT NEVER HURTS. Even the shots, the fillings and the crowns. (regarding the crowns: yes, I grind my teeth in my sleep, then I wake up and spit out the pieces of my teeth and go on with my day.....and yes, I have tried mouth guards but I grind thru them....and yes, I know I have issues but if you haven't figured that out by now then you haven't been paying attention).

I have come to realize that the combination of my ADHD meds and the 60% nitrous makes me feel like what I THINK a "normal" person feels like. I'm not sure, but it's too bad I can't strap that machine to my back and try it for a day. Maybe I would be able to say 2 sentences in a row that actually relate to each other. On the other hand do I really want that? (everyone around me might). I'm ok with who I am. I'm really not flighty (even though it may appear so), I'm not even really crazy (at least not legally crazy) I'm just me. What you see is what you get.

WHOA!! Talk about getting off track! Did I mention that I love my dentist.

ANYWAY, yesterday I had to get a tooth filled. We went thru the whole ordeal. PLUS it's harder in the summer because I have to take Alberquando with me and pretend that it isn't such a big deal. Guess what, it didn't hurt! I didn't even feel the shot. Dr E is REALLY amazing. Not just the fact that he does his job so well, but also that he smiles when he sees me (he smiles bigger when I'm leaving) and ALSO, he actually "Lets" me come back.

As I was laying in the chair with the nitrous on full blast I had a thought that made me smile. Dr E is quite a bit younger than I am so maybe I'll die before he retires....hopefully in the VERY distant future. That way I won't have to start all over with a new dentist. As I lay there I also couldn't help but think "I hope my nose is clean and there are no stray hairs anywhere....after all that light is very bright and his machine probably magnifies everything. Is that what "normal" people think?

Well, all is done at the dentist office for now. My cavity has been filled and my teeth were cleaned there last week. Dr E and his staff have about 6 months to regain their composure which is just about enough time for me to forget that it isn't as bad as I always expect it to be. And the cycle begins again.......

Did I mention that I love my dentist?


Anonymous said...

I never thought about the clean nose and hairs---augh--now I'm gonna have to pluck my nose hairs and wax before I go. Also about feeling "normal" the most normal I have ever felt in my life is through my pregnancies. I felt like a normal person--what ever that may be!!


The Patterson 5 said...

We all go to the dentist in July. Thankfully my uncle was my childhood dentist so it was fun to go see him and all the girls in his office. I don't think they look at the nose hairs-just at your teeth-
Lot's of people do not like going to the dentist- that is definately normal!
What is normal anyway? Does anyone truly feel normal? Question to ponder.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today and your nice comments.

The Patterson 5 said...

Even if it does take 60 or even 80 days to get your 40 day study done-your out there studying, learning and sharing! Thanks for sharing it with me!

Sue J said...

I love my girls' dentist, too. Daughter #2 may be like you in the very near future, as we will have to have X-rays done. She has had 3 appointments and has screamed something awful at each one. We get the special room in the back (with the door closed!)

Promises of Dora stickers and doggie balloons just don't do it. We've read several books about beloved characters visiting the dentist. If I suggested 60% nitrous next time, I wonder what they'd say?

Prayers have been answered in that Daughter #2 hasn't bitten anyone yet!

Your Rick Warren study will be a good one. His first book was the best one, really. Don't shy away from the questions/activities portion either--we all got a lot out of that one!

Ethan Pew said...

Your dentist must be really good for you to "love" him. And I have to admit that your reason for loving him is really interesting. Congratulations on finding the right dentist for you!