It’s All in the Advertising

We’re in the hunt for a new dentist. Ours is a very nice man, but it gets to the point where nice isn’t enough and the general concensus is that it’s time to move on. The state of Stephanie’s teeth after $4,000.00 worth of braces is sort of the clincher. We’ve been at him and at him to repair the mess he created, and he has tried, but not hard enough. Richard and I have lost confidence in him through our own experiences, too, so enough.

We lucked out with our first dentist when we were newly arrived in the city, but sadly he retired soon after. He had an utterly wicked sense of humour and trust me, giggles soon banish one’s dentist phobia. After that we started to rely on recommendations from others for all things dental and medical, but have learned that we’re much better off finding such people on our own by happy accident. So, out came the yellow pages the other day and we started going through the ads. Most were pretty generic, so our hunt was based purely on location … until one ad leaped out from the generic masses. “Catering to cowards since 1971”. A dental clinic with a sense of humour … and an understanding attitude towards phobics. We are so there!

And about that phobia. It started with the small town dentist I was dragged to as a kid. Preventative dentistry was not high on the list of priorities, so we went when we needed to, period. And I needed to go a lot, having been cursed with “soft” molars. Said dentist didn’t believe in using freezing for fillings at all, and used it very sparingly for big jobs. So every visit involved at least discomfort, but most involved real pain. The granddaddy of them all was a root canal done when I was fourteen or so. He stuck a bit of freezing in and then got so busy yacking to my dad about local politics that he forgot about me. By the time he came back, the freezing was wearing off, but he proceeded with the job anyway. I’ve always had a fairly high tolerance for pain, but there are limits for anyone … and that went way beyond mine. The bastard refused to refreeze the tooth and ended up leaving the job half done as I was “making such a fuss.” Which led to an abscessed tooth eventually, which he refused to treat again, and on the story went, until I finally had the tooth yanked out when I was twenty-one or so … by a much kinder dentist. Eventually the phobia lessened greatly, thanks to kinder dentists, but an experience with a so-called “specialist” brought it back big-time a few years ago. It was a big molar that had to come out as it had been worked on so many times that it was beyond saving, and my regular dentist didn’t want to tackle it. Much pain, blood, and an infection later, the verdict was that the extraction had gone badly because I was “tense” once he got going at the job. Really? Swap places, pal, and let’s see how calm you are when you get the same treatment. Oh, and my jaw hasn’t been right since. My bite always was a bit off, thanks to getting bashed in the mouth by a door at school just as a couple of teeth were coming in at the age of nine or so. But now it’s really off, and getting worse, thanks to teeth shifting because of my chewing technique since. My last filling was done by Dr. Nice, on whom we have just turned our backs. He couldn’t get the freezing to take so I did the steeling myself bit and told him to just get on with it as he said that it would just be a tiny filling, and not deep into the tooth. Guess he didn’t read the x-ray properly.

So, I’m now a coward again who needs to be catered to, and hopefully the ad for the new place is indicative of what we’ll find there. I might need heavy sedation on the day, but I’ll get there!


6 thoughts on “It’s All in the Advertising

  1. I have recently formed an opinion about dentists – they will fix your teeth but make sure their work does not last too long so that you keep coming back. I found a great dentist but recently I realised what shoddy work he has done. Good luck at the dentist and hope you find a good one who won't rip you off.

  2. Good luck with the dentist hunt – that is one thing I left Fort McMurray with… a reccomendation for a dentist in my new city … the reccommendation made by my dentist up there , as I'd seen him not long before the move. I do hope the reccommended one is good – I can be a very squeemish patient! (and… don't the good ones always retire or leave town?)

  3. Hope the recommendation works out well for you, Desiree. Everyone expects anyone who has worked in the medical profession to be very brave about all things medical and dental, for some reason. But you and and I certainly aren't the only ones I know who don't live up to that stereotype! Maybe ignorance is bliss and we'd be better off not knowing as much as we do. 🙂 How are you with being on the receiving end of needles, by the way? No problem with giving them here, but it's a whole different story when they're pointed in my direction!! And that includes ones given by a dentist. Shameful, isn't it? 🙂

  4. I have had ONE nice dentist in my entire life. The rest, I swear, are licensed sadists. Now days they don't get me in the chair unless they have the supplies laid out — numbing agent for before they slam the novocaine needle in my jaw, enough novocaine to drop an elephant, and laughing gas so that I don't care if they slam the needle into my jaw. Kind of takes the fun out of it for them, I think.

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