Well, about 16 years after my last visit to a dentist, I was blessed to be able to have my first dental appointment in all that time this very afternoon. In the past week I must have sent out 50 emails each to every friend I have in the world in order to beg for prayer and broad shoulders as I winged and whined and freaked out about having my teeth taken care of at long last. My memories of dentists over the decades are not good ones. They ranged from scam artist who drilled his own cavities to ensure future visits, to horse and buggy with no x-rays nor freezing, to good dentist pushing cosmetic dentistry to moi the unemployed one. But I think maybe this time I got it right. Will find out for sure over the next couple of months.
Knowing 2 ladies who work in the office and being greeted so cheerily by them both started to take the edge of my churning stomach soon after we walked in the door. The lady in charge of getting the dental insurance forms taken care of was so helpful to my dear husband. Dental insurance is new to us and our cave man plan takes some work to understand, but any financial assistance is better than none.
The entire staff of office managers, hygienists, x-ray techs and the dentist herself all seemed very relaxed and happy. There were quite a few young children there today getting their teeth cleaned and sitting still for small fillings. The kids were laughing and talking as if going to the dentist is the most fun thing they do with their time. It was unreal when I consider the stodgy staff and frightened children I was used to in times past.
The last hygienist I submitted my broken aching teeth to was pretty heavy handed. No matter how little plaque I had on my teeth she scraped and poked and pushed and grunted and heaved and by the end of each appointment some small bit of filling or tooth had broken off in her hands. It was a nightmare. And that was back when I was still able to have my teeth cleaned every 6 months. Today's hygienist worked away quite happily on my 16 years of buildup, chatting about her trip to Egypt, using light fingers and being so careful around my gigantic fillings. What a nice change!
The x-ray tech had smartly warned me what might be in store for me as far as procedures and so when the dentist told me I have to undergo 2 extractions I was all ready to hear it. What I wasn't prepared for was having only one area of slight decay where an old filling came out several years ago....one small cavity...that's all. 3 visits in the next 2 months and everything will be done. Easy peasy! I can't believe I am so fortunate to have so little work after all these years. One of the extractions is a wisdom tooth that should have come out years ago right after it came in so no biggie.
The dentist told me about crowns and bridges, but instead of insisting the world as we know it would end if I didn't get them done immediately, she simply explained my options and told me to store the info in the back of my mind for a future date, say in two or three years. Talk about non-pressure. No one yelled at me for not going to a dentist for 16 years, no one pressured me, no one treated me like a space alien because I am new in town......it was amazing. I suspect I was privy as well to a bit of the difference in attitude between Alberta and rural Saskatchewan and it was good!
Am I expecting a painless extraction with no recovery time after a rather euphoric visit today? No, of course not. It isn't going to be pleasant because it is an extraction, but what is exciting for me is that the fear is gone.
Wow.......ME going to a DENTIST with no fear........who says there are no miracles?
Of course right!