Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I severely dislike my dentist

I'm using severely dislike because I've always said you should never hate anyone. I still believe it, but I'm coming awfully close right now. Actually, I starting to believe I have a rather incompetent dentist. Which is sad seeing as how the whole reason I'm seeing this dentist is due to shoddy dental work from my past.

I went in today for the last crown I needed. After they put in the permanent one, I doubt I'll ever be back.

It started with the top front tooth that needed a crown. They did all the work, which wasn't too bad once I got the Novocaine (or what ever they use now), put in the temp and I went home numb. I realized later in the day, after the numbness wore off, that I couldn't eat because my bottom teeth were hitting the back of the temp tooth, effectively keeping my jaw teeth away from each other. Chewing was no longer an option. You'd think they would have checked that before they sent me home, wouldn't you? So I call the next morning and tell them what the problem is. They tell me to come in and they will fix it. They do and all is OK. I go back two weeks later and they put in my permanent, which thankfully didn't have the same problem.

I go in for tooth #2 a couple of weeks ago. I have a filling that was loose, and because of that, had decay around and under neath it. This tooth is on the upper left jaw. The expensive dentist said I'd need a root canal and a crown there. This dentist said he could probably just fill it, but if not he'd crown it. No talk of a root canal - and I didn't complain. I have had a couple root canals before and they are awful. So I go in and they numb me up again. But something doesn't feel quite right. I don't feel numb enough, if that makes any sense. I sit in the chair concerned about feeling pain during the filling. In case I haven't mentioned this before, I'm allergic to pain - it makes me hurt. :0) So now he starts all the drilling, etc. and I'm starting to feel things I shouldn't feel. Suddenly I experience a sharp stab of pain and I almost leap out of the chair. He backs off a second and then keeps going. No "Are you OK?" "Did that hurt?" "I'm sorry." Nothing. He then finishes up and they send me home. I expect to be a bit sore and maybe sensitive for a couple of days. It has now been over two weeks and it still hurts to bite down very hard on anything or drink anything very cold on that side. My wonderful hubby wanted to know why I didn't say anything to him about feeling the pain from the drill. When? While the drill was going? Then he would have ground off my lips!

Today: I go in for my scheduled crown prep on my lower right jaw, which is an older crown that fell apart. I ask about my filling and they tell me it's normal, but if it still bothers me when I come back to put in my permanent crown, he'll need to take a look at it.

So I sit down and the dentist takes one of those swab things that is supposed to help pre-numb you. He just stabs it between my gums and cheek and lets it sit there. I think it numbed my cheek much more than it numbed my gums. So then he gets out the needle and starts stabbing away. It hurt like the dickens and he had to do it in several places. Be careful what you wish for. I was praying he'd at least get me numb this time. Oh did he! I only felt the first 3 shots. But I know I got more than that. And I have no idea what he was doing towards the end, but it was shooting the drug on my bottom lip in spurts and it stung when it hit my lips! I was doing my best to sit still, but it made me jerk every time it hit. That happened 3 or 4 times. I'm not exaggerating at all. It felt like sparks burning my bottom lip.

Finally he quits and leaves the room. I sit up and start to panic because I can't feel my tongue and I'm having a hard time swallowing. I calm myself down and wipe the tears from my eyes, which were caused by the shots AND the worry over my difficulty breathing. I practice breathing and swallowing very slowly to see if it's an illusion due to the tongue being numb, or if I seriously have a problem they need to know about. They way he was shooting that stuff around I figured he'd shot it down the back of my throat and it was swelling up or something. Anyhow, I realize I can still breathe and swallow, but it's gonna be a bit of effort while he's got his hands in my mouth.

While waiting for him to come back in, I realize that I'm numb on the right side all the way up to my ear. I'm telling ya, he could've jabbed a sharp instrument into my ear and I'd never have felt it.

So then he comes in and gets to work. I concentrate on breathing and trying to keep my tongue out of the way AND keep it from choking me at the same time. There were a couple of times when it felt like we were dangerously close to cutting off my air way.

They make the mold, which I swear smells like tub caulking, and then let me sit up. The assistant comes back in to start fitting my temp crown in. She puts it in and then takes it out, puts it in, takes it out. I now know how a wall socket feels. This goes on for a while and she grinds the fake one down a bit each time. Then I have one of those "Oh Crud!" moments. (Lying in a Dentist chair, in the middle of a procedure is not the time to have one of these moments, by the way.) I realize that I'll have to eat very carefully on my right side until my permanent crown is in, which will be for about 3 weeks since I'll be in Vegas when the dentist gets it back. The problem here is I have the filling on the left side that still hurts so I can't chew very well on that side either. I envisioned being on a strictly liquid diet for the next 3 weeks. That'd be fun! I can imagine sitting in one of the great restauraunts in Las Vegas, sending my food back asking if the chef can puree it for me.

She keeps fitting the temp. After several times I tell her that the current size of the temp will prevent the other side of my jaw from being used. She said she saw that and that's why she's still working on it. Good! At least I won't have a repeat of the issues with the first crown temp.

Now I'm home. I've taken Advil hoping it will help as the numbness wears off. So far I've gotten the feeling back in my ear and part of my jaw. The part I can feel, feels like someone hit me in the face with a brick. I still can't feel my chin. I was starving on the way home but can't really eat since I can't feel my right cheek. Which I've lightly bitten a couple of times just talking. I ran to the store to pick some things up and grab one of the new Atkins bars. It took me almost 20 minutes to eat it. But at least my stomach isn't growling at me.

Like I said. I'll get the crown I paid for, but I don't plan on going back. I guess you get what you pay for. I should have sold my organs on the black market so I could afford the other dentist.

So.. that was my day. How was yours?


TESS said...

Nothing that happened today for me could top the day you have had.I have been pretty lucky with my dentist.It sounds like you need to talk with friends and family and see if someone can recomend a decent dentist. Nothing worse than pain in the mouth.I found out the hard way that expensive doesn't mean good. I have a gold cap on a tooth that just needed a filling, needless to say I switched dentists after that or I would have a mouth full of gold. Hope you are feeling better soon.

Fat Victoria said...

I'm so sorry you went through that. I go to a cheap dentist (caters to low-imcome patients) but so far they have been okay (other than hour-long wait times). I had 4 filling a couple weeks ago and I felt four quick stabs of pain when he first shot me up. But that numbed me enough that when he gave me the long shots to completely numb me it didn't hurt.

The good news for me is after a deep cleaning, two rounds of oral surgery, and four fillings I am now all done! :)

Sparky's Girl said...

I've talked to friends about other dentists, but none of them took my discount plan. This plan saves me about 50% of normal fees. Too bad it didn't save me the pain as well. I'll just have to look for antoher dentist on the plan. The expensive dentist was great. I really liked him, but his fees were even higher than the norm. :0(
Wow! A gold cap? I'm sure that wasn't anywhere near cheap.

I'm so glad to hear your dental work is over with. I've been following it some in your blog. This is the last thing I needed as well (as long as I don't have issues with the filling). I would like to have my teeth whitened and straightened a bit, but I'll have to save for that.

Sherrie said...

Oh that sounds horrible, poor thing! I hope you feel better soon!

I shouldn't laugh but I had a little giggle imagining you eating an Atkins bar!

Its been so long since I have had fillings but I remember trying to talk and eat afterwards and the dibbling, very funny and gross hehe :)

Sparky's Girl said...

Go ahead and laugh Sherrie. Doesn't bother me a bit. In fact, I'm glad you got a giggle, it makes what I went through less painful. :0) I'll be laughing about it all later too.

I could tell you story after story of the stuff that has happened to me involving doctors, hospitals, etc. that make me laugh now, but were morifying at the time.

Maybe some day I should post a whole thread titled: Come laugh with me! Embarrassing stuff that's happened to me inside. LOL My sister will call me and beg me to tell her the story about this or that because she needs a laugh. :0)

Cindy said...

Personally, I think all dentists are scam artists!!!

At this time, I'm waiting to sell my house and downsize....and hopefully will be able to have most if not all my teeth removed.

Orthodontia....twice! Yep, first time didn't work, ended up having braces put back an adult...on my! What pain!!! Oh! and guess what? due to the "extensive" orthodonita I have TMJ, shrinking roots and receding gums!!!

Kids....with my daughter I was told to put "sealants" on her teeth as a child, second teeth....what they DON'T tell you is that the sealants can "fall off" and if/when they do, the tooth has NO protection. My daughter is almost 25 and has horrible problems. My son was the lucky one....I couldn't afford the sealants when he was little.

I have had a root cannal done without a cap....until the tooth broke off at the gumline (FRONT tooth) and needed a "peg" along with a cap. I've had caps just fall off twice. My last cap was done after a root cannal, back tooth, 3 roots...but only 2 roots were treated!!! I have 1 tooth that is literally 3/4 filling. The tooth broke (due to an old filling) and the 1st doc wanted to root cannal my "dead" tooth. Since I'd had several teeth die already, I knew this one wasn't dead, so I went to another doc. He filled it and it looks great. About a year later the other side of the tooth broke off, so he filled that too....I know it's going to break some day, so I'm hoping to remove it before it does (also a front tooth).

I only have 20 teeth left in my mouth, so far front ones are still there, but back ones are going one by one.

And my about coming home from the dentist and finding half your face black and blue!?!?! You know the really dark purple types? Yep...the left side of my face, from above my eyes to below the jaw line....doc his a blood vessel when he gave me the novocaine!!!

I think whatever they do, they know you'll be back....or someone will!!!

I'm sorry you went thru this....and hope it's all over soon.

Sparky's Girl said...

OK Cindy, sounds like you've definately had a worse experience than I have. I keep telling my hubby that I should just have all my teeth pulled, get dentures and get it over with. But somehow I think that would go wrong too.