Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Dentally Speaking

So the dentist.  I've talked about it before (although when I tried to type in a search for "dentist" it took me three tries to spell it properly.  Go figure, thanks brain.) but yeah, it's not exactly my most favourite thing.

My new dentist, however, is good and I'm glad I made the change.

I bring this up because yesterday was the second in three visits I'll be making to the dentist this month alone, all to deal with fillings, which, I know I've been told there are worse things than fillings, so I'm trying to be grateful and thankful.  And I am... that I'm able to have my teeth taken care of.  This is really just whining, I suppose.

When I met this new dentist, I told him that the needles (for freezing) is the part I really don't like.  I don't have a fear of needles or anything, but getting that freezing always hurts, and seems to go on hurting forever, and then you get all weirdly numb and it feels like your tongue is the size of a grapefruit and then you're frozen for the rest of the day and can't swallow or chew right and then the needle spot often hurts for days after, more than the work that was done, so the needles part of the dental work?  Not my favourite.

So I mentioned to him that that was my worst part and he started trying to make it better.

Like yesterday, he asked me again, so it's the needle that's your worst part, eh?  And I said yes, it was.  (That and the breathing...) And so he now, when he's putting in a needle, goes super slowly, which is a mixed blessing, but in the end makes it hurt less, even if it feels like he's taking hours to put the freezing in.  But he also asks.  He asks how I'm doing and instead of just suffering through, I grunt if I'm not ok. And you know what he does?  He changes position slightly so I'm more comfortable.  It... blows my mind.  And yesterday?  The second needle he put in?  I didn't feel at all.  I mean, I knew he was there and doing it and all that but there was no pain with it and no discomfort.  It was like a small miracle.

I guess I wonder now if I could have had the needles hurt less if I'd indicated to other dentists that they were hurting.  Maybe just small adjustments from them would have stopped me from having the pain and the tears of previous needles, I don't know.  But now that I know that this new dentist is able to give needles that at least hurt less?  And maybe sometimes even aren't all that uncomfortable?  Well, that's something that I hope can continue, and it brings me relief.

I realized yesterday, that the other part of having the dental work done that I don't like is the... breathing... for lack of a better term.

Because when my mouth is frozen and half my tongue is frozen and football sized, I can't tell how much saliva is in my mouth.  And sometimes it feels like I'm choking.  Or am going to.  And that can make me feel a little panicky.  That and if the bib is too tight, or the mouth guard dam thing is too close to my nose or there are things up against my neck, I don't like that panicky feeling.  And in the past I've always just sat there and tried to suffer through.  This new dentist?  I'm trying to deal with it... I can't explain the details of how, but I just feel like it's going better.  They fold the dental dam way better so it's nowhere near my nose... they don't even use latex at all so I'm not dealing with irritation from that.  They ask how I'm doing, tell me how to indicate if I need suction, and maybe they even tip my chair back less, I don't know. 

I'm not saying it's fun.  Or that I'm happy about having three fillings three weeks in a row.  The day or five after aren't fun either but.... hey... at least we're dealing with things and hopefully can start to figure out why I keep getting cavities.  This dentist is wondering if I'm breaking them with biting too hard (I secretly think I may have to give up popcorn) and grinding (I know I do, and wear a thing at night for it) or if I'm missing with my flossing.  Which... I really do think I do well, or at least decently with my oral hygiene. 

So, yeah.  I guess I just wanted to make a metaphor of sorts that you don't have to suffer through things.  Like I did with my old dentist and needles for years.  Saying "ouch" or "I don't like that" might not change anything, but it might.  And it might make the suffering a lot less, or even stop.  You don't have to be tough and suffer through discomfort and pain.

Not just dentally speaking.


Blogger Jason Langlois said...

My problem at the dentist was that the 'freezing' never froze all the way. So I always just white-knuckled through it, and figured that's just what going to the dentist was like.

But then I got a new dentist who said "no pain", and just pumped enough freezing in to the point where the fillings didn't hurt.

World of difference. I started going regularly, and getting work done I've been avoiding.

So yeah, your metaphor is one I empathize with and understand.

Plus, I totally have the same problem with the breathing and the saliva thing.

So yeah ...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 6:12:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Oh geez... I can't and don't want to imagine that!!! Baaaad. But glad the new dentist is better. And yeah, stupid breathing! And they're like, just tell us if you need more suction but I can't tell because my tongue isn't working!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 6:31:00 pm  
Blogger Dominic said...

Another "anaesthetic doesn't work on me" sufferer here.. Damn stuff always worked well enough to numb my tongue, but not the inside of the actual tooth. No matter what dosage they tried.

Needing a lot of work a while back, my dentist was finally able to track down one that *did* in fact work. It's called articaine. Doesn't make visits fun, but takes a lot of the dread out of them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 2:39:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Ugh, I guess I should count myself lucky, eh? *shudder*

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 7:56:00 am  
Anonymous Elliott said...

Never had an issues with dentists. But as someone who has had years of allergy needles, I can tell you there are doctors who are much, much better than other at giving injections. An shot going into the tricep muscle by accident is not fun.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 10:49:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...


Wednesday, November 11, 2015 12:02:00 pm  

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