Monday, November 12, 2007

Dental woes

I went to the dentist this morning for the first time in more than a year. I am terrified of going ot the dentist. Once I'm there, I'm fine. It's making the appointment and getting in the car that I have problems with. I should state for the record that I love my dentist. She's very kind, very gentle and patient with me, and very funny. I just don't want to go there. B can attest that I was a wreck last night in anticipation of this morning's appointment.

Part of the problem is that my teeth are essentially disintigrating, which has my dentist stumped. Two summers ago, for three months I spent one morning a week at the dentist's office. I had to have a bunch of old fillings drilled out and replaced because there was decay behind them. I had three root canals and crowns done because the decay behind old fillings was too severe. The procedures themselves don't phase me in the least. I put on my iPod and tune out what's going on around me. As long as the novocaine is working, I'm fine.

But I was terrified to go back today because I was sure the dentist was going to find more problems and we'd have to start over on repairs. And I can't afford another $18,000 worth of dental work again. So of course the obvious option was to just not go to the dentist. Ha.

She found decay behind three of the fillings she put in two years ago and under one of the crowns she installed. So she's fixing those problems free - I saw it's about time I earn some sort of bonus on the money I've paid her. But there are two teeth that have more decay, and she won't know the extent until she gets in there and digs around. She can't tell from the x-ray what's going on.

Just great.

I have my dentist so stumped that she took pictures of my teeth and is making copies of my chart to take to her dental study group. She told me she's never seen this happen before, that she's treated patients whose teeth were covered in plaque but they didn't have any decay. My teeth are clean but they're falling apart before her eyes. I'm just ever so thrilled that I get to be a study subject.

In addition to the problems with me teeth, my jaw is acting up. It hurts on one side when I open and close my mouth to yawn - or to hold it open for the dentist. It's hurt for a few months, but of course I didn't do anything about it. My dentist is going to talk to her study group about that, too.

My dentist wouldn't let me leave without scheduling an appointment for the first round of work and my three-month cleaning. So I have to go in the Monday after Thanksgiving for fillings, which gives me two weeks to have panic attacks about it.


Suburban Correspondent said...

Oh, honey, I am so with you on this. I think dentists are allowed to write prescriptions - ask her to get you something that will dull the anxiety for the next visit. Valium, maybe?

It sounds as if your saliva may be super-acidic and eating away at your teeth? Is that possible? Allergic kids tend to have more acidic saliva (I read this years ago) and more dental problems.

Barb Matijevich said...

I am so sorry to hear of this. You know, the closest thing I've experienced to this is the weirdness of my foot turning out to be a complete birth defect and no one noticing for 42 years. I don't think I want to be in the record books!

Let me know if I can help in any way. Maybe you need a good yarn distraction... I'm just sayin'.

PS: Oh my gosh, my word verification is "hhogod." I mean, EXACTLY, right?

Family Adventure said...

I am a dentist-o-phobe, too.
I hope your dentist and her study group can figure something out for you. A plan to prevent further damage. And definitely a pill to relax you!

Good luck!!