Monday, November 1, 2010

Suburban nightmare

What is it about dentists that strike fear into the hearts of ordinary folk? For the most part, those dentists I've met seem nice enough people. Clean living. Smiley. A little buttoned-up in their neat white shirts, but who'd want a dentist with sloppy personal style?

And yet, the very sight of their hygienically decorated rooms is enough to make us quake in our boots. Or maybe it's just me?

I spent the morning in the dentist's chair. Toes clenched. Arms folded tightly across my chest as he instructed me to move my jaw in the opposite direction to my face. Mouth held in the 'Scream' position. Jaw aching. Skull reverberating with the high whine of that eerily pitched drill.

Two broken fillings. Not one. But two. Somebody doesn't like me.

But, you know what, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Either dentistry has moved on substantially in the 15 years since my last filling, or I have. I used to have my fillings done without needles because I was more afraid of the needle than the drill. Now I wonder what the hell I was thinking.

Perhaps it's because I have to set a good example these days. The boys attended my last check-up with me. Mr3 excited by the up-and-down chair. Mr6 with anxiety set of screechingly High. For them I had to pretend that having two fillings replaced was a breeze. Somehow it's easier to be brave for someone else.

They didn't attend today's event. A good thing, too. I wouldn't have wanted to keep smiling in the face of that drill. It would be hard to hold the 'scream' position and smile at the same time.

Imagine it.

I'd never get them back there. When, really, it's not so bad.

Although, everything's always better when it's over, now isn't it?

{image: graphicspaces/etsy}


  1. I did a comms strategy a couple of years ago to raise the profile of public dentistry in Victoria (clearly did a good job!) but one thing I learnt from my time there was that with dentistry's advances, for the first time we now have a generation of people who aren't afraid of dentists.

  2. I had a wisdom tooth removed while sitting in the dentists chair with a 2 year old Michael standing between the chair and the dentist. I put on such a brave face.
    Im honestly more afraid of the cost than i am of the dentist and procedures.

  3. I've never been afraito the dentist, but I don't go often inspite of bad teeth, because I just can't afford to. The cost is what keeps me away. If I won Lotto, I'd have perfect choppers within a month.
    Dentistry has come a long way, even the needles don't hurt anymore. They rub a little numbing gel on your gum before injecting and you feel nothing.

  4. I agree that the cost is a big part of the pain. Unbelievable!

  5. Wish I could say that I like the dentist, but alas, I always sweat when I have to go. And even more so when I'm actually there. Last time I had a filling done I paid the extra amount to get gas & air to make me a bit loopy! *shakes head in shame*

  6. Must be something in the water - I broke a filling the other day the dentist reckons I need a follow-up appointment with xrays etc (hmmmm, I think not!) :-)

  7. Oh yes.

    I was there today too. Again. For the millionth time this year.

    And oh, the cost. I could have gone on a pretty awesome round-the-world trip for what my teeth have cost me this year.

    When the @$%$ will medicare cover dental costs - ridiculous you can get free healthcare for every OTHER part of your body!!

    Sorry, feeling ranty at the insane costs :( But getting rid of the pain is worth it :)

  8. Very timely - I went to the dentist only last week and had to take my 2 year old with me. She loved it - loved seeing me go up and down in the chair, loved me wearing those protective goggles they give you and loved talking to me when I couldn't answer back.

    I was loathe to take her but she actually provided me with a distraction from thinking about that scene in Marathon Man with Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier.

  9. Oh, I don't like the dentist. I think it's because I don't know what they are going to do, but it does make it easier when you have to put a brave face on for the little ones, it's a good distraction.

    I'm glad to hear it wasn't to bad though.
    Have a wonderful start to November, now the dentist visit is over. xxx

  10. I think most people hate dentists because they always try and have a conversation with you while you have a mouthful of cotton wool and you can just grunt your answers. That's just plain sadistic really.

  11. I guess I've been super lucky since I don't have any nightmare stories about the dentist. Even though I went to school when dinos roamed the earth, I've only had to have 1 root canal in my whole life. I'm happy for you it's behind you now kiddo.

  12. I have had the most dental work this year than I have ever in my life. It was awful. But I got kind of used to it and now I'm not as scared anymore. But, it's not exactly something you look forward to.

  13. I'm not scared, but its a PITA anyway. The cost for unpleasant boring stuff. At least if I get bored at the hairdressers I have something nice to show for it. The dentist is just time wasted on ick.

    And exy.....oh my, how exy.

    (I am slack at returning. I had some minor work done when pregnant with Charlie and promised to return when I wasn't pregnant. Over five years have passed since...)

  14. Having braces for three years as a teenager gave me a good pain tolerance for the dentist I think. I've been going to the same dentist for 16years - pity I've moved about 10 times since, including interstate! My current round trip for a check up is over three hours drive. The only scary part for me now is the thought of having to go to a different dentist, I just can't imagine it.

  15. Yuckkedy Yuck yuck. I'm forever grateful that my teeth seem to be in good nick as I don't think I could stand it. x

  16. I haven't been to the dentist in such a long time. I remember thinking that I should get a check-up before I fell pregnant...well Lil is now two, and I still haven't been. I guess I should take her soon too!

  17. I fear the dentist for the cost and the pain levels but I adore the chairs! They are so comfortable and seem to support all the right muscles. The only time I get to sit on them are the trips to dentists every five years and when I donate blood. Possibly one of the reasons I donate...

    If I had the money I'd buy myself one of the chairs.

  18. *like* Shauna's comment. I haven't been to have a teeth cleaning in over 2 years for that very reason. Hey - I brush hard... :\

  19. I never know what to prepare myself for more - the drill or the bill! Here's to shiny pearly whites all round :)

  20. I need to go back to the dentist desperately (it's been about two years since my last visit) and I've been putting it off because I'm terrified. There's nothing scarier than the sound of that drill... THAT and the fear of cavities, root canals, and all sorts of teeth malfunctions.


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