Warning: Do not read this while, before or just after eating.

Today I will sit in The Dentists Chair for the first time in three years.
Three years.
I used to go twice a year, every year for check ups and cleanings. Then, we had to switch to a crappy insurance in which we had to pick from a list of crappy dentists and since I was no longer able to see the dentist I had grown to love because she was gentle and never hurt me, I boycotted dentists all together.
I’ve thought everything was fine and that I’d get away with this behavior. Until about a week ago, when my tooth started aching and OH MY GOD I saw a cavity.
To say that I am terrified would be putting it mildly. I can not stand the dentist that we’ve “picked” from the List of Crappy Dentists. I’ve taken the boys for x-rays and he’s unfriendly and has perfect hair that doesn’t move when he walks because good GOD, the hairspray.
I don’t trust people with hair that perfect. They scare me.
I’m scared to death that he’s going to say “Sorry, you waited too long and we’re going to have to pull it.”
I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with dental work. (Like, the one time, the tooth that I had a root canal on become infected and the entire roof of my mouth was ONE BIG SACK OF PUS and had to be sliced with a blade and SUCTIONED OUT.) The combination of bad genetics (my mom had dentures by the time she was in her twenties) and the lack of dental work until I was 18 (My parents didn’t have insurance, so I didn’t have work done on my teeth until after I got my first real job with dental insurance.) is to blame for all the work I’ve had to have done on my teeth in my adult life.
I have Teeth Issues.
I secretly hate people with perfect teeth. I live in fear everyday that my teeth are just going to start falling out. Especially since I had work done on the top, front teeth, which are now “vaneers”. I won’t eat corn on the cob, and just recently gave up almonds because, you know, I don’t want to crack a tooth and lose it.
(Which reminds me of the time we were at a “Country” bar and we were eating chips and salsa and my tooth BROKE IN HALF when I bit into a corn chip and I freaked the hell out and ran into the bathroom to look in the mirror and HAHAHA! In my panic, I had accidently ran into the men’s bathroom and man, dude with His Thang out didn’t think it was very funny.)
I’m also freaking out about the fact that this dentist is a man. I’m not sure I want Man Hands all up in my mouth. You know what I’m sayin’?
I could go on and on and on about how scared I am right now and how OMG! What if I come home missing a tooth?
Freaking, over here.
Gum Massacre Update
Dr.Ken Doll DDS (Thank you for that, Nat.) is more evil than I had imagined in my mind. You see, I went in to get the tooth that is hurting me fixed, but he decided that I needed to have my GUMS SCRAPED TO SHREDS instead, because, you know, I’ve been a bad girl and not had my teeth cleaned in over three years.
I almost passed out when he put his hand down for a second and his gloves were DRIPPING WITH BLOOD. At one point, I seriously considered grabbing his head and messing his hair up just to MAKE HIM STOP. But, instead, I closed my eyes and cried a little on the inside
My gums are currently throbbing, But! The good news is that there will be no removing of any teeth. I do need three crowns, (which, the horribly bitchy receptionist informed me will cost $300 a piece and “we don’t do payment plans, bitches”. so, um, that’s not going to happen) But, hey! There are no gaping holes in my mouth!

36 thoughts on “Warning: Do not read this while, before or just after eating.

  1. Natalie

    It’ll be fine. I totally feel you on freaking out about the dentist, but it’ll be fine. Last summer, I went for the first time in SIX YEARS, and just recently, my friend went for the first time in THIRTEEN YEARS. And both of us turned out FINE.
    See, you just need to flip your attitude. Why should you be panicked over being with Dr. Ken Doll, DDS? He’s all pansy ass, doesn’t even do the hardwork (his hygienists do), perfect hair, thinks he’s hot shit, probably hasn’t REALLY worked a day in his life. You? You could beat the HELL out of him if he so much as pinches too hard. He probably doesn’t even know how to swat a friggin’ FLY, yo. For realz. Turn it around. You’re THE PEOPLE. He’s…THE PANSY.
    Not like I’ve ever given myself that pep talk. I’m just sayin’.

  2. lynne

    Hello, I feel for your dillema I really do. I seriously doubt that they will pull your tooth. It has to be wayyyy far gone before they would do that. For whatever reason, mainly I think because my mother forgot, I was 12 years old before I went to the dentist. I was in a lot of pain too, from a tooth I had cracked on a gobstopper (large, hard sucky sweet (candy to you)) a few years before. Anyway I had an abssess which needed to be drained and they ended drilling practically most of the inside of the tooth away and replaced it with a crown. So you see even after 12 years of neglect I didn’t loose a tooth. And I can’t say
    I was that good with the old toothbrush drill either, especially as my big sister nicked my toothbrush to clean her suede boots! Lol I’m not doing much to improve the British reputation for having bad teeth 😉

  3. Mieke

    So I guess there’s not point in mentioning that I have NEVER EVER in 38 years had a cavity? EVER!
    Not that it matters because I am the world’s laziest flosser and the dentist always chides me that if I am not careful I’ll be able to look at my perfect teeth in a jar.
    Must. Floss. More.

  4. lynne

    Ahem, incase all of Y’s readers now think I’m a dirty mucker for not brushing my teeth. Let it be known from that dentist visit on, I have faithfully done the toothbrush drill twice a day:)

  5. Y

    OMG, Mieke! I hate you now.
    Every other tooth in my mouth has a filling, or a crown.
    I so envy you and your perfect teeth.

  6. Itchy

    My sister has the perfect teeth. I am riddled with fillings…and I should get braces again since my teeth have moved so much…It sucks…
    Going to the dentist is a big source of stress for lots of people – you are not alone. I get all worked out before I go in just for a teeth cleaning, and I have a nervous stomach…that’s fun to sit with while having your teeth scraped. 😛

  7. Ms. Q

    Ack! I hate dentists with the fiery hot intensity of a thousand suns. Sorry you have to go. I’ve got teeth issues, too. And one time a dentist tried to feel me up when I was semi-conscious during a root canal. Bastid. I should have sued!

  8. Mit_Moi

    I have no wonderful words of comfort. I have my share of fixed catities and crowns – and I do brush regualar and floss! But I will add, “knowing the condition of your mouth is better than wondering”. I would tell the Dr. stright up – I am terrified. You hurt me or screw up? I’m going to bite you and then barff – but hey, it’s your choice! Nice manner, no pain for me – no pain for you!

  9. E

    Oh man. My mum took me to the dentist all the time when I was little, and I took myself when I got to uni. Didn’t help though. When I was 18 I started having problems with getting these really painful infections in my gum, right at the back. And my bloody dentist was like “OK whatever. It’s nothing.” Until one day I went to my doctor (who’d trained as a dentist) for something entirely different and mentioned the infections as an aside to him. My doc said “Well it might not be anything but we’d better check now that your almost 21 and you say you’ve had this problem for almost three years.” So off I went to get an x-ray.
    The day I was sitting in the office of a Professor of Maxillo-Facial surgery. Four days later I was under a general anaesthetic getting my four severely impacted wisdom teeth removed. Oh it wasn’t just the teeth, I had a massive damned cyst the size of a golf ball around my upper impacted right wisdom tooth which had eaten through my sinus cavity and was sitting AGAINST MY BRAIN.
    So, to sum it up I hate dentists. If he’d actually listened to me two years prior, I wouldn’t have had to get a cyst removed from against my brain. Thank goodness for my doc…

  10. geeky

    i think you’ll be fine! my dad didn’t go to the dentist for over 10 years (extreme fear of dentists). when he finally went, he had to get two root canals, but he got to keep all of his teeth! if your dentist does say you need a tooth pulled, get a second opinion before he starts yanking anything out!
    the funny thing is that i thought you were one of the “perfect teeth” people. i mean, in all of your pictures, your teeth look awesome! *jealous*

  11. dana michelle

    I’m with the people who said don’t worry. They won’t pull your tooth unless it is horribly far gone.
    I had no cavities until about age 12. When I discovered one, I was terrified to tell my parents because over the years my older sisters had filled my head with stories about the horrors of the dentist drill. So, stupid idiot that I was. I just kept my mouth shut and let my tooth rot away.
    When I was 15, my mother just up and made me a dentist appt, because it had been eons since I’d had one. By that point, the molar was just a crater. And the dentist still didn’t pull it. He filled it with 3 different layers of stuff: One to deaden the nerve, one to fill the inside, and finally the silver amalgam top.
    I’m 46 and the molar is still going strong!
    Good luck today, kiddo!!

  12. Erin O'Brien

    Tell the dentist you will be needed a HUGE quantity of laughing gas.
    Drink a tumbler of whiskey or two.
    Have several sleeping pills on hand for afterwards.
    Make sure your family knows that you will be unavailable for 4 to 7 days.
    Good luck.

  13. NinaKaye

    I haven’t been to a dentist in 15 or so years. I hate the dentist so much, I wouldn’t go if it was free! I damn near have to be put to sleep just for the cleaning. It’s very traumatic. So, I’ll just brush really good and floss and stuff and hope for the best.

  14. Broad

    Well, at least you didn’t jump to the conclusion that you had oral cancer like a certain someone did not a month ago (slinks off into a corner all redfaced) …

  15. kristal

    A guy and a girl meet at a bar.
    They get along so well that they decide to go to the girl’s place.
    A few drinks later, the guy takes off his shirt and then washes his hands.
    He then takes of his trousers and washes his hands again.
    The girl has been watching him and says, “You must be a dentist.”
    The guy, surprised, says “Yes….how did you figure that out?”
    “Easy,” she replied, “you keep washing your hands.”
    One thing led to another and they make love.
    After they have done, the girl says, “You must be a good dentist.”
    The guy, now with a boosted ego says, “Sure, I’m a good dentist, How did you figure that out?”
    “Didn’t feel a thing!”

  16. demondoll

    I’m so glad you don’t have to pull that tooth!
    Sounds like your dentist is a chode. (When I was 6 yo, I bit our family dentist. He didn’t touch my mouth again for 7 yrs. Left all the work with the hygienist.)

  17. suzie

    i’m terrified of the dentist too, and here’s my pathetic confession: i am so jealous of people with good teeth that i used to not even smile in photos. we never had the money for braces growing up, and now i have crooked ugly teeth. i by definition work with a lot of people with money and i always think that they are judging my white trash crooked teeth. and i think my patients notice too, and wish they had a doctor with “more class” oh, i am sooooo neurotic about teeth. and you, girl, have gorgeous teeth so no complaining! (ok, it’s ok to complain about bloody gloves, but still! hush! i am jealous of you!)

  18. Y

    OMG! I would NEVER show my teeth when I’d smile and when I’d talk? I’d cover my hand with my mouth, because my front teeth were very large and the overlapped the other teeth and then, one of them started turning brown. It was horrible. Also? The bottom teeth are horribly crooked.
    But then, my dentist from Jesus (because she was a gift from God) was able to get my insurance to pay to have porcelian vaneers on the front two teeth. But, now they’re all pretty white and my other teeth are getting yellow so they’re all mismatched and I’m starting to get paranoid to show my front teeth again.

  19. Tuesday

    can you get the crown work done at a dental school? they are usually great and very very cheap. They also have a dentist there the whole time watching the students.
    It is an option.

  20. Bren

    When I was living in L.A. and didn’t have any medical insurance, I went to a very nice guy named Dr. Sands. It’s a ways out from where you live, but it might be worth seeing if he’ll accept you with your insurance. The name of the place is Smiles By Sands. (Dude, he even called me at home later that night to see how I was feeling. He looked like the lead singer of Weezer. I highly recommend.)

  21. Candy

    I actually have chills because I hate the dentist so much.
    It’s been closer to 7 years for me. A filling fell out in December and I’m basically trying to ignore it…and two other teeth sort of ache once in a while but not all the time so I’m able to pretend it’s ok.
    I HAVE to go. I’m going to take this as a sign, Y, and try to find a dentist I don’t want to murder.

  22. chris

    Oh Y, I have the dentist issues too. I finally found a dentist that i LOVE. We have good dental insurance, but still have to pay a ton of money out of pocket. I could have bought a car last year, just to put it into perspective.
    6 crowns, 3 root canals, and gum surgery…and that was only on my upper teeth.
    ANd yes I do brush and floss my teeth like a mad woman. It’s a combination of bad genetics, seven pregnancies, and huge fillings that weakened my teeth causing them to crack. Then I ignored the cracks and eventually needed root canals.

  23. Nytro

    i feel you on this one. i had not one, not two but THREE fucking root canals in a month. and after each and every one i got an infection that had me me crying from the pain and looking like a slacked-jawed moron. to top it off, dr. evil gave me some antibiotics that gave me a massive yeast infection and caused diarrhea and spotting. the triple threat. the trifecta. three times. one month. now he wants me to come back and finish what he started. which, i assume means he wants to kill me.

  24. Lessa

    omg – i totally feel ya. Course, imagine my surprise when the last time i went in (2 years ago!) it was the first time in THIRTEEN YEARS (yes. 13!) and I had only one cavity! go me!
    course, now that I had them cleaned and stuffed, i’m sure they’ll fall out or something. ew!

  25. Sarah

    Ugh. My teeth have been a constant source of shame for me for YEARS. My parents always took us to the dentist for cleanings and check ups but I *always* had at least two cavities everytime I went.
    I like to blame it on my Mother who let me carry around a bottle until the age of 2 but I was never really diligent about flossing and brushing as a child.
    I’m paying the price now. I’ve already had five root canals and crowns and I still need about six more. Let’s not mention the gum surgury I need, too!
    I haven’t been in about three years because we too had to switch over to crappy insurance that only pays a maximum $1k per year and for me, that’s not even for ONE tooth.

  26. jen

    Okay, I have a hard time with the fact that he scraped your gums. My husband went to one dentist who suggested that and indicated he would only do so much work until the gumms were scraped. DH got a second opinion from a dentist who told him that was a money-grubbing tactic for dentists, that it was unnecessary and didn’t do much that better daily care wouldn’t fix. Eventually, DH started going to my dentist, whom I love because he took me seriously about needing three times as much novocain as nornal people, and they’ve not breathed a word about gum scraping in more than two years. So apparently, it’s not as crucial to his dental health as the first dentist seemed to think.
    I also hate going to the dentist, and I feel your pain. My parents had really good insurance and we went to a fantastic place that had dentists trained for kids, but I was still in there once a month, it seemed… My baby teeth had no enamel, which made it painful to brush. My parents didn’t force it, so I had cavities very early, and some of my permanent teeth came in with cavities already established. I’ve got tons of fillings, I had braces (although for less time than most), and I had four permanent teeth pulled before I could get the braces. I’m thankful that I had good dental care when I was little, but when I grew up I went years without seeing a dentist, partly because of insurance, but mostly because I just hated the idea of going into a dentist office.
    Yeah, great first comment… I read your blog all the time and you crack me up, and my first comment is about teeth? Sorry about that. 🙂

  27. LotionBarBunny

    I think I need to go to the dentist too. My insurance makes you pay up front and then they only give you 20% back. Not really insurance if you think about it then I guess.
    I think I have a cavity. When I was younger the dentist gave me “the funny nose” which was filled with yummy laughing gas in which I felt no pain. But now, when you are an adult, they give you a big fat needle in your mouth. I do not look forward to it.

  28. Cara

    Ack! I’m so sorry. Try teabags on your gums–boil up black tea, then let them cool down, and press them against your gums. The tannic acid will reduce inflammation and help you feel better. 🙂 But make sure they’re still damp, or else they’ll stick, and um, we’re not going to talk about that.

  29. sarah

    i have teeth issues too. horribly expensive teeth issues. i feel your pain. i hate your dentist for you. you need to ‘pick’ a new crappy dentist. and you need to kick the receptionist in her perfect blonde teeth. my dentist offers payment plans at 18%. i was all like, i’m not paying interest on my teeth. i already pay interest on every purchse i made between 1999 and 2005 and my education and my soul. no thanks.

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