Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Split down the middle

It is no secred that I'm a dentaphobe. My fear of dental work is legendary. I avoid the dentist like the plague. How bad is it? Um... uh... I never go. I mean, I don't even HAVE a dentist anymore because if I did, I'd hate him and I'd avoid him and I'd be dropped from his practice because I would never turn up for appointments. How do I know this? Because this has actually happened once. Talk about embarassing. You know you're a total asshat when your dentist dismisses you from his practice for unexcused absences. That's bad.

What is it about the dentist that gets to me? I think it's the total lack of control. I don't like giving up my control of my body to some guy in a mask that asks me all sorts of stupid questions while I've got a stinky disgusting dental dam in my mouth. Those things taste wicked, too. Mmmm, latex!

Then there's the smell of the place. Turns my stomach so I'm nauseated the second I walk in there. Which is no way to climb into the dental chair. I'm so fearful I'm gonna spew like a volcano that I can barely breathe.

Which leads me to breathing, or lack thereof. Between the hysterical anxiety, the dental dam in my mouth, and my constant nasal blockage due to sinus distress, I really can't breathe. I start gasping for air and raising my hand for the dentist to stop within seconds. I'm a real joy as a dental patient.

The shots. The novocane. No way. It hurts and makes me feel even more nauseated. I do not like the shots. The laughing gas? It makes me toss my lunch, even on an empty stomach. The smell grosses me out, my stomach starts churning, and all of a sudden I'm Mentos in Diet Coke.

Lastly, the sounds. The SOUNDS of the dentist freak me out. The drill is way too scary. My anxiety levels start rising just thinking about the noise. And the scraping. Yikes! And that squidging sound when they're packing the fillings. Ick. Just ICK.

And I'm bringing this up why? Because I am a complete asshat when it comes to dealing with dental woes, and so now I am reaping the rewards of my stupidity. Months ago I complained about a molar that really needed a crown. Too expensive, no way could I pay for it, so I did what I always do, ignored it. And for months that was a prudent way to go. Until July 4th, when I bit a cherry on that side of my mouth and cracked my tooth right down the middle. Yes, I can literally split my tooth with my tongue right now. It, um, hurts like hell.

In fact, the pain is so bad that I tried to find a dentist. Hah! Jokes on me. The el-cheapo dental clinics that will treat me aren't taking new patients. Shit. Shit on a stick. I did find one ghetto dentist that had an emergency appointment on August 15, so I grabbed it. But there is no way I'm gonna last that long. I know there is some dental clinic someplace downtown that does emergency work, but I don't know where it is. I'm gonna have to wait till Monday to continue my panicked calling, but I'll find it. In the meantime, ibprofan is my friend. Not a great friend, mind, as it still hurts, but at least I'm not in tears.

But, but but...what really scares me is this. What are they going to do with a split tooth? My guess is extraction. I'm rather fond of my teeth and I've had them since infancy and would like to keep them. However, I don't think this is going to be possible. Which means a hole in my mouth. And a bridge. Which I think is even more expensive than a crown. Triple shit on a stick.

I deserve to be bitched at for being such a dweeb. But even more, that fucking jackass in the State House, Mitt the Pit Romney needs to be bitched at for taking away dental services as part of medicaid. The dentist might have sucked, but at least he was there and could do repairs. Not even knowing where to go when your mouth is inflamed and in pain, that totally and complely sucks.
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Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

My life has been intertwined with dentists...Everything you can have done has been done...MANY times! So, I "feel" your pain Margalit...And I understand everything you are saying about all the things you abhor about the dental experience...But I sure don't envy you the prediciment you are in right now....I hope you are able to get some help for that poor tooth...
I know it looks like I skipped you, but we posted at the same time..So, here I am! An Early Happy Birthday to you...Hope it is a lovely one.

8/7/06 1:13 PM  
Blogger bobealia said...

That does triple shit on a stick suck. I think Dentist are masochists because nobody likes dentists and there is no "nice" side to dentistry. It's all poking and drilling and needles and inflicting pain. I never know what to do with my tongue, and I feel like I can't swallow. Why would they take Dental off medicaid? I mean people HAVE to go to the dentist. I guess Canada doesn't cover dental as part of our healthcare either. But, I've never had issues finding a dentist. Now that I'm newly American and finding my way in the US I guess I will see when then time comes. I hope to have insurance by then (keeping my fingers crossed).

8/7/06 2:06 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Margalit..I came back to ask you a question and my doorbell rang and I JUST finished with that! (lol)

Anyway...what did you mean that you are reading me on bloglines? I'm not connected to bloglines in any way so I'm wondering how you could be reading me over there?
Thanks, in advance...

8/7/06 3:03 PM  
Blogger srp said...

Here from Michele.

Sorry about your toothache, that can really be extremely painful and I hope you can find someone to fix it soon. You are probably right, either a pulled tooth or root canal if they can do something with the tooth.

A lady I worked with several years ago had such a phobia about the dentist that she loaded up on valium before she went and had the laughing gas as well. Someone always had to take her and get her home.

8/7/06 9:57 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Good luck.

Your dental record sounds a lot like mine. I avoided going for about 12 years. I went annually throughout childhood. The dentist I had always seen suddenly gets his third new office in two years and I end up with four "really bad cavities" that all have to come out. I walked out and never went back. When I had my wisdom teeth out I asked the doctor if I had cavities - he was looking over my x-rays. He said no, just bad wisdom teeth. ...that was two years after I ran from the liar. ;)

needless to say, I don't trust dentist much. I only went last month because the tooth ache could not be ignored any longer.

I hate going. I hate it. Hate it. Hate it.

Do not hate coming here though. Michele sent me over to say hi and commiserate.

8/7/06 9:59 PM  
Blogger Miss Cow is a Cow said...

When I was about 5, I was in the dentist chair when it broke. Fell back. I went with it. Bit my lip straight through. It was nice. Really.

Go to the dentist, come out with a fat lip.

And what did the dentist say: "Wow, I've never seen that happen before."

Gee, ya think?

Here from Michele's.

8/7/06 10:01 PM  
Blogger kontan said...

I have no problem with dentists...but then with enough happy gas I do not have a problem with anything! My mother hated them and hated the pain shot...so she just refused to take it. That's insane. Hope you get it worked out.

Here from Michele's

8/7/06 10:02 PM  
Blogger Mocha said...

Well. I'm not here from Michelle's. I'm here from Belinda's. ;-)

It's odd that you wrote about this because my next post will be about my last dental experience! I hope it gets better for you!

8/7/06 11:53 PM  
Blogger Thumper said...

Having done pretty much the same thing, only I broke my tooth on a taco, unless it's missing a chunk, it probably won't have to be extracted. The doc just capped mine. Well, capped the one that didn't preak into chunks. I had another tooth that broke and I ignored it for a very long time, and by the time I went to see a dentist it was a goner. I had to see an oral surgeon to have it extracted (which, surprisingly, wasn't that bad...)

Tell whomever you see other dentists have had a hard time getting you numb. They'll break out the marcaine right off the bat, which is longer lasting and more effective than lidocaine. And these days they use a numbing gel BEFORE the shots, so it's not so bad. And no more dental dams. I haven't had one of those used on me since I was a kid.

9/7/06 12:32 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Oh my gosh! So sorry about the cracked tooth. I hope you find a dentist ASAP. Don't be too scared about the novacaine. My grandma used to describe it as just a little "mosquito bite". Good dentists do it so well, you don't even feel it anymore. Good luck, and happy healing.

P.S. Who's Michele and why is everyone here from her? :)

P.P.S. Thanks for visiting my blog the other day!

9/7/06 4:20 PM  
Blogger David said...

soak the moouth in red wine - works like a charm ( from the guy who has few teeth left intact)

9/7/06 4:29 PM  
Blogger The Flamingess said...

Oh no!! My deepest sympathies. I am also a dentophobe, but learned my lesson in a similar way. Now I dutifully hitch up my anxiety, down a stiff shot of brandy (nice for a 9am appointment) and make regular visits to let the evil hygienst keep me scraped clean and disaster-free. My one condition - no manual scalers - ultrasonics or nothing and as soon as the laser scaler is installed, I upgrading to that. Do not want anyone stabbing my gums with those nasty little picks! And the noise rivals fingernails on the blackboard. No, no and double no.

9/7/06 4:30 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Yikes. That really sucks. It's funny - I've never had a problem with the dentist. IT's doctors that freak me out.

9/7/06 5:56 PM  
Blogger Emily Barton said...

Everytime I go to the dentist (which I did on Friday to get two ancient fillings replaced. My jaw still hurts), I think of Steve Martin in "Little Shop of Horrors." Some (maybe) good news for you, though. I once split a tooth like that, and all I needed was a crown (not a pulled tooth and a bridge). And if it does need to be pulled, I had that done, too (on a different tooth), a couple of years ago. They knocked me out cold (it was the best trip to the dentist I ever had).

9/7/06 9:40 PM  

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