My Dentist is cooler than yours

I have a genuine paranoia of needles. Now, when I say that, many people nod knowingly and sympathetically and say, "Yeah, me too."

With all due respect, to the vast majority of you...shut the smurf up. No, you don't. You don't know the meaning of the word. We are so busy changing the language that we no longer can use it correctly. 

When I say paranoia, I mean it in the Websters sense. It is not a normal fear, not a reasonable fear. It goes way beyond the pale.

The night before a dentist appointment I am almost always unable to sleep because of terror of what will happen at the dentist. Until it was made illegal, the Willamette Dental Group would not see me as a patient unless I had a prescription muscle relaxer AND laughing gas.  When they go to stick a needle in my mouth they have to remind to breathe because I literally stop breathing.

I arch my back, clench my muscles, close my eyes, stop breathing, hum to cover the sound (I know....what sound. That is the point, it is NOT a reasonable fear.) and other assorted things which make the job more difficult for the needler.

I am not proud of this, I just am explaining the difference between paranoia and every-day "I am afraid". 


A natural result of this paranoia is dentist visits are rather unpleasant for me. As I mentioned before, I often am physically unable to sleep the night before prior to or after visits. I have been known to take a day off after a visit because I was so fatigued from the night prior to it and the worry I went through. 

I love soda.

What? Total non-sequiter there. Well, actually it isn't. Soda is many things. A carbonated beverage. Refreshing on a hot day. A good alternative to alcohol, Kool-aid or water. Something that rots your teeth.

As a result, I have had lots of issues with my teeth.

Yesterday I had not one but 2 teeth the dentist needed to work on. So after an almost totally sleepless night, off I went to visit the dentist I have been with for about 5 years, Dr. Currey. I really like her, she is an excellent dentist.

But this would be the first time I had a cavity in one of my front teeth. Those are far and away the most sensitive.

Well, due to me being me, they do give me laughing gas which is sort of a muscle-relaxer/pain masker.  After a few minutes for it to take effect, in goes the !@#$%^&*(&^%$#@!#$%^&*
needle for the Novocaine. 

As one might suspect, it was not a pleasant experience. I believe it was 4 times her assistant had to tell me to breathe. 

A few minutes later the Novocaine has taken effect and in goes the drill. 

In theory, at least, the Novocaine has taken effect.  The problem is...I can feel the drilling. I caused a sharp, shooting pain that shot through the roof of my mouth into the top of my head and I jerked. 

She hesitated a moment, then tried it again. Same result.

Now, I had this happen once before with a dentist in Ranier who shall remain nameless because I pretty much hate him. And because I do not remember his name. 

He said, "You don't feel that. You have enough Novocaine in you to put down an elephant."

I cannot tell you how much that angered me. I will listen to the argument the pain is in my mind. I will listen to the argument it is caused by the paranoia. What I will NOT listen to is the argument I do not feel it. 

Whatever the reason, whatever the explanation, I DID feel that pain. And when he told me I didn't, and basically chewed me out, it really got on my nerves.

Dr. Currey, when it happened, had a much different reaction. She did not scold me, did not call me a liar, did not tell me I could not feel it. She adjusted her treatment method. 

Instead of using a drill she went with some sort of hand tool that was much, much easier for me to deal with. It took longer, was harder on hers, and was what needed done. She did not complain, did not chew me out, she just dealt with the reality.

I appreciate that a great deal. There is a reason she will continue to be my dentist as long as she will put up with me.

I am not an easy patient but she is always patient and understanding, works with me, understands my fears and deals with my sensitivity. 

When someone goes above and beyond the call, I respect, appreciate, and rebroadcast that. 

Should you ever be searching for a dentist, I can strongly and heartily recommend Dr. Currey. She is awesome.

6 comments:

pheromone girl said...

I'm so sorry for your aversion to dental work, needles, drills and the like.

I have very-very-very hard to numb teeth. I've been through a number of dentists that made me feel like a freak. I may just have to give this Dr Curry a call.

Thank you for sharing. And yes, Sean is available for laundry duty at your leisure. Cost: A pizza and some soda!

Riot Kitty said...

That does sound like a good one indeed. Sorry it is such a bad experience for you in general.

Anonymous said...

I have heard from a dentist that the more nervous you are, the less the novocaine works. So you really have to be given more novocaine in order for it to take effect. So that other dentist is not only rude, but perhaps stupid and shouldn't be allowed to administer medication.
-Goose

JLee said...

Good for her to be understanding and work around it. And good for you for working through your fear. :)

crisjesse said...

When I had three wisdom teeth pulled they only gave me novicane shots. They gave me between 15-20 shots cuz I kept feeling it. I questioned the dentist about it and he said that some people have more nerves in their mouths than other people. Even with all those shots I still felt some pain, but it was bearable and I was worried about having too much junk put into my gums.

So I guess when someone says "it's like finding a needle in a haystack" it's emphasized for you...

Jessica said...

Encino dentists are great dentists who know this about Encino and why they chose to practice there. Most dentists want the family clientele so they go out of their way to make coming to their offices easy and fun.