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I got two crowns done on me poor li'l molars yesterday, and still feel a bit like I was punched in the jaw. My dentist said I was a great patient, which surprised me--I mean, I'm not like the masochistic patient quoted in the subject line (played hilariously by Bill Murray in Little Shop of Horrors); I don't like getting crowns. But what he meant was I didn't complain or freak out; I just cooperated. Don't most people cooperate?, I asked. Well, he said, a good half of them need a lot of calming down throughout; maybe one in ten just lies back and says, "OK, do what you got to do; I'll be quiet."

Hm. I suspect he was just being nice to me, but then again, we all hate and fear that drill, right? So I'm doing my own research. Please tell me:

How well do you handle getting dental work done--something long and involved, like a crown?

I like it. I think it's interesting.
I'm neutral on it; it's just another appointment, like an office meeting.
I dislike it, but am able to lie still and cooperate, and it goes smoothly.
I'm nervous and they can tell. They frequently have to pause to soothe me.
It pretty much puts me in a panic. It's an ordeal, for me and the staff, every time.



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2007 10:28 pm (UTC)
I freak out, but only in my head. Of course, my dentist is my brother's godfather and he has pictures of me sitting in his chair when I was five, so I trust him pretty implicitly. I mean, I saw him play Professor Higgins in "My Fair Lady" once, and he still sings bits of the score for me when pressed. So I'm sure that even if something hurts, he knows what he's doing, and since it's not so much pain but the fear that the pain is the result of Something Going Wrong that freaks me, I can manage to be pretty calm.
Jun. 1st, 2007 07:36 pm (UTC)
it's not so much pain but the fear that the pain is the result of Something Going Wrong that freaks me

Same here. It does help when they seem calm and competent! I really like my new dentist for being funny on top of it--he and the hygienist dude (who looks like Turk on "Scrubs") kept bantering throughout. Humor in medicine: I'm a fan.
May. 31st, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
The last one, except no ordeal for the staff, because I require at least three valium to get through an appointment :)
Jun. 1st, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC)
Heh--I considering adding something about sedatives to the last one. Ah, if only nitrous oxide wasn't so dangerous and problematic...I seem to recall it being really good stuff, the one time I got it. ;)
Jun. 1st, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
I didn't vote. I've never had anything done except cleanings (and braces, but that's not surgical procedures or anything). But I'm fairly sure I'd have to be sedated.
Jun. 1st, 2007 01:32 am (UTC)
Oh, I'd say bracework can be pretty traumatic - if you have fixed braces, that is. Brr, some of the stuff I had done... Not fun.

I can't say I love dental treatment, but I suffer through it in a stoical fashion.

I'm just waiting to see who will tick that they enjoy it... And then we have to hunt down those people and keep them locked up for their own good. ;) It's like saying one enjoys smear tests!
Jun. 1st, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
I look at it as a chance to practice stoicism too. And a chance to be thankful for Novocaine. ;)

So far only one person has called it enjoyable. Looks like "dislike" to "panic" is by far the average person's reaction.

Smear tests--hehehe. Indeed. But you know...someday I'll have to post about the time I got a pelvic exam, and a gorgeous med student named Francisco came along to help. That at least made it memorable. :D (I afterward amused myself by thinking that I let this young man get to third base for the sake of his education.)
Jun. 1st, 2007 07:39 pm (UTC)
You must have good hard teeth! I'm envious. And yeah, as Rachel says, I've heard braces can be pretty darn painful. There's still metal grinding on teeth, so it should count.
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Jun. 1st, 2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
Actually, ice cream does feel pretty good right now. Odd, since usually my teeth are cold-sensitive. Go figure. In any case, it's better than hard crunchy stuff.
Jun. 1st, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
I have panic attacks at the dentist for whatever reason (I think it came from when I almost choked on a tooth that broke a few years ago when they were trying to fix a filling). Now I go to a dentist specializing in patients with anxiety issues (there are many locally touting this claim).
Jun. 1st, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, aiieeeek! I'm shuddering repeatedly at the idea. I think it's the choke/gag possibility that bugs me most in the chair (with the vibrating metal on my molars as a close second). That experience sure wouldn't help. I noticed a lot of "specializing in anxious patients" type of ads in the yellow pages here too, when looking for a new dentist. Must be universal.
Jun. 1st, 2007 04:41 am (UTC)
I hatehatehatehate dental work. Even just cleanings are painful. Thankfully, I've never needed crowns or root canals or anything like that - they'd need to knock me out cold to be able to do that.

Maybe it stems from having braces for years, which were often very painful.
Jun. 1st, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC)
I've gotten into the habit of taking Tylenol before cleanings, since yeah, the scraping! The poking! The sadistic flossing! Bleah.

My sisters say the same about braces. I wonder if the InvisAlign stuff is any less painful?
Jun. 1st, 2007 08:48 am (UTC)
When I had a root canal done a few years ago I was bound and determined to go into it with a calm outlook and not to anticipate that it would be painful. The oral surgeon and his assistant got started and though it was uncomfortable I didn't feel any actual pain. They asked me if I was okay and I always said yes. Or probably more like "ah."

So the doctor and his assistant step outside the office for a minute and he brings in another assistant instead. Someone who's obviously very new. And I'm like, oh crap, I should have pretended to be more anxious, now I'm the guinea pig for the new girl. I could see her face but the doctor couldn't because they were both looking at me. Throughout the entire procedure she made the most disgusted, grossed-out expressions. Hilarious.
Jun. 1st, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
Hahah--uh, yeah, she should try not to make those faces. Bedside manner and all. Oh dear.

I've heard that the pain of the infected root is severe--much worse than the root canal procedure itself, for which of course you're numbed up. In fact, my sister claims the infected throbbing tooth hurt worse than childbirth.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )