Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Is It Safe: Adventures in Bad Dentistry

I've had really bad experiences with dentists in my lifetime. The crux of the problem is that I can't get numb with novocaine shots placed in the regular spots. About 7 years ago, I opted to go ahead with a tooth filling even though I could feel everything. I was on my lunch-break and had already wasted an hour for 10 injections that did not numb me enough. That afternoon was all about breathing through the pain and disassociating.

Since then, I've sought out dentists that claimed to cater to people with dental anxiety. Belmont Dental Group was amazing when I lived in Waltham. They could get me numb easily and had very friendly sympathetic staff. Then I moved down to Quincy. I thought I found a similarly inclined dental practice on the South Shore. This morning, I had my most extensive dental work at their practice and I wound up reenacting scenes from Marathon Man.

I thought I would be all set with the 10mg of valium I was prescribed by the dentist. I arrived at my appointment and discovered no one knew what procedure I was having. I thought I was getting a new filling and an old silver filling replaced. I had to persuade 3 people that is what I was getting done. They kept insisting I should get 3 fillings replaced - which would cost me at least $1,000 and I had never discussed or agreed to that. I should have taken this confusion as a sign for how the rest of the morning would go.

Two shots in my lower left jaw and here comes the drill. Guess what? I could feel everything on both teeth. Lots of flailing and tears to get them to stop. Two more shots and a break. I knew I wasn't getting numb enough because I could still feel my lip and tongue. Back with the drill. One tooth wasn't too bad but the filling replacement hurt like a mother fucker but the dentist kept barking at me to keep my mouth open and warned me I would hear/feel grinding. Sweet baby Jesus what was he doing to that tooth? Then he finished - I thought- after waiting 20 minutes to rinse and collect myself I got up to go. Dentist returned and told me I couldn't leave because I had a big hole in my tooth. Ohhkayyy. So more horrendous pain, poking, drilling, and prodding. It turns out I did not have a filling replaced. He drilled through like half my tooth to get a cavity and fill it. NO ONE TOLD ME THIS!

I was spitting out blood for hours afterwards and that half drilled tooth is killing me. I consented to 1 new filling and 1 filling replacement. That did not happen. Anyone know of a good South Shore dentist that can deal with dental anxiety/numb difficulty?

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