Odontophobia or Why I hate the dentist.

I didn’t used to have a fear of the dentist. I went every six month for my cleaning. I closed my eyes tight when that ginormous needle with the 2 round metal handles and plunger came toward my mouth. I gripped the arms of the chair while that “little moment of discomfort” sent chills and panic up my spine and through the top of my head. But I wouldn’t have called it a phobia. It wasn’t fun, but it was one of those things that had to be done, right?

Well somewhere in my years of watching that needle, having more and more pain each time, I developed what I would now classify as a full blown phobia. I’m terrified. And what do most of us do when we’re terrified of the dentist? We don’t go. The end. There’s nothing really to discuss. Don’t make the appointment and don’t go. Boom.

Until something is wrong and forces you to go. Ugh!

I can’t remember how many years it’s been since I was last at the dentist. But I vividly remember why I stopped going there. First, he wanted to drill out all of my old fillings that were silver mercury and replace them new white fillings. “How much would that cost and is it covered by my insurance?” All I remember is “No, not covered under any insurance but you really need to get that mercury out of your mouth.” Um, ok. Maybe I do, but I’ve had this mercury for years and years and until it starts going bad or allows me to pick up the BBC through my mouth, I’m ok. But thanks for trying to bilk me out of some money. 

And that’s all I felt like it was. A big painful money grabbing scheme. We NEED to have Xrays, but no they aren’t covered 100%. You NEED to have a filling but it’s going to cost $XX after insurance. Oh yes, we can make you more comfortable with some Xanax and  nitrous oxide, but you don’t want to see the bill afterwards. I feel like it’s going to the doctor but being charged for the weight, blood pressure, pulse rate and temperature……all separately! If I **NEED** X-rays, shouldn’t it be covered as part of my office visit?

Anyway, it’s not just about the money. Or crappy insurance coverage. It’s about the whole damn thing.

I know, I know, I KNOW I’ve been told I have a big mouth. Yea, yea, yea. But I actually had some dentist along the way chastise me because he thought I should be able to open my mouth farther than I was. Really dude?? It’s open as far as I can make it go. My lips are NOT like Mick Jagger. So he made some snide comment about needing to get the childrens size instruments. Yea, I never went back to him either. So the thought of laying in a chair, with a bright light shining directly in your eyes, with your mouth clamped open and people coming at you with needles, drills, and a little tiny pick ax, is not my way of spending a Monday morning.

Plus, have you ever seen the Seinfeld episode where Whatley is getting dressed after the Jerry’s procedure? And so is the hygienist? I swear if this dentist asks for a “schtickle of flouride”….I’m outta there!! And I’m going to be making sure if my shirt is tucked or untucked before I hit that chair!

 

And yet, here I go. I have some spot on my tooth. I don’t know what the heck it is. It’s weird and it bothers me. Not painfully bothers, but bothers because it’s on one of my front teeth and I do way too much smiling and I’m self conscience about it. I have no idea what in the world it could be. It’s actually ON my tooth, not my gums. No amount of brushing, flossing, whitening, peroxiding or oil pulling will make it go away. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s there.

So I’m off to the dentist to see how many times I’m charged for something “extra”, and to see what this damn spot is! (Can it be tooth cancer? I’m sure that’s what it is. Tooth cancer. Yep.)

Hopefully I survive in one piece. And still have enough money to go on vacation.  

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