My Visit to the Dentist

I know, I know! This may be a weird thing to post about, but I’m going to anyway!

I went to the dentist today for the first time in about 8 years I figure. "WHAT?" I’m sure is some of your reactions or probably "GROSS!"  Well, let me explain why I HATE going to the dentist. First of all the last couple of times I went, the hygienist was VERY rough, didn’t offer anything for pain, scolded me for not flossing, and it took forever to clean my teeth. Then to top it off, the dentist told me I had to get my old fillings removed. Again, that was 8 years ago and my old fillings are just fine, still!

A couple of weeks ago, I took my niece Kara to the dentist in Boyne City, and while I was sitting there, I noticed how nice the receptionists were and Kara told me how she loved the hygienist! So, while I was sitting there waiting for Kara, I asked if they were accepting new patients, and sure enough, they were! So, I scheduled Jeff and I both appointments. Mine was today and Jeff’s is on Monday.

As I was being escorted into the room, the receptionist asked me if I liked dentists and I said "No". She replied, "Oh my!" But in a friendly tone.  Right away the hygienist came and we went off for x-rays.  I had to have a full-mouth set since I was a new patient and haven’t had any taken in 8 years or so. Then we went back to the room and she finished the x-rays which weren’t as bad they used to be.  I have a small mouth and those darn cardboard things they stick in your mouth used to poke the heck out of my gums and cheeks.  But now they have these high-tech looking things that don’t hurt quite as much.

After the x-rays she asked me if I was a flosser, and I said "No".  She was okay with that! She didn’t scold me or make me feel like an idiot for not flossing. And she asked me how long it’s been since I’ve been to the dentist and I told her about 8 years and she was okay with that too; no scolding or intimidation.

Then came time for the cleaning.  The part I dread the most because it hurts like heck when they poke you with the instruments and scrape the crap off your teeth. Well as Theresa explained, they now use an ultra-sonic thingie to get the crap out from under your gums that vibrates and squirts water. It’s way less painful than the old fashioned way, and whenever I flinched because she hit a sensitive spot, she put some numbing cream on the spot.  No hygienist ever offered me numbing cream before! That made all the difference in the world. I could handle the little "zings" I would get from my gums being sensitive and the pressure from the ultra-sonic tool.

Then she polished them with mint (my choice) and then the scraping began. It wasn’t too bad. There were a couple of build-up spots that she really had to scrape and a couple of spots where she had to dig crap out from under my gum line in the back.  That was pretty sensitive but she used that awesome numbing cream and it made it much more bearable. 

After the scraping, actually near the end of it, the other assistant came in and they did the periodontal chart, where they poke your gum line to test how deep the pockets are. The higher the number, the worse it is.  My highest was a 5 in two spots, a few fours and the rest were ones, twos and threes.  She said that for not being a flosser and not having my teeth cleaned in over 8 years, that they looked really good.  I have no cavities and they were even jealous of how good of shape my teeth are in. I’ve had no major dental work ever, only about 8 fillings.  My bones look good too, no erosion there.  I was pretty happy about that. Obviously she said if I try to floss at least once or twice a week and get my teeth cleaned every 6 months, my gums will toughen up and it won’t hurt at all. So,  I’m going to commit to flossing twice a week and sticking to my semi-annual cleanings!

Now, my teeth feel weird and loose but it’s getting better as the day goes by. Hopefully the weirdness will be gone tomorrow.

I do have to go back Monday because I didn’t actually get to see the dentist because they got backed up before I even got there. That was the only downside to my dental experience today.  Not too bad I suppose for hating the dentist! I guess my attitude toward dentists has been changed from this positive experience !

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