Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dental Hygiene

Today I had a dentist appointment. Up until fairly recently I didn't go to the dentist. As a kid my back teeth were tilted funny so no matter how diligent I was I got cavities. My gums were pricked and my teeth drilled almost every time I went to the dentist for several years so when I got to college and didn't have dental insurance anymore (or a mother who lived nearby to make me go) I just stopped going. Even when I became a responsible adult I didn't go. I had such an aversion to the dentist it was just easier not going. That was until about 3 years ago when I cracked a back tooth on a piece of bread at a dinner function for work. I spent the night and next school day in pain, swallowing aspirin by the handful, avoiding a visit to the dentist. I don't know if you've ever had a tooth ache, but it is not something so easily ignored. I asked for some dentist referrals and finally made an appointment for that day after school. Terrified, I clung to the office chair having a full exam and then finally some pain medication for the cracked tooth. The next day I went in for a root canal. For the next three years, after thousands of dollars (both insurance $$ and my $$) my neglected teeth were slowly but surely repaired and made healthy again. I had DEEP cleanings, a couple more root canals, some new cavities filled, some old cavities redone with pretty new white fillings, and regular cleanings. During my last appointment, about 6 months ago, I had what I hoped were my last 3 refillings to bring my teeth back to tip top shape.

Today I had an appointment for a cleaning. I did not realize that it was time for my x-rays and check up as well. Although my dentists have been wonderful and all the work has been virtually pain free, I still have quite a bit of anxiety going, even for cleanings. So having to go through an exam and them possibly finding something else I had to have done (and pay for) increased my blood pressure to say the least.

"Everything looks good," the dentist said after looking at my x-rays and sticking his fingers into my mouth. "Yay!" I gurgled out loud. This is the first time in the last three years that I didn't walk out of the dentist office having just paid a bill or having made an appointment for more work to be done. I did make my next appointment for a cleaning, but that's it. It was a proud, proud day.

10 comments:

  1. Uh, exactly what kind of bread was it that cracked your tooth?

    PS I hate my teeth, but I love going to the dentist and it is firday afternoon and I thinking of a manhattan and what was i saying?

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  2. High five girl!!

    Can you believe Jessie is HOH again? ugh

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  3. My Kimmy's all grown up! Now you get to live the leaisurely life of cleaning every six months and that's all!

    I just went to the dentist this week, too. No cavities!

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  4. It's been awhile now, but when I finally went to the dentist after a long break, the cleaning was brutal. I never want to do that again. Now it's every 6 months . . . A little pain to avoid a lot of pain. Way to go!

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  5. I hate going to the dentist too! Congrats on the good visit!

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  6. Keep it up. No one likes a yuck mouth. ;)

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  7. Yay!

    I can tell you that all that time in the chair gave you a beautiful smile.

    ;-)

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  8. First, as per your comment, my favorite coffee is Pumpkin Delight, not Crazy and Pathetic LOL.

    Oh no. Little shop of horrors. I mean..GREAT you are keeping up with dental care!

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  9. Way to go Pumpkin. The dentist scares me too. But we have the nicest one ever. Oh. My. Gosh. I just love him : )

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  10. Well, I guess it ends well, with your teeth fully restored. I once also shared equal anxiety because of this childhood dental phobia I had. Eventually, the dentist (Hixson is where his office is) took excellent care of me and treated my gum inflammation. The good dentist in Hixson I believe truly cares for his patients and checks on their oral health truthfully.

    Keep it up with the dental hygiene, Kim!

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