The Dental Chair

I'm having some dental work done this week. 

A word of silence, please.

Thank you.

I'm dreading the dental chair. I wrote the following as a guest post last year, but I thought you might like to read it, considering my current frame of mind.

Also, I can't type well when I grind my teeth:

I found a new dentist for my kids. He’s nice and his office staff is friendly and helpful. It’s a family dentistry practice. So, he treats kids and adults.

There’s a children's waiting room with video games and toys. I have to force my children to play.

My husband liked the office so much, he became a patient. 

That’s nice. I wish I could.

Oh, I like everything about the dentist’s office. But I can’t join the rest of the family.

Why? My teeth have a low self-esteem.

It’s true. You might see me smile and think my teeth look nice. And, on the surface, you are right. But I have deep-seeded teeth issues.

As a child I was always the one with a cavity. My siblings would get their photos posted on the bulletin board because their teeth were perfect. Stupid bulletin board.

I didn’t lose my baby teeth either. So, in order for the tooth fairy to visit me, I had to have my teeth pulled at the dentist’s office. I remember once I had 8 teeth pulled in one day. There must have been a 'pull one, get one free' deal. 

I brushed, flossed. It didn’t matter. I got braces and went through dental torture in my teen years. I wore a metal head gear to Jr. high. 

I wish I was kidding.

So all of these factors probably contribute to my teeth feeling so inadequate. 

I’d really like to change dentists. 

But I won’t. I feel comfortable at my current dentist and that is saying a lot, considering my history. His office is dingy. He is old and doesn’t have any of the new equipment. His office staff is rude. It’s inconvenient and it’s hard to get an appointment.

And, there’s a bonus. He smokes. Yes, my dentist is a smoker. 

So, when he takes a peek at my pearly whites, and moves in for a close up, I get quite a whiff. This makes me happy. I mean, my olfactory senses are offended, but my teeth? 

They feel right at home.

I scoured the city for a crummy dentist. I feel comfortable opening my mouth and revealing my giant fillings and my splotchy teeth. I know he won’t expect much when he takes a look because between you and me, his teeth are nasty. We belong together.

The other day my hubby was raving about the ‘family dentist.’ Hello? Can he really be called the ‘family dentist’ when not all the family attends? He was encouraging me to switch. But I’ve seen his dentist. I’ve watched him work on my children’s teeth. He’s young. He’s handsome. And his teeth are beautiful.

I’d feel like such a tooth failure if I sat in his dental chair. One look in my mouth would tell him of my sad dental past.

When my current dentist looks into my mouth, do you know what he says?

“It looks good, I don’t see a thing wrong,” and he means it. He doesn’t want to change a darn thing.

And that makes me feel terrific.

How about  you? Do you fear the chair?


Dawn said...

I love going to the dentist. Seriously!

And it's a good thing, too... my son is planning to go into the dental field!


Naomi said...

I love this post! I have had this same argument with my hubby! He can't understand my love for this same sort of dental professional. I honestly didn't think anyone in the world could. I feel like I'm not alone in the world of imperfect pearly whites anymore!! So thank you!!

JEWEL said...

I am with you on this. I fear the dentist! I have to have something to calm me down prior to seeing him. This so I won't have a stroke or coronary in the blessed chair! I have always feared going, but after having a horrible experience with a dentist, now I am terrified! I take good care of my teeth, so I will not have any reason to see a dentist until I HAVE to go.

Chelsea said...

We just got back from the dentist! (It's our family's MLK tradition -- weird, but it works.) I love the feeling of clean teeth, of being able run my tongue over my recently de-tartared incisors. But today the plaque Nazi jumped all over me for not flossing. I really could have done without the guilt trip from the hygienist today.

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

I too have some serious dental chair anxieties! My teeth are much like yours...I did everything I was supposed to do, but always had a cavity.

Lori said...

You're hilarious!! I didn't know it was possible for kids to NOT lose their baby teeth and now I have a new prayer request. My huge fear is the dreaded root canal. I live in fear of the root canal. I've had 2 done and for me it was right up there with having my membranes stripped. Have a great week!

iMommy said...

::shudder:: 8 teeth in one day?

I despise the dentist. No matter how diligently I care for my teeth, I have constant cavities, which, because I'm terrified of the dentist, I don't get treated in time, so I've had a bunch of root canals and need several caps. I have to make an appointment soon, and I am having a lot of trouble picking up the phone to do it.

Andrea said...

My youngest doesn't like the dentist and I have only recently become brave at the dentist office. I had dental surgery in December and now feel more comfortable. I posted a few weeks ago about feeling the mom guilt from the dentist.

laytonfamily said...

TERRIFIED! my first visit at age 8 - I had 8 fillings, my parents laughed "one for every year" - they filled all in one day.

at age 10 the day after my b-day, they had to put me to sleep to remove 4 permanent teeth because they were growing like tents and the tooth under had no room.

before braces the dentist popped a baby tooth out right in his office - I fear my teeth falling out (which has happened to my grandmother and she doesn't wear dentures - so it's in the genes!)

I just went in December to have 6 fillings done because I hadn't been in 2 years and had a baby which does horrible things to your teeth. It was a new dentist and she said, "you could have your bottom teeth straight ... and bleached if you'd like to clean that up". CLEAN THAT UP?! I've already worn braces but didn't get a bottom retainer so they buckled and look like a train wreck.

I'd rather go get my annual at the girlie dr. than my teeth cleaned!

marky said...

YES! I have very insecure teeth. I was blessed with straight teeth, but not healthy teeth. I am terrified of the dental chair.. of the potential cavity, root canal or worse.. I put it off longer than I should, and am visably shaking by the time I arrive. This year I had to give up my dentist (who also has yellow teeth ;-)) b/c of insurance..I have not found a new dentist yet. I am ashamed to say my teeth haven't seen a dentist in well over a year.

Danielle Christine said...

Hey, I KNOW how that goes! I am 14, need braces, and can't pull out the rest of my baby teeth! I have to go the dentist to have my teeth pulled out with novacane!

Danielle Christine said...

Hey, I KNOW how that goes! I am 14, need braces, and can't pull out the rest of my baby teeth! I have to go the dentist to have my teeth pulled out with novacane!

Sandy Toes said...

I surely do not like it! I have a baby tooth and I am 36 yrs. old..right in the front and you would never know. It always hurt when I was pregnant! CRAZY!
-sandy toe

Jeanette said...

Your teeth and my teeth must have come from the same mold! I was minus the head gear but my mouth is loaded with fillings - you know the pretty silver ones?!

Although I hated the dentist as a kid I don't mind going anymore. Our dentist is WONDERFUL and my kids LOVE to go to the dentist. We all go twice a year (more if needed).

And I have actually started to get my fillings replaced with white so that my teeth are actually looking better.

I say give the new guy a try! That other place just sounds nasty :} The rude office people would put me over the edge!

Jenn said...

I'm with you on this one! I had the same issues with my teeth as a child and teen as you did. I always feel miserable when I have to go. I have had many fillings and I always feel judged when I go. So, I totally understand that you would feel comfortable with your smokin' dentist! LOL

Layla said...

I just found your blog today, and I will be promptly adding it to my list of favorites. You crack me up, and I love the way you write. You are an asset to the world of blogging! Thanks for sharing your wit! :-)

The Lettered Cottage

Tammy said...

I DESPISE the dentist. Had a lot of work done on my "grill" over the years beginning during my childhood.

As we speak, I need a cavity filled and a crown put on a tooth I had to have a root canal on last Fall. But I don't wanna go.

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

I think you're the second person this week who shared their dentist smokes...

I went 13 years with out a visit to the dentist...yep, I did!

Anonymous said...

I just got the courage to go to the dentist 2 weeks ago. 7 cavities later and a bill of $5,000(after insurance!!) I still hate the dentist!!! The guild trip is definitly a part I can do without!!!!

Patois said...

I've gone through phases of regular dental visits and getting them all in order. And then I lose the nerve. Right now, I have a cracked crown. Lots of money to fix. And condemnation on top of money. Blech.

Carol @SheLives said...

I share your low teeth esteem.

My mouth is full of silver fillings.
I refuse to have my wisdom teeth pulled.
I don't floss.
I have a fake tooth, front and center.
My gums are receding.
I can't tell you how many dentists I've been through.
And it's time to find a new one.

Sheer torture, I tell ya!

Cathy Davis said...

I love going to the dentist. Started when I was little and went to a pediatric dentist, I guess. I loved the little chairs and the treasure box! I typically don't have any dental problems, nor did I as a child, so that probably helped out. (Praise God!!!)

Yarni Gras! said...

NOW I know what is wrong with me! My teeth have low self esteem too!

everyday mom said...

I am right there with you, I swear everytime I enter the Dentist office an alarm goes off in there that says "CAVITY CAVITY CAVITY" and they dig right in there and walla they find it. I feel bad for Little one hubby and I both have rotten teeth and apparently it can be hereditary.

Valarie Lea said...

Yes I fear the every 6 month talking to about how I need to floss better. Ok I know that I am a grown woman, stop telling me that I need to floss better. I just am in such a hurry, I am lucky I get to brush my teeth twice a day!

Lisa said...

I still have four baby teeth and they are getting close to 49 years old. I have some cavities, but not that many. But now that I am getting older, ouch things are not quite so nice. I have chipped a tooth, cracked a tooth and have had one cap put on. Now I need to have those baby teeth pulled out and adult implants and that will cost a small fortune. PLus now...I don't have insurance since we retired. Great! I just need to find a CHEAP dentist!

It Feels Like Chaos said...

I so hear you on this! People laugh, but I am serious, I'd rather give birth than have dental work done! Now maybe not so much if you add in the lifetime mothering that child, but the actual childbirth, hands down would choose over dental work!

The Source said...

Oh, I loathe going to the dentist. I hate to admit it, but I've been walking around with a broken molar for four years in fear...not only of what they'll DO but how much it's going to COST!

Erin-Joi said...

I can relate. I am so nervous about seeing the dentist, that I have to have dental work done under sedation. My blood pressure skyrockets. My teeth are not that bad, but it doesn't matter. I have had braces and bad root canals. The pain is not that big a deal, but I cannot handle the noises and the hands in my mouth.

jr said...

i'd rather have any surgical procedure done if it meant i would never have to go to the dentist again!

MommyAmy said...

I'm beginning to understand how you feel. I currently have a swanky dentist, and she points out EVERYTHING that MIGHT need to be done to my teeth over the next 10 YEARS!!! I always have to ask her, "Now, could you please just tell me what might need to be worked on within the next 6 months and leave it at that??"

Drives me crazy.

Maybe I need to find a scuzy dentist who's old and smokes too.

Christie O. said...

I love this post! It's why I started reading you!

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

This post is so awesome...I relate 100%.

fransmomma said...

i so feel your pain. i haven't been to the dentist in years...i think my dentist is your dentist's brother, along with the rude office staff and dingy rooms. i was the kids that always had a cavitiy no matter how often i brushed and flossed. i really need to go. i've been saying that fo about a year. i think i have a cavity. i didnt' think i had any cavity-free teeth left!

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

I am lucky to have great teeth and never feared the chair. My son on the other hand... Oh my! I'm really afraid his teeth are going to rot! He wigs out and will not sit in the chair. So we end up wasting money everytime we visit.

Good luck, hope your teeth are nice a purdy now!

The Glamorous Life said...

I avoid it because of 'floss-guilt'. I have terrible floss-guilt.

Anonymous said...

Okay, that dentist is a thousand kinds of wrong. Smoke smell?! You must get thyself to another dentist. And your anxiety? There's pills for that. Just sayin'.

Wifeof1Momof4 said...

I hate the visit as well. Love my children's dentist and my husband loves his, but me, I AIN'T going unless I have too!

Besides, I hate going AND paying such high prices for the services even after insurance.

I probably would TRY to go more, if I didn't have to leave an arm and leg at the financial director's office.

Bubba's Sis said...

I had major dental trauma as a child, too, so now I simply choose not to go. I did go a couple of years ago - before that it had been 15 years and I'm not even kidding - and the good old guy said everything looked fine. I figure I'm good for another 15 now.

Now my kids - I make them go. I make sure they brush and take care of their pearly whites - I'm just hoping they're not noticing that I never go. It's a "do as I say not as I do" thing, ya know?

Tanya said...

This is disgusting. I mean, I understand the whole "I have better teeth than my dentist" thing, but still. Ugh. I'm so grossed out right now!!

Oh, and I think we got the pull one, get one free deal too. I actually had two rows of teeth as a child. I'm not kidding. They had to pull 11 of them to make room for the braces and headgear I wore. I had regular visits with my orthodontist for 9 years. Yes, I said NINE years. I should probably go back since, some time in the past 15 years I lost my retainers, so now my bottoms look just as terrible as they did when I was 8, but ... well, I'm just fine with that. I've had enough oral torture for this lifetime.

Lisa said...

I used to have beautiful teeth. I had braces, but now my teeth are bucked, crooked, stained and my split has returned.

When my children got braces, I asked if I was a candidate. I would do it again. I was told just to get veneers. With a daughter in college, that isn't in the budget.

I still smile a lot, always feeling awful.

There, now we have shared the stories of our mouths.

Alexia said...

I hate dentists. I had a couple traumatizing experiences when I was a kid and they've stuck with me. Last time I visited a dentist was, at least, 5 years ago. My excuse is no $$ and no dental insurance...I'm not sure what to do when I can actually afford to go.

Sandy said...

Yip, fear it big time. Bad experiences as a kid. Had 2 fillings replaced yesterday tho, and it wasn't that bad. W/ago, more clausterphobic I think :)

Great blog and content :) I'm glad I visited today.

D... said...

I want your dentist. It's been years since I've been. Mainly because I hate being told that I have the teeth of an old woman and because there's always something wrong. My teeth don't hurt. How can something be wrong? ;)

theresa said...

I think we must be related!! I could have written this post! Well, except for the smoking dentist part ... LOL!!