Mark Twain

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dentists - why do they do it!

How do you feel about going to the dentist? That was what I did today. Not a routine appointment. One of my crowns broke and needed to be replaced.

I am not ever happy about going to the dentist. I am a good patient and do everything they say, but twice a year after my regular dental appointment I always breath a sigh of relief that I am free for the next 6 months - unless, of couse, something comes up like today.

Now to be perfectly clear, my dentist isn't the problem. He is fabulous!! I've seen this same dentist for over 35 years. Now his son is in practice with him, and I see the son as well. And both are skilled, knowledgeable, gentle, and caring doctors. Their practice has been rated first in our city. He has been recognized by professional organizations as a highly respected dentist and he has featured in multiple magazine articles. And when I was in bad, bad pain over a weekend several years ago (pain that made it impossible to close my eyes all night, pain that made me nauseous, pain that Advil didn't even touch no matter how much I took), he came into the office on a Saturday afternoon (in his running clothes, no less) to see me, and he got me in with an excellent root canal specialist on a Saturday evening (she and her husband came in from a party to do my root canal). So I have absolutely no complaints with these wonderful people. They were there when I needed them and over the years, I have had absolutely top notch dental care.

Can you hear the "but" just hanging in the air?

I was raised during the "drill and fill" generation. In my youth I developed an aversion to going to the dentist. And the fact that I still have all my teeth at age 63 after such a terrible start as a child is a tribute to the wonderful care I got over the last 35 years.

And now for the "but" ... But I don't like people putting their fingers in my mouth. I don't even like to put my own fingers in my mouth!! I don't like holding my mouth open so that they can do the work. I don't like the pointy tools they use to check my teeth and gums. I don't like the sounds their tools make. I don't like the Novocaine injections (but I wouldn't do without them either). And don't forget the x-rays. I must have the smallest mouth because those darn film cards hurt my gums every time.

What I don't understand is why anyone would want to go into this profession? Why would you want to work in someone's mouth? Why would you want to work with patients who really don't want to be there? If anyone knows, I would love to hear about it.

But I am really glad someone wants to do this work, and I am really, really glad I saw my dentist of 35 years today, because the crown was broken and has to be replaced! And he is the absolute best! It is sort of a love-hate relationship, don't you think? :-)

So how do you feel about the dentist?

4 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Ha! These are the same questions I ask my gynecologist! Well...not the mouth part, but "why would you want to work with patients who really don't want to be here?".

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  3. I love my dentist and bring him chocolate cookies when I go for my cleanings. He is kind, caring, gentle and I feel like I go to visit a friend when I see him. I'm not that crazy about getting dental work done, but I don't really mind it either. I grew up with all the drilling and filling too and was terrified of going to the dentist for years - until I started going to my current dentist.

    I asked him once why he wanted to be a dentist. He said when he was a kid he was terrified of dentists and finally found one he liked that put him at ease. He wanted to do that too, to make people like dentists. My dentist gets so excited about all the new advancements that comes along. He truly loves being a dentist and it shows.

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  4. From the age of nine, I visited the dentist and orthodontist regularly and frequently, and became so used to it that I wasn't then and am not now, the least bit nervous or upset when it's time to go again. I like the chair, I like the man, I like the fact that, being from India, he keeps the windows open and no air conditioning, I like the free toothbrush at each visit. I am thankful to God that I am so calm regarding dentists.
    Now, physicians, on the other hand.....

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