So, I have started on my scary dentist journey, the first part was having 3 fillings done on the righthand lower jaw. I hate dentists, with a passion, and I think it’s because of all the hassles I had as a kid with my teeth. Every time I turned up at the dentist, I had to have a filling, no matter how much I brushed my teeth. The funny thing was, we weren’t a rich family growing up, so there were never any sweet foods in the house, no lollies or sweet drinks. Mum baked, or we had bought biscuits, and we drank jungle juice, (a cordial) but that was about it.
Then when I was ten, and two days out from being a flowergirl at a wedding, I chipped my front tooth on the metal bar on the side of the pool (which apparently is a very common way for most people to chip their teeth!).
At the time, Mum took me to her dentist who was a stuffy old man, who wanted to file my tooth down, except Mum put her foot down and insisted that it was filled. And so began my hell. He had to put a metal rod up inside my tooth in order to add some composite filling on it. It hurt like bloody hell, because apparently my body doesn’t respond well to local anesthetic, and I remember him telling me off for squirming in the chair. The dentist told us that it was covered by ACC (ACC is Accident Compensation and Rehabilitation Corporation, it’s like public insurance for injuries you suffer as a result of carrying out activities in your normal day).
A year later, a kid managed to push my head into a metal pole, and the composite filling fell out, leaving the metal rod exposed. That kid freaked out, not to mention me, because I had to go back to the bloody dentist.
Over the years, I’ve had dentists work on that tooth, and other teeth which, as an adult, and with regular brushing, I still needed fillings. One dentist took great pleasure in telling me the discolouration of my front tooth was due to a cavity and was extremely annoyed to discover it was the metal rod staining the composite filling. Every time a dentist touched my front tooth, they always said that better technology was coming, and didn’t want to put a crown on it or anything like that as something better might come along.
Now, in the present, after carefully avoiding the dentist for at least ten years (apart from having the occasional tooth pulled out), I decided that I really needed to have a pretty smile again. I have teeth missing when I smile, and it makes me incredibly self-conscious. The first couple of appointments were relatively pain free, a little nerve wracking, but okay. But I found out that the damage to my front tooth had never been registered with ACC, so I now have to fill out a form for a retrospective claim for the damage.
The second appointment was to have a full-face x-ray of my face, and cleaning of my teeth. This enabled the dentist to do a proper quote for what was needed. And I was shocked. $7,885 for fillings and removal of 11 teeth(?!!!) How did I manage to screw up my mouth so badly? Fear of going to the dentist, for precisely that reason, and its bloody expensive in NZ.
Anyway, I have started, as I said, with the first set of fillings. The first injection went in. Tears welled up, and my heart started racing. I thought I was going to pass out. After a few moments, she asked if my lip was numb. Nope. More injection. My hands were shaking at this stage. Lip Numb? not sure. So she starts drilling. Yip, felt that, so more injection. Even the dentist (who is extremely lovely) was surprised how much local she needed. She patted when my shoulder when she finished and told me how proud she was of me!
Next, I have 11 teeth to be removed, through sedation, as I don’t think I could handle having my mouth numbed and teeth pulled while conscious. *Shudders violently* Then there are two more rounds of fillings.
I’ve taken out a personal loan to pay for this part of the treatment, because I don’t have $8000 just sitting in my bank, and I thought about telling people to buy my books to pay for the treatments, but that just feels really corny, and well, desperate. Instead, I will tell everyone of my plight so a) people learn from my mistakes and brush their teeth constantly and b) to annoy the hell out of everyone until they buy my books to shut me up and c) because no one other than my lovely Mum actually reads these blogposts!
So, I have a two-week reprieve until I have the extractions. What are you up to over the upcoming weeks?
Take care everyone.