- I had braces for 4 years. To anybody who has had orthodontics, this is all I need to say. 4 years is a long time. Allllll the way through high school, mind you. People who haven’t had braces probably think the bad part is that you look dumb or something. In reality, braces are pure torture. Teeth so sore you can’t eat or sleep, wires literally poking holes in your gums, and the inside of your lips turning into a bloody mess are all considered routine. Sometimes my teeth hurt so bad that I would pour a bowl of frosted flakes and let it sit in the milk until it was soggy, so I could drink it down without chewing. I endured this for four years.
- I’ve had a lot of teeth pulled. First they insert giant foot long needles into your mouth to numb you up. Then they use something like a screwdriver to push on your tooth until it breaks. This is not a finesse game, it is literally just brute force breaking off your tooth. The dentist has to brace himself against the chair. But at least it was for a good reason, right? Wrong. I had 1 tooth that did not have an adult tooth underneath it, so they pulled that tooth, and then they pulled the OTHER THREE PERFECTLY GOOD TEETH to make things even, and then proceeded to use orthodontia to pull all the rest of my teeth forward, to close the gap (see #1 above). I’d also like to note, these weren’t the only teeth I’ve had pulled. Counting my wisdom teeth, I’ve had 10 pulled total.
- Dentists are not above scamming you. One time, for a cleaning, the dentist used this crazy new sonic water sprayer cleaner thing. They explained how it was better because it was so much faster. Now to me, I didn’t really care. In some ways it was less comfortable than the old way. So I certainly wasn’t begging for it. When I got up to the front, I was told I had to pay extra because the super special tooth cleaning wasn’t covered by insurance. When I said I didn’t ask for it, they said, “Well, they are supposed to tell you first, those naughty hygienists. But you still have to pay.” I ended up paying (which I really regret), but when I got home, I found out they did exactly the same thing to Sara! That was just the tip of the iceberg with that particular dentist, but Sara can tell those stories. I’ll give you an example though: the dentist intentionally put too-white crowns on Sara’s teeth, in an ill-fated attempt to sell her teeth whitening. Obviously, Sara would have to lighten the rest of her teeth to match the new crowns, right? When did dentists go from respected doctors to used car salesmen?
- I had all of my wisdom teeth pulled, and I was awake for every blessed second of it. Some of them were majorly impacted, and removing them involved using a knife to cut my gum, a power saw to quarter the tooth (still inside my gum), removing the tooth pieces, and finally stitching up the gum. Sure, it doesn’t hurt per say, but you know what they’re doing. It hurts you mentally. It should also be mentioned that, as I sat in the waiting room, my dad leans over and asks me, “Have you ever seen The Dentist?” The Dentist, which I had in fact seen, is a movie about a dentist who goes crazy and just starts like ripping out people’s teeth. Not the sort of thought you should put in someone’s head, minutes before a major dental procedure.
- The dentist told me I had just a touch of a bad spot right on the top of my tooth. He thought he could drill it out without using any sort of numbing agent. He convinced me to give it a try. He just said, “If it starts hurting, just stop me and we can numb you up.” So he starts drilling away, but after a while I stop him and tell him it’s really hurting. He’s like, “Look, I understand, but it’s really just a few minutes more at the most. If we have to numb you up, you’ll have to sit here for at least 3o minutes until it kicks in, just to drill for a minute or two.” So finally he convinced me to grin and bear it, and finished it off. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty rough. The worst part? Next time I came in, he was reviewing my chart and said, “Jesus, you got drilled with no novacaine? That’s tough man, I wouldn’t be able to do that.” YOU TALKED ME INTO IT! It’s not like I was begging you to drill me, you freaking psychopath.
It’s not like these are the only stories. And this didn’t even get into the routine stuff, like having cavities filled. So if I can come up with 5 awful stories, above and beyond the normal bad stuff, then is it any wonder I am not fond of going to the dentist? If anything, it’s a wonder I go to the dentist at all.