Friday, October 12, 2007

The Dentist From Hell

I have been going to the dentist since I was 2 years old, according to my mother. I can only recall the last 7 years that I have been going to Dr. Oxer in Lake Placid as a positive experience. That man and his staff are so wonderful. Well, then why would I go to any other dentist? A little thing called insurance (courtesy of my husband's employers). The only place in town that we can go with this lovely insurance plan is the mall dentist. It took me 6 months to get into this dentist as they are fully booked. When I did get in there, I was pleased to find out that the only thing I would have to pay out of pocket is $31.00 for flouride. Wow!!! I am used to paying everything out of pocket and then waiting for reimbursement at a rate of 50 to 80 percent. That was great news to me. They scheduled me for my fillings and I made my appointment, which is quite unfortunate. I should of found something better to do, because this was the worst experience I have had with dental health.

On the day of torture, the dentist greeted me herself. She brought me back to the dental chair and was pleasant enough as she proceeded to put the lovely topical numbing gel on my gums. I told her that although I wasn't afraid of dentists, I had managed to go 36 years without seeing the shot and asked her if she could just let me know when she was going to bring the shot out so I could close my eyes. Well, she didn't oblige my request. She just brings the gigantic shot right out without saying a word. I should of known at this point there was going to be trouble. But, I let her give me a dozen shots in the mouth without any problem. Then, I sat back and waited for her to return and start drilling.

She came back with the dental assistant (who is a lovely person and will soon be my niece in all actuality) and she proceeded to start to drill on a front facial tooth. I felt it. Boy did I feel it. A tingle went up the side of my face and immediately I jerked. Well she didn't like the fact that I jerked. She told me to "Be still. You can't move." She started drilling again. I jerked again. I think this is a natural response when you have a nerve being hit. Well, she didn't agree. She got very angry and stood up and said she couldn't work on me because I was "too nervous." I immediately tried to appeal to her by telling her "I am NOT nervous. It hurt." She grabbed the novacaine and injected me some more. She left the room for a minute to calm down or whatever. I then asked of the dental assistant, "can I have another dentist?" "She's all we have" was the response. Oh great! She came back to the room, tense and unhappy and went to another tooth. She drilled away without any problem from me. Then, she returned to the prior tooth and started to work. I jerked again. It hurt. She then became very very unhappy and started to chatter away in some tirade about how this "doesn't hurt" me. I would of gladly changed places with her. The dental assistant offered up some advice about possibilities of where to inject me to numb me better, which wasn't recieved too well. "I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING!" she grouchily retorted. Well you could of fooled me I silently thought from the chair. I wasn't about to say this aloud with the angry dentist working on my tooth. I sat there and cried as she drilled on the tooth. I held back and just tolerated the pulsating shooting pains as she drilled this "superficial" cavity. When she was done, she hastily stormed out of the room. I sat there in shock. I hadn't ever been treated this way. The staff was apologetic and sweet. They were going to "talk to her" in regards to the treatment I had recieved. The outcome: still waiting for a phone call.

The numbness wears off and my tooth in the front is fine, but oh my, I have pain in the back tooth she had filled. I didn't go in with a toothache, but I have one now. I contacted the big conglomerate that this mall dentist belongs to and they thanked me for my candor as I complained about her. I was told that a regional manager would be in touch with me to let me know my options (as in... where can I go to get this toothache handled?) It has been 2 days so far. I wonder how many motrin and advil I will have consumed by the time anyone has the courtesy to return my call. I should probably just shell out the money to go to Dr. Oxer, but it isn't just the expense. I would have to explain my "cheating" on him by seeing a different dentist. Who said the best things in life are FREE?????