Thursday, November 8, 2012

One of my biggest fears

The dentist.  Just thinking about it makes my heart race.  I know I'm not alone here, you all are cringing now too, right?

In America we did a pretty good job of going in and getting cleanings.  When we moved to Taiwan the dental care just wasn't the same so we put it off a good while.  Right before leaving we both had a cleaning and I needed a few fillings.  Great.  So, I sat down to have it done.  Everything was going just peachy (which in retrospect I should have been suspicious of) when all of a sudden every nerve in my mouth radiated out in fire and I was ready to jump out of the chair and cling to the ceiling.  She had drilled with no novocaine.  "Just 5 more seconds" she said as every muscle in my body is tight and hands gripped the seat.  2nd longest 5 seconds of my life.  (The 1st longest?  "Just push 5 more seconds" about 6 months prior as Tegan was being born).  As soon as her hands were out of my mouth I, politely, informed her that in America we don't drill without anesthetic.

None of it was good.  Except the price I guess, it was quite cheap, though considering the next paragraph and its $300 price tag I negate this positive point.

Fast forward to a week ago.  I was eating lunch and realized the corner of a back molar was missing.  Same area as the filling I'd gotten in Taiwan.  I asked around, got the name of a dentist (Dr. Pollard at CIWEC) and made an appointment.  I dreaded going.  A dentist I didn't know, in Kathmandu no less, and a bit ol' chunk of my tooth gone.  Long appointment short, he was empathetic to my Taiwan story and gave me plenty of anesthetic to get through the work, fixed the bad filling job, and made some recommendations for future work.  He even made small talk and had nice little stories to keep me entertained and calm.

While not all of it was good, it was as good as it could be.

I'm giving myself a little reprieve before I think about the next steps in dental work.   I think I've deserved it.  In the meantime, my toothbrush is my new best friend!


  1. I had the same experience in Taiwan, from the blinding pain to the filling falling out 18 mos later. Hope you find a better dentist this time!
    The dentist told me that while they have novicaine in Taiwan, most people don't want it because they're scared of the needle. how is that scarier than the drill?!?!?

  2. Christina - I had read your blog and remembered your story when I went it! I thought for sure the dentist I was going to would be different. Next time I will ask!

  3. oh man, that story made me cringe . . . Taiwanese are definitely funny about pain killers, as I have found in my travels. good times :)