Having been to the dentist several times this week for not-so-pleasant procedures, I started thinking about this as unnatural torture - so tell me your worst/weirdest dental or dentist experience, and maybe I won’t feel so sorry for myself.
If you haven’t seen it, rent “Marathon Man”. Dustin Hoffman has a really bad day in the chair.
[li]When I needed to get braces, I needed to have my upper 12-year molars removed to make room. My mom then worked for a dentist, Dr. T, so I went to him. He was a Mormon dentist (quite common in western Colorado, being next to Utah), so using nitrous to knock me out for the procedure was not an option. Instead, he’d have to novacaine the nerves to do the procedure.[/li]
(As an aside: the dentist that treated me as a child, Dr. R, was a wonderful doctor. And he had a technique for administering the novacaine so that I never realized I was being shot!)
Well, Dr. T’s brother-in-law was becoming a dentist, so the doctor invited him in to watch. He therefore was explaining everything in great detail: how many nerves he’d have to numb, the method to break the took to extract it (their roots were growing in opposite directions, so they were very firmly set), and how to suction out any root remains. This was making me so nervous that I couldn’t sit still enough for him to shoot in the novacaine. He had to give me a sedative in the arm to calm me enough! Even with that, I was sweating bullets throughout the procedure, though I was trying to be as cooperative as possible.
Years later, when I needed my lower wisdom teeth out, I sought out a non-Mormon oral surgeon who knocked me out cold!
[li]After having the braces for four years, it was time to remove them. I drank a solvent to help the orthodontist’s (Dr. C) assistant remove the bands.[/li]
She was able to get all but two bands remove that she needed to. She applied as much torque as she dared to get the band loose, but no go. (And she was strong. Dr. C gave all his employees health club memberships, so his assistants were pumped up.) She said that perhaps the doctor himself would have to get those. I looked over at him at another chair (he had a 6-chair exam room), and at his arms. His forearms looked about the size of my thighs, and rock hard. I begged the assistant to try, try again.
She finally got them. whew!
[li]When I moved to DC, my mom worked for yet another dentist, Dr. R. (Not the same Dr. R as in #1.) He was a good dentist.[/li]
In this era of AIDS and other diseases, all his assistant and he wore gloves for procedures. One evening a collegue of his was talking with him as he was doing his rounds through his office. The hygenist finished with me, and he came to do his check. He slipped on gloves, and Dr. A (for asshole) said, “Hey R, do you have AIDS or does he? Ha Ha Ha!”
If the doc’s hands weren’t in my mouth, I would’ve told him off!
I have vague memories of being held down by several assistants while the doctor worked on me when I was a kid, but I have blocked most of that out. As an adult though my worst experience was getting a tooth extracted and it turned out to be harder than the dentist thought it would be. He had to cut it into quarters and the pull each one out. It didn’t have alot of pain because of the Novacaine, but the pressure and the pulling and the twisting and the drilling and the sawing! It went on for what seemed like 30 minutes and I was very shaken when it was over. Needless to say I am an anti-dentite.
An ex-boyfriend of mine had a very traumatic dental experience as a teenager. Unfortunately I can’t remember what exactly happened except that it involved an unbearable amount of pain. A nurse actually came into the room and asked him to stop screaming, because children in the waiting room were starting to cry. (It was, btw, a hilarious story.)
I have a lady dentist. I have gotten a few fillings over the years. At one point or another in the procedure she must apply much pressure. As she is short, she must grab onto my head for leverage. Then when she pushes I swear her chest rubs against my face…
Oh. You said the worst. Hmmm. I like the dentist
My dad was cheap. How cheap was he? My permanent teeth were coming in crooked, and a tooth needed to be pulled to make some room. Dad decided to pull it himself. He had pulled the baby teeth when they were ready to fall out, but this was a permanent tooth.
He got the pliers, and promised to stop if it hurt. He started pulling, I started yelling, and he didn’t stop. Until part the tooth broke off. Dad never touched my teeth after that. Dentists always ask me how it happened, and I enjoy telling the story.
The funny dental story was when I had all four wisdom teeth removed. I don’t know what they put in my vein, but it worked great. I woke up once, the guy was stitching up my lower left gum - I could see the needle and thread and all I could think was “Cool!” I woke up again to a pounding - the guy was using a hammer and chisel to break up the tooth, and again, “Cool!” I had the giggles when mom and dad led me to the car. As I lay down in the back seat, mom threw a sheet over me. I thought, “I’m dead, ha ha ha!”
Back at college, I had to stop taking the pain pills after my calculus class. I was in the second row, and as the teacher started in on one of those blackboard filling problems, I went face down on my desk. I startled myself back awake, and thought “Oh well, it was only a few seconds, maybe no one noticed.” Then I looked at my watch and realized I’d been out about 40 minutes!
when i had braces, once a month they would tighten the wire by pulling it toward the back of my mouth. this one time, the orthodontist was having a really hard time. he was using all his strength to pull this tiny wire and i became terrified that he was going to slip and slam the wrench-like tool into the back of my mouth.
that terror put the production of adrenaline into overdrive. which saved me much pain when, yes, the wrench slipped and the tool went flying into the back of my mouth.
the ortho and assistant gasped and stood there shocked, wondering how i was going to take it. for some reason, the pain didn’t register because of the fear, but a couple of tears just forced themselves out of my eyes involuntarily. i shudder when i wonder how it would have felt if i was my usual relaxed self in the chair…
#2. my teeth are really close together (thanks clumsy orthodontist!). if i want to floss, i need to slowly work it down between the teeth and even then the floss sometimes shreds to pieces.
so at the end of my appointment at the cheap insurance dental mill, the dentist decided to floss me. but she didn’t want to bother with the bothersome working-in process. she just pushed down with all her might and cut my gums to pieces. perfect way to end a dentist appointment–with a mouth full of blood!
This summer, I got a horrible infection in the gum around one of my wisdom teeth. I was on vacation, so I wasn’t able to have it removed for a week. I didn’t get nitrous or anything, just the novocaine. I don’t know if it was the infection or just that I was freaked out in general from being in pain for so long, but I really lost it. It was so incredibly painful afterwards!! & my tooth didn’t have long roots & wasn’t wrapped around my jaw or coming in sideways or anything. The oral surgeon said I could get out of the chair. I took one step, then curled up on the floor in a fetal position, crying. For the next 3 days, I looked like I was smuggling a baseball in my mouth, my jaw was that swollen. On top of everything else, the amoxicillin that was prescribed made me barf my guts out as well as giving me a yeast infection.
I had the rest of them out a couple months after that so they didn’t get infected, & it was no big deal at all. Of course, I got nitrous that time, too. I would advise anyone who needs to have wisdom teeth out to demand nitrous upon sign-in. Just get a big giant tank of it in the waiting room. By the time they take your teeth out, you won’t care at all.
I once had a tooth drilled without anaesthesia. I always hated getting the novocaine shots, they hurt. (I especially disliked one I got in the roof of my mouth) So I opted for no shots. The drilling felt really, really cold. It was quite unpleasant.
Since then I’ve gotten novocaine shots. (I avoid nitrous) I don’t respond to novocaine much. I was getting a tooth drilled where I could get the shot onto one nerve mid-jaw, and three injections didn’t numb the tooth. The dentist decided to go for a nerve that would numb the whole side of my face, which was at the base of my jaw. The first shot didn’t numb the tooth. Apparently the needle has to go in and then make a bit of a turn around the jaw. So next shot, he’s putting the needle in, trying to get the right angle, and there’s a sickening CRUNCH that I could feel and hear. Apparently he’d stabbed through some ligament…just remembering it still makes me cringe.
But the person with the cheapskate dad takes the cake. Yikes.
BTW, don’t trust your dentist. My dentist said “These X-rays show your wisdom teeth coming in all wrong. We have to get them out right away!” I avoided dentists for the next two years, and I still have my wisdom teeth. Current dental opinion is that they’re just fine.
Well, you see, there’s this girl I met recently. She’s really nice, cute as a button. And she’s a dental nurse, who recommended her surgery, as her boss is a really excellent dentist. Or so she said.
And she’s right. He’s great!
And she’s cute, and I think (hope) she likes me.
And so I have no bad dentist stories to tell today.
The last time I was at a dentist was almost 15 yrs ago. I had a multi-colored mohawk and the dentist apparently didn’t like punks much.
“So you’re pretty tough, eh?”
“I guess we won’t need to freeze you…”
I haven’t been back since. Although I’ve often felt the urge to go back and let that bitch have a piece of my mind. (to match the pieces of my mouth that she undoubtedly still has)
Not exactly a bad dental experience, but sort of. . .
I’ve got a painless dentist. Lots of gas, lots of lidocane. One time, however, I walked out of the office frankly stoned out of my mind on the nitrous. After almost getting hit by 2 separate trucks while trying to cross the same street, I decided I’d better come down before walking to the subway. I went into a pizza place, ordered a couple of slices, and then proceeded to walk behind the counter to pick them up. Why? Beats the hell out of me. Anyway, it wasn’t painful, but it was pretty embarrasing (what with the laughter and the pointing and all).
My worst dental experience:
I had to get four teeth pulled before I got braces. My dentist used only novacaine to numb the local area. He then proceeded to pull. And twist. And grunt. And wiggle. It took about 30 minutes of work to finally get the first tooth out. That was Tuesday evening.
I returned Friday evening for the second tooth extraction. Same thing. Local only. Grab, pull, twist, grunt, yank, wiggle. AAARRRRGGGGGGG! Oh, sorry. Let’s try the novacaine FIRST! 30-45 minutes later tooth extracted.
I returned the following Tuesday evening for tooth number 3. Same thing except the Doc smelled funny. With all of the strain of pulling my teeth manually, he had started smoking again. Felt bad about it until he came at me with the pliers. After that I did not really care if he started line-dancing with the devil.
Last, but not least, returned the following Friday evening for tooth number 4. Smelly Doc pulling, twisting, grunting, wiggling, straining, yanking.
Of course, during this entire two week ordeal, I could only eat “soft” food. Cottage cheese and applesauce worked for the first few days. Then I started getting creative. Cinnamon Toast Crunch does not blend well in a blender. It did not really puree enough to blend with the milk. Made a thick mass of shredded gunk at the bottom of the blender. Rice Krispies worked quite well, though, and would stay suspended in the milk.
I had my wisdom teeth surgically removed later in life. It was really uncomfortable but was introduced to Tylenol 3 with Codein. Gift of the gods! That was the best week I don’t remember. Took the T3wC every four hours. Took a pill, passed out/fell asleep for 3.75 hours. 15 minutes of pain. Took another pill. Repeat.
I had to get some teeth extracted once when I was younger, so they shot me up 4 times, and waited till it kicked in, then they realized that the instriments were too big for my mouth so they sent me home.
i hit a chicken whilst pedaling top speed on my bike. after leaving the emergency room, where i got 25 stitches in my head and some fuckin chooch of an intern told me id never be able to use my left thumb again (he wuz wrong), i put a piece of gum in my mouth and two of my back molars just… um… kinda… split, like a log would when you hit it with a axe. EEEWWWWW it still freaks me out. i needed gum surgery and the oral surgeon actually PUT A BLINDFOLD on me so i wouldnt see the blood. shudder, shudder, hold me, any one. still cant bring myself to go to the dentist more than every three years or so.
A couple of years ago I had a molar on my lower jaw messed up. My dentist decided I needed a crown on that molar since if he pulled it putting in a bridge would be impossible. So first it was a root canal. Actually quite painless, not a bad experience at all.
But then I had to have the gum lowered so there enough room to place the crown. So I was sent to an oral surgeon who did a very professional job. First the novocaine shots, which I hate because I have a very heavy jaw and they have to really force the needle through to get everything numb. Then he sliced open the gum at the back of my jaw, completely painless, everything was numbed very well.
Then he pulled out the grinding wheel. You know how when you are getting a tooth drilled you can hear the drill through bone conduction? Try it with a grinding wheel being pressed directly on your jaw as it wears off an eighth of an inch of bone. Add in the jaw muscles that feel as if they are going to be pulled loose because of the pressure being applied as they keep grinding away my jaw. It was a very bad experience.
One good part was afterward. He handed me a prescription for vicodin. So for the next 4 hours, I was hurting a great deal, but I really didn’t care. Then I took another one and sat for 4 more hours not caring about being in pain. Then I took another and went to sleep. It was the worst experience I have ever had in a dentist’s chair.
I know how Dustin Hoffman felt. Had a tooth to be filled; got the novocain shot. Dentist starts drilling. I feel some discomfort. He says, “I’ll give you another shot”. Starts drilling; same discomfort. 3rd shot; still having no numbness. I’m starting to squeeze the arms of the chair pretty hard, and minor tremors set in. He puts his instruments down & says, “I’m not gonna be able to finish this if you don’t sit still!” Like I’m gonna be able to sit stone-still while you drill an 1/8 inch hole in my tooth? As an aside, I had 2 wisdom teeth chiseled out(different dentist) with only a local, and took no pain meds afterwards. My tolerance for pain isn’t the minimum.
The dentist at the clinic who did a root canal and cut open my gum to get the infection out without giving me any pain killer. Didn’t even give me a prescription. “Just take Tylenol.” Effing sadist.
That was when I found a REAL dentist. Praise Dr. Stern!