My Love/Hate Relationship with My Dentist

pain at the dentist

Gum Disease is Inherited

Unfortunately for me, gum disease is inherited and good teeth do not exactly run in the family genes either. I know my chances of pearly whites are slim but I still try. It has been hard getting to a dentist since my husband has not had a job with good benefits in 8 years. Although we have been able to keep dental insurance on our children and even successfully carried one all the way through the braces stage… twice… dental care for ourselves has been almost non-existent. I did have to take money from our savings last March for a root canal after a filling fell out though. And it seems my teeth rotate annually I guess because a little over a year later I was back at the dentist this week.

I had braces through most of my high school years… as do many teens. I actually took them off myself before my Senior year because I did not want my Senior photos taken with them on. {Kids, do not try this at home!} But, having the braces further weakened my already poor enamel on my molars with full metal bands wrapped around them and those are the same teeth giving me trouble today.

Time to Call The Dentist

So, on Saturday I started feeling a little discomfort but figured it would stop soon. On Sunday the pain got a little worse and I knew I was heading into a full blown toothache. Oh yeah, by Monday I was downing Tylenol every 3 hours because the pain was well beyond my threshold. I tried to sleep as much as possible to avoid feeling the constant throbbing in my jaw. By Tuesday I was done. I was no longer sleeping and the Tylenol was useless at fighting the pain. It was time to call the dentist.

 Love/Hate Relationship with My Dentist

Even though we now have good dental insurance, I am still a baby about spending money. Plus, I have a love/hate relationship with my dentist. I hate the pain and torture I receive at the office but love the lasting effects once I am home and healed. Tuesday’s appointment was borderline cruel and unusual punishment! No joke! I have super long roots {another blessing from my dad} and upon deciding to pull the infected tooth the dentist did not realize just how long. After an hour and a half of scaling my teeth and gums {oh yes, deep root cleaning} I was subjected to another hour and a half of trying to extract a tooth. Hour and a half on one tooth! 12 shots. No laughing gas. 1 dentist. 1 assistant. It was not pretty. The infected root was buried deep and not coming out. In fact, the tooth came out in pieces while I was going to pieces. The assistant assured me I was not feeling pain but pressure. Ummm.., I am pretty sure I can tell the difference. I have given birth to 5 children and know when I feel pressure and when I feel pain. Humph! Anyways… after stopping a few times for a break, the dentist finally exclaimed, “Hallelujah!” You’re telling me! The entire tooth… roots and all… was finally out! Thank you, Jesus!

dentist pulling tooth


After cleaning the blood droplets from my face, wiping the tears of pain from my eyes, and waiting for the extreme nausea to pass, I grabbed my bag of gauze and cold pack and walked to the door. As I tried to run out of there as quick as I could, I realized at that moment how much I hate the dentist. Perhaps next week after the swelling goes down, my lips heal, I can eat real food again, I am no longer on pain medication, and my face is back to normal… maybe… just maybe… then I will love the dentist and my once-again, pain-free, healthy mouth.

dentist cartoon

365 Days of Gratitude

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