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02 December 2010 @ 12:32 am
Sadists in Scrubs  
So, I am not a fan of going to the dentist. At all. I used to have an inordinately positive view of dentists until the fabulous one I had since I was a kid no longer took my insurance. Then, thrown into the ugly morass that is the norm in dental practice, it quickly went to hell and now I get borderline panic-y just going through the door. I don't schedule appointments - I ask to be put on the cancellation list so I can't fret about it in advance - they call, I go, we're good.

I got the call to come in today and it was OK, until I realized I had the same hygienist as last year and she was awful. I tried to keep positive and chatted with her, including mentioning that this was the closest together (16 months!) that I'd managed to go in for dental cleanings in a long time because of my anxiety about it.

My optimism was not rewarded, however. Again, she was awful, stabbing my gums and tongue with the stabby thing. That was bad enough, but then she (just like last year) started yelling at me for flinching when she stabbed me, 'cause, you know, bleeding is so much fun. Then she started lecturing me about how this was my fault for not coming in more often. Um. Yeah. That's going to help, when I have already acknowledged that I know I should come in more but have some pathology about it. Finally I waved her out of my mouth and told her to just do her job without the commentary. She started to argue about how she was only trying to "educate" me - I just looked at her and she snapped her little mouth shut and finished up. She was pissed and I really didn't care. >:/ Then the dentist came in, poked around a little, and said that my teeth looked excellent. :P So there. I went and got some custard for lunch.

The high point of the event? I apparently have a fifth wisdom tooth. And it's round.
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
zandoriazandoria on December 2nd, 2010 07:55 am (UTC)
I had severe dentist trauma as a kid, when I was something like 3 years old I was taken to a non-kid friendly dentist. My mom heard my screams and came in to find that they had restrained me (tied me to the chair or something along those lines). Needless to say she was furious and got me out of there pronto. Fortunately, with the aide of our Pediatrian (did I spell that right?), we found a gem of a dentist. Went to him all my life and when he sold his practice, the fellow who purchased it was/is just as good. Very high standards and that extends to the hygienist. I've had the same one for years, and I know I'll be seeing her for years to come, cause she's younger than me!

Here's crossing my fingers for you that you'll find your perfect dentist/hygienist someday soon.
eithni: do I need to kill you?eithni on December 2nd, 2010 08:12 am (UTC)
Icky! I'm glad you found someone much more appropriate!

I like the *dentists* at this practice - both of them have been great - it's just this hygienist. I've made a note to myself to specifically refuse to see her again.

(BTW - pediatrician, unless you want to go British and paediatrician. :P)
Samirasamiratou on December 2nd, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
Have you mentioned her behavior to the dentist? Odds are you're not the first victim of Bitch McStabby, so there might be other complaints about her, and enough of them might get her put on notice or canned altogether.

I've never really had bad hygienist experiences, certainly nothing that involves being stabbed in gums, let alone the tongue (wtf? Why are you anywhere near my tongue--the dentist wants me to stick my tongue out at her, but never the hygienist). Hitting a tender spot on the gum on occasion, sure, but even that's rare. You seriously can't be the only person to refuse to have her as hygienist--it's got to catch up with her sooner or later.
Cat Dancerpixel39 on December 2nd, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
The tongue thing is because sometimes it's in the way and they can't see what they need to see. Mine does the tongue thing too.
Samirasamiratou on December 2nd, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
Ah. Maybe I'm just better at keeping my tongue out of the way. Might be a natural consequence of having a ridiculously tiny mouth, so I unconsciously make an effort to give them as much room as possible.
Julia Springjulia_spring on December 2nd, 2010 10:45 am (UTC)
I fire them. "I need you to stop doing X and leave this room. You're not allowed to care for me anymore." I've only had to do it once since I made that decision but I'm so done with shit like that. I have hired them to care for me, they had better treat me like I'm a paying customer.
jtdiiijtdiii on December 2nd, 2010 12:03 pm (UTC)
A small amount of prodding is alas normal, but stabbing is excessive. You need a new Hygienist.

I have however found that the more I floss, the less the prodding leads to pain or bleeding.
world_rim_walkeworld_rim_walke on December 2nd, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
Can you request any hygenist other than her?

I always knew you were extra wise.
corvusjoyouscorvusjoyous on December 2nd, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC)
Why doesn't it surprise me that you'd have extra wisdom? :P

Your decision not to see her sounds like a good one - she can't be the only hygenist at the practice.

I had to do the same thing with the folks who draw blood at the red cross - one kept missing the vein and had a spectacular episode of making me bleed all over the floor. I request someone other than her when I go, and everyone involved is much happier.
akitrom: Minnesotaakitrom on December 2nd, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)
Now I have a song from Little Shop of Horrors stuck in my brain.
Uncle Mikeybelmikey on December 2nd, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
It alarms me when your brain and mine go the same places, Chris :-)
Uncle Mikeybelmikey on December 2nd, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
I know that Madtown is not exactly the largest metropolis ever, but there has to be someone else...

I really wish that the standards for training hygienists were a little higher. I realize that it's not exactly a glamorous job and that they therefore probably have trouble finding enough people to do it, but still...
Elizabethliz_bet on December 2nd, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
I have panic attacks just sitting in the chair.. which is why I get the happy gas anytime I'm in it. Combine that with my ipod and I can be in my own happy world while my body tries to hyperventilate and panic without me.

While you may not want to go as far as happy gas (although it only costs me about $40-50/visit), I'd definitely recommend the headphones/music as it completely stops all chatter. I always keep the volume really low so I can hear if they're trying to talk to me, but they don't know that ;)

(On a side note, since getting my electric toothbrush years ago, cleanings have gone much faster/easier.. even when I skip awhile. Unfortunately my panic response hasn't quite caught up with that yet. :P)
(Deleted comment)
Cat Dancerpixel39 on December 2nd, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
Fire the hygienist, she is incompetent.

I've had very positive dentist experiences, not always positive hygienist experiences. When I was in grade school, our dentist's one hygienist was Stabby McStabbersons and when you'd rinse there would be bits of gum tissue and blood in the rinse bowl, and then the dentist would yell at you because your gums were bleeding. Finally both my sister and I told Mom and the dentist that we weren't letting that woman anywhere near our mouths ever again, period.

My current hygienist (I love my dentist--the office is corporate and large, but I get to keep the same dentist AND the same hygienist) is wonderful and has yet to stab me anywhere.
Gwyneth: Piglet cutgwyneth1362 on December 2nd, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
I'm right there in the "hating dentists" school. Childhood trauma, like the dentist that didn't believe kids should have novecaine until their teens, because kids don't hurt the same way. or the one that refused to stop when I told him how badly it hurt, until I pulled on his arm with the drill in it, at which point he yelled at me and started again.

Luckily, here in MKE I found a really good one who worked with me for years to make me comfortable again. She did all of my cleanings herself for a while to make me comfortable with it, like it, and only had other people in if I didn't panic. I loved her, until my insurance changed...

Now, because of her, I am better with dentistry in general. I still get nervous, but it isn't panicky. And my new dentist/hygenist don't bitch about cleaning - we talk about what my priorities are with the time I am likely to give to it. I like them.

Hugs to you.
EllieSamelliesam on December 3rd, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
This is why we have stuck with the same dentist for 14 years, even after moving 30 minutes away. It's worth the drive. He and his hygienist are fab.
Monarectangularcat on December 4th, 2010 04:54 am (UTC)
i had a fifth molar too! mine was tiny!