Dental work really freaks me out. I’m a year overdue on my next dentist appointment and I can’t seem to make myself schedule it. While filling out info for my benefits, I was hit with these stats:
• 80 percent of adults suffer from some form of gum disease
• 92 percent of adults have cavities
• Studies show heart disease, clogged arteries, strokes, premature births and diabetes may be associated with poor oral health.
While I’m 98 percent sure this was a scare tactic by Cigna to sway me to sign up for its dental benefits, (which I did), now I need to woman up and actually use them. After all, I suffered and endured braces in middle school, slept religiously in my retainer and had my wisdom teeth removed to get these straight chompers.
The thing is, I’ve had so many horrible dental experiences. Seriously, I’ve never had a pleasurable visit to the dentist office. I get clammy and sweaty just thinking about it. Before you scoff at me or call me ridiculous, let me share a few of them with you.
During a routine cleaning, the dental hygienist left that straw-like tool in my mouth that sucks out all your saliva (you know the one I’m talking about) while asking me questions about my oral habits. While I’m trying to oblige by answering, the tool goes up my left nostril. The bib prevented me from retrieving the tool so I made noises to get her attention. How did she respond you ask? “Sorry dear” before pulling it out and putting it right back in my mouth!
Another time, I had to return to get a small cavity filled. They reclined my seat back and I inhaled laughing gas in preparation. Well, either they gave me too much or they hit a nerve because as soon as the dentist started drilling, I threw up everywhere. I had to ride home from Tullahoma in a zipped-up jacket.
Let’s go back to the wisdom teeth removal procedure. Mine were impacted so they had to be cut out. Even though I was in high school, I cried before the surgery. When I woke up, the luxury of feeling nothing and being silly from the amnesia didn’t happen. I was in pain as soon as I got to the car. I lost 15 pounds, my face blew up like a black-and-blue balloon and my careful diet of pureed food and my no-straw policy did not prevent four dry sockets. It took me nearly five weeks to recover.
As you can see, I’ve not had the best of luck. Sometimes I’ve gotten cleanings that felt like the dental hygienist was taking out her terrible day on my gums while flossing. Other times, I’ve accidently swallowed the foamy flavored stuff and nearly choked.
Still, if you have any suggestions, please shoot me an email. I don’t even mind traveling to Murfreesboro once a year if I must.
Standard reporter Lacy Garrison can be reached at 473-2191.