Thursday, June 05, 2008

the d-word (part II)

So… I went in. Filled in the forms. Lovely receptionist was delighted with her flowers (she deserved them – and I was right, they did remember last year). Then I noticed the dentist who sat in the reception area… and my heart sank. It was the one who’d had to stop partway through the extraction last year because it was unbearably painful. Was he the emergency dentist?

Spent the next ten minutes pretending to Madam that Mummy was perfectly OK (inside, it was Panic City). And then I was called in.

Moment of doom.

To my relief, I saw this lovely, lovely, lovely man who restored my faith in male dentists (have I mentioned that I’ve been terrified of male dentists since the grumpy school dentist when I was 5, and have insisted on having a female dentist since?). He was actually the perfect M&B alpha male: reassuring, very much in control and knowing exactly what he was doing, and prepared to listen to what I had to say. I explained about last summer’s nightmare and how I had a nasty feeling that it was about to be repeated with the other side of my mouth because it was the same pattern and the same type of pain. He had a look. Checked my x-rays. Had another look and explained that he was going to very gently tap my teeth to see if the pain would localise. And he did exactly what he promised – all very gentle and considerate and kind.

That was the bit where my teeth were meant to rebel.

And they did… but not how I expected. No, they decided they didn’t hurt at all any more.

Arrgh! (Been there, done that, and six months later it was really, really bad.)

He thought it might be a small internal fracture (which won’t show up on x-ray) or an infection. Drew me some pictures to explain. Asked me if I grind my teeth in my sleep (I didn’t think I did, and DH confirmed that later) because teeth-grinding is one of the major causes of fractures. Sent me off for an x-ray – and when they were developed, he showed them to me and pointed out a tiny bit of infection at the root. (Apparently my glands are up, too.) So. Antibiotics it is… and a heavy dose, so it should clear things up within a week. Until it does, I’m back on the painkillers and drinking through a straw.

I said to the receptionist that he was utterly lovely and had restored my faith in male dentists and if I couldn’t see my normal dentist when she’s back from maternity leave, I would be happy to be moved to him. She laughed: turns out, he’s the head of the practice (and it’s a large practice with about 10 surgeries) so he’s even less available than my dentist will be when she’s back. I still say he’s lovely. And I definitely made the right choice of practice 10 years ago when I finally moved from the one I’d been to since childhood.

Plan for today: hopefully Madam will be feeling up to returning to school (if nothing else, I know she likes Thursdays because it’s the one day a week she has a hot dinner rather than a packed lunch). And I need to find the balance between ‘one painkiller, clear head but pain’ and ‘two painkillers, no pain but woolly head’.


Jan Jones said...

Oh, Kate. What a saga. Hope you find that balance!

Diane said...

I have a lovely male dentist. He did accidentally hurt me the last time I was there, and he was mortified, apologising, saying I was so relaxed he'd forgotten what a nervous patient I was. That's because he makes me relax. Funnily enough, I've never, ever had a female dentist, and I've never, ever felt like having one.

Melissa Marsh said...

Thank goodness it was only a mild infection and you didn't have to get a tooth yanked!

Anne McAllister said...

Glad you've found an alpha dentist that you like, Kate. Always good to have a backup who won't take a maternity leave. And I hope the course of antibiotics works like a charm.

India said...

Just catching up after an age in deadline exile Kate... So sorry to hear that you've been having a bad time, but hoping very much that it gets better from here. xx

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - thanks.

Diane - nice male dentists are rare!!

Melissa - thanks. I'm glad, too, because I think I would do the 'only if you sedate me' thing again (and that loses two or three days to wooziness and sleep).

Anne - thanks. I hope so, too :o)

India - big hugs back at you xx