::::Warning: I’m going to be talking about my visit to the dentist, and it may become graphic. It WILL include talk about dental procedures, so if the dentist freaks you out, you probably would rather not read this::::
In order for you to really understand what happened yesterday in the dentist’s chair – you’re going to first need to have a bit of a background story. As long as I have been alive, I have never had a dentist who was kind. They were all mean, inconsiderate, or otherwise just seemed to be in it for the money. Also as long as I’ve lived, I’ve had problems with my teeth. I am one of those people who brushes like clockwork (Master will tell you), flosses regularly, uses mouth wash, and no matter what I always will have at least one cavity when I go to the dentist. This means that I will never have much time between dental visits. I want to have a good, healthy mouth, and my teeth are very important to me, so I make it a habit to go to the dentist twice a year.
I started having problems with sensitive teeth about when I turned 19, which is also when I lost my dental insurance for the first time. I had no idea what was wrong with my teeth but I was in tremendous amounts of pain every time I tried to eat or drink. I saw a dentist who told me to use Sensodyne. After that, I could not see a dentist for another three years, when I finally got dental insurance again. I went to this new dentist, (who was a budget dentist), and that is where I had my first real dental issues. She told me I had several cavities which needed filling, but that they only do one at a time. She patronized me and spent the whole time telling me that if only I brushed my teeth this wouldn’t happen. Since I brush religiously, I was really annoyed and didn’t like how she was treating me. I decided not to go back. It took me a couple months to work up the courage to go see another dentist.
The next dentist was also rude, but it was tolerable and at least she wasn’t condescending. I knew that I had cavities to fill at that point – so I let her fill the first two. It went fine, and I had no issues. I went back the following week to have a couple more teeth filled, and that is when I had my first bad reaction to Novocain. She gave me one injection and immediately I could feel my heart speeding. It felt horrible. I thought I was going to pass out. I felt like my heart was going to explode. The dentist spent a good deal of time getting angry with me, because she said that I simply had to have high blood pressure, and she was upset that I did not disclose that to her. I corrected her several times and explained to her that I have low blood pressure, actually, and that my blood pressure is usually around 80/60. Oh no, she would just not believe me. This had to be my fault. I was so unhappy that she would blame me for the fact that I felt sick that I decided not to go back to her. I waited about another year to see a dentist, and it wasn’t until we moved.
When I met Dr. B, I explained to him how I had a hard time with dentists in the past, and how I had been feeling apprehensive to see another one. I told him about what happened the last time I had a cavity filled, and instead of blaming me for the occurrence, he explained to me that Novocain has Epinephrine in it, and that the Epinephrine causes that reaction in some patients. He told me there were other things we could try, and that he was sure that he could make me feel comfortable during my dental work. That was five months ago. Since then, I have had several dental visits to fill in cavities, and have my teeth fixed for various reasons. Each and every visit (and I have been there at least once, sometimes twice a month) he has explained to me what he was going to use and assured me that he would not use Novocain since it gives my heart a really bad reaction.
The problem with the anesthetic he uses on me, is that it is not as long lasting as Novocain. He has always been more than happy to stop any time I start feeling pain again though, and to give me another injection. He earned my trust by filling in these teeth without my heart skipping and racing. He made me feel like I could actually trust a dentist to take care of my teeth and not cut corners which could possibly hurt my heart. In april, I had two wisdom teeth removed without the use of Novocain at all. It wasn’t fun, but we got it done. I expected the same thing to happen yesterday when I went to the dentist.
I got there, sat in the chair, and they gave me my injections. The second he was done I looked him right in the eye and said “You just used Novocain on me, didn’t you?!” I was totally panic stricken. He had not asked for my consent, had not warned me, had not made sure it would be OK. He just did it. His response:
“Yeah, I wanted to use something that would last longer this time than the Carbocaine.” I was so floored. I cried because my heart rate was going so fast. It felt horrible. I thought my heart was going to explode. The dental assistant just told me to relax and they promised it would be gone soon. I knew it would not though. I nearly got up and left the dental office right then and there, but I promised Master I would be a good kitty, so I stayed.
At some point, the dentist left the room so he could do an exam, and while he was gone I said to the dental assistant “Why wasn’t I warned about the Novocain?” She brushed me off saying it was standard and pretending she had no idea there was anything in my file about not using it. I know that there was a huge paper in my file explaining why I could not have Novocain. As I said, the very first visit I was there, I went on and on about this to the dentist. I was terrified and never wanted that horrible reaction again. What bothers me the most is that after they did it, they pretended like it was no big deal and that they had no clue that I could not have this drug. They just gave me the initial injections with it, before switching to the Carbocaine.
I really felt like I could trust this dentist, but after this, I feel like my trust has been totally crushed. I have never had a good dentist. Never. I am starting to wonder if they are even out there. I have a mouth that requires a lot of maintenance just to make sure I can eat, but I am seriously so scared of going to any dentist now. I have a follow up appointment this Thursday, and I am wondering if I should even bother to confront the dentist himself about this. I am thinking I’ll have him follow up on my wisdom teeth (since he is just taking stitches out and no injections will be allowed), and then I’ll look for a new dentist if I can muster up the courage. Master says he would like to see if he can find me a dentist which specializes in people who have had bad dental experiences, but I am just so hurt over this. I didn’t sleep well last night, and kept replaying it over and over in my mind. He knew what he was doing. This was not an accident. I am hurt right now, and in more ways than a swollen jaw and toothless gums can show.