More Adventures At The Dentist (or Getting Through A Long Appointment)

As I wrote last week when I went to the dentist, I didn’t have the best news at my appointment. Nothing was horrible, but I did need to have some things repaired and replaced. And doing that means needing numbing shots. That’s never something that is fun for me and I was even more nervous considering that I would be working with new dentists. I tried not to stress too much in the week between the appointments, but I couldn’t help it.

I went in for the long appointment this week on Monday and it was really a long appointment! I was there for about 3 hours and I know it was longer than anyone expected. Part of the reason I was there so long was that I had an issue getting numb. I’ve had this problem before and it’s the worst considering how much I hate needles. But the first round of numbing shots only numbed a small section of where the work was going to be done. So they had to do another round of numbing shots and since I wasn’t numb from the first ones I did feel the second round as well. Fortunately the second round did work, but it still made things longer than it should have been.

Also, because these dentists are new I wanted to give them the warnings about my specific issues. I had to give them a heads up about my fainting issue even though it hasn’t been happening as often recently. I also wanted to let them know some random things that help my anxiety when work is being done. One of those things is to be told as each part of the process is happening and is done. So if they are working on the drilling, letting me know how much longer they need to drill helps. I’m sure for some people it makes it worse when they are told there is 5 more minutes left, but it gives me something to focus on. Also, my anxiety is lower when I understand things more. So I asked how certain things are done like how the old crown is taken off my tooth. Being able to imagine it is a really good thing for me.

Getting my old filling repaired was the easy part. I actually wasn’t numb for that and it didn’t really hurt at all. The drilling was done quickly and the replacement filling material was in before I knew it. If that was the only part of the appointment I had to do, I would have been done faster than a normal cleaning!

But working on replacing my crown was a much longer process. There were multiple impressions and molds that had to be done to create the temporary and permanent crown and those took time to set. And to get the old crown off they had to do a lot of drilling. It’s good to know how strong it is, but it makes it hard to get it off. They do need to be replaced every 10-15 years so I will go through this process several more times with the various crowns I have, but at least I’m a bit more prepared this time.

Because I already had a crown on that tooth, there was minimal drilling that had to be done on my actual tooth. But the reason why I needed the replacement was because there was a little cavity on my tooth just below where the crown was. When that happened, it made a little gap in the crown so there was a possibility that bacteria could get under there and make things really bad. But once the crown was off the dentists confirmed that the cavity was only that small spot they saw before and not worse. So they drilled that out and all the drilling work was done. All that was left was to create the temporary crown and get that onto the tooth.

When I left, I was still very numb. I am happy to be extra numb since I would prefer that over feeling pain. But I did discover an issue with that when the numbness finally wore off. There was a small part of the temporary crown that was jagged and cutting into my tongue. I had no clue about this when it was done and because of where it was on it the dentists wouldn’t have been able to see it. But it was very painful and I knew I needed to have it fixed immediately.

So the next day, I called as soon as they opened to see when I could come back in. I knew fixing it would only take a few minutes so I was fine going in the middle of work (I cleared it with my manager too). As soon as I got there, I was able to point out exactly where the problem was and once they knew where to look they could smooth it out and make everything they way it needs to be. The temporary crown is always a bit rough, but the part that was hurting me was not normal. I didn’t have to get numb for this and I didn’t mind the drill as much because I knew it was going to make the pain end. My tongue is still hurting now, but that’s because of what happened before it was fixed. Hopefully that goes back to normal soon.

I have one more appointment to get the permanent crown in and to smooth my filling a bit (I could have done this when they fixed the temporary crown, but I needed to get back to work). That appointment won’t be as long as the main one was so that is going to be nice. I still am anxious about the next appointment since I know there are a few moments where it will hurt a little bit when they cement the new crown on, but I would prefer to have that little pain than the pain of having the shots. And then once that is done, hopefully I won’t have anything besides normal cleanings for a long time.

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