Anyway, the real reason I'm posting is because I was reminded (by some recent posts) of some other bad service I've received at the hands of dentists. I'm a bit apprehensive about it because of some of the details of my dental history, but... bad dentists are worse than bad teeth, so fuck it. Anyone that judges me, instead of the bad dentists, can bugger off. :)
Like many of you, I'm sure, I've had a lot of problems finding a good dentist. Meaning... not just skilled in his/her practice, but also conscious of their bedside manner. Going to the dentist is also difficult because of money and insurance issues.
- I can remember at least one lame dentist I had (in the "High Desert" area of California), as a little kid. On at least one occasion, I could've sworn that they left me in the chair for an hour in the middle of whatever was being done, with no explanation. I clearly remember having to get up out of the chair, and walk to the nurses' station with my "bib" on, to ask what was going on. Yeah, maybe this wasn't the worst thing ever, but... It's certainly not a good impression on a little girl that's already wary of dentists/dental work!
- 1-800-DENTIST sucks, IMO. My mom called them once, because we both needed work done. (Myself especially. Her teeth are far better than mine.) They referred us to a dental office in nearby Corona. This ended up being a bad idea... Among other things, they were expensive and not flexible with payment plans/insurance, their bedside manner was for shit, and they tended to give me guilt trips for having bad teeth. I acknowledge and am willing to admit that I haven't always been the best toothbrusher, but that's beside the damn point.
- I can't remember exact dates offhand, but the 1-800-DENTIST/bad dentist in Corona was sometime around when I was in middle school. I really needed help then, mostly because I had tripped on the way to lunch one day. One of my front teeth broke in half, and the other chipped.
I had to have a tooth extracted a few years ago. It was done by a dentist in the IDP at Loma Linda University's dental school. (Back when I was still covered by my parents' insurance! I had previously had a good IDP experience, but in between visits my first dentist there graduated.) This experience was absolute, utter hell. I could hardly understand what the dental student said, at times, and he also tended to give me guilt trips about my teeth. Anyway... I came in, and he prep'd and numbed me. Or so HE thought. He started to work, and I had to stop him. I told him that I needed more novocaine, but to my recollection he didn't listen. The student, and even his teachers, kept telling me that I wasn't feeling actual pain. Just pressure, they all said. Meanwhile, during the procedure I could not help but cry - and I might've even screamed, at times. I have a very high pain tolerance, so yes, it WAS "that bad". (The IDP was one big room made up of little cubicle-esque booths, too, so everybody could probably hear me.)
Needless to say, they were wrong. You don't scream during the procedure, OR cry for at least an hour afterward, if it's "just pressure". Having even ONE tooth pulled from an improperly anaesthetised mouth is an excruciatingly painful experience.
My post does have a relatively good ending, though! A couple years after the above, I had to have more extractions done (in late 2007 and early 2008, to be specific). I went to a different dentist because I had to hurriedly get Medi-Cal and have work done before my 21st birthday. (That in itself is a suck on the part of the CA. government and my local DPSS, but I won't get into that!) I forget how my mother and I found him, but I am so thankful that we did!
Before I went home to recover after my first major appointment with him (in the evening! 'twas nice.), I seriously said to my doctor that he "has magic hands". This time, none of the extractions really hurt (and the doctor was so quick!). My doctor even put sutures in so that my mouth would heal properly. The same goes for my other extraction appointment with him. (Yeah, I had to get two partials. I get tired of them sometimes, since I have to remove them when I sleep, but I am thankful to be able to chew again!) It tripped me out that my root canal and filling visits with him hurt worse than the extractions.
His staff, specifically his office manager, are equally as amazing. The office manager has helped me during different procedures (even letting me grip her hand at times!), she's excellent with payment plan-type things, and I always talk to her if I'm worried about something. We've discussed the similar dental problems we've both had, and she helped me realise that I probably have TMJ disorder too. (It sucks. The clicking, popping, and jaw-locking are the worst.)
I really wish that I could go under "real" anaesthesia (not Novocaine! It hurts, even with the stuff they put on to supposedly numb you so the needle won't hurt.), or at least have a 'scrip for pills to take to calm me before and during visits (my doc said he could find a way to get me one for Halcion or Valium, but he hasn't yet.), but... my doctor makes the best of what he is allowed to do. Hopefully I can go back soon, to get the rest of the work done. (I'm hopefully getting my parents' insurance again shortly. *weak enthusiasm for going back to school*)
To sum up, if anyone in the Inland Empire area needs the number of a great dentist - let me know. :D
Like I said to someone in the comments of a recent post... I wish dentists realised that they, moreso than anyone else anywhere, need to have good service skills/bedside manner. If they don't, and they scare the right (or wrong, really.) person, then that person might be too frightened to go to any other dentist for a long time. Which, of course, is a bad thing for most people.
TL;DR version (I really did go into a lot of detail.): Having teeth pulled from an improperly anaesthetised head is not fun. Bad dentists = the worst. Good dentists = the best. (And Greyhound continues to suck, of course.)