I go in for a cleaning and, oh joy, I have a cavity (I have the most sucktastically weak enamel, I swear). During the cleaning, the hygienist begins to critique the crown put in by the former dentist, wondering why he would have done it in the manner he did. This bothered me because she had cleaned my teeth since it had been done and had not said anything. I just feel like she was waiting to trash her former boss’s work now that she was no longer his employee.
Another mild suck comes as I’m coming out to schedule the filling. My mother had driven me to the appointment and was waiting in the lobby. The hygienist follows me out and starts to tell my mother about my cavity. Yes, she knows my mother rather well, but I’m almost twenty-four years old and I pay for my own appointments. It should have been my choice to tell her.
I immediately get stressed and upset at the mere thought of getting the cavity filled. I reminded the hygienist of my issues and she suggests prescribing something for my anxiety, the same thing I had taken for my root canal at the other office. She leaves and I work with the receptionist to make my next appointment. There is a little more suckage here as she used a rather rude and condescending tone for most of the conversation. She then says, “So you know if you take that, it’s an extra $165, right?” Um, no, no I did not. She then goes on to explain that I would be “tying up chair time” as they would want to monitor me longer. My former dentist did nothing like that but I understand having different policies so I said I’d just stick with the gas.
A few days before I’m supposed to go in for the filling, the hygienist calls and leaves me a voicemail saying that she heard the other pill didn’t work out but offered to call in a Valium. Fantastic. I call and get the same receptionist.
Me: There’s no additional fees for this one, right? Besides the cost of the pill itself?
Receptionist: I don’t know what the cost of the pill is. We don’t dispense it here. You’ll have to ask the pharmacy.
Um, okay? The day before my appointment I go to pick up the single Valium. The bottle says, “Take one pill nightly, at bedtime.” These directions sound all sorts of wrong for taking it for my appointment. That’s more than thirteen hours before I’d even go into the office. Unfortunately, the dentist is closed for the day by this point so I can’t call them. I Google the shit out of Valium used for anxiety like this, talk to people who have used it specifically for dental appointments, and talk to my friend’s mother who works in an office that has experience prescribing it. Everyone agrees that, no, I should not take it the night before, but more like half an hour to an hour before my appointment. This may be a suck on my part for not following directions, but I wanted to get the benefit from having it.
The next morning I call before I go in and get scolded by the receptionist for not taking it the night before. She says I can go ahead and take it though. I go into the office, feeling calm but not loopy or strange, and get scolded by the hygienist for not taking it the night before. I’m passed off to someone else and then they ask me when I took it. The dentist comes in and then he asks when I took it.
Me: I’m sorry. I thought that was just a generic direction and that it would have worn off by now if I took it last night.
Dentist: No, it stays in your system for eighteen hours.
Another hygienist comes in to administer the gas and when she sits down, the dentist informs her I took the pill this morning and then rolls his eyes. Now I’m back to feeling upset and anxious due to how they keep talking about it.
They put the gas on me and after a few minutes ask if I’m feeling anything. I say no. They wait another minute, asking me to take deep breaths. I do but I still don’t feel anything from the gas (which I’ve had before and can definitely tell when it’s taking effect). The dentist tells me to keep breathing and starts drilling despite me saying the gas isn’t working.
The dentist leaves after the drilling and does not return to check to see how the filling looks, even when I tell the hygienist it feels extremely rough and uncomfortable. She then asks if we’re still “friends” (this is the first I’m even meeting this woman) and says next time I won’t need anything for anxiety because I’m now familiar with them.
Several times I was made to feel like I was just drug-seeking. I was charged $65 for gas I don’t believe was even used or at least not on a setting high enough to be effective.
Bonus: My aunt went in to have her teeth cleaned today and the hygienist asked how my tooth was feeling. When my aunt said she didn’t know what I had had done, the woman finally realized that maybe she shouldn’t be sharing information and shut up about it.
TL;DR: I felt my privacy was violated, I was mocked and scolded for taking a pill for anxiety at the wrong time, charged for gas that wasn’t used, and treated like I was drug-seeking.