Dentists: When You Hate Them but Need Them

What else can you do when you need a tooth fixed?

Drawing of a cracked, unhappy tooth.
Image by Natalia Ovcharenko from Pixabay

Tomorrow, I have to visit my dentist. I hate the dentist — not the person, but the place. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve disliked going to the dentist — for any reason.

When we were little, our dentist was mean. He never smiled. He yelled at my sister and me about our oral hygiene and scolded us for brushing wrong. We both had a lot of cavities. We did brush — twice a day. But we still seemed to get cavities. Back in the 1960s cavities were filled with metal amalgam. Yes, I have silver-colored fillings. And I used to receive nitrous oxide (gas) from the Dentist — Dr. Sloan to work on me.

The school nurse would visit classrooms and talk about brushing and then you’d eat a colored tablet that would stain your teeth if they weren’t clean. I mean whose teeth were clean in school? Probably not many children, at least not those I knew.

Anyway, as I reached adulthood and could choose my dentist, I had one I liked — a woman. Then, we moved. I had another dentist when we moved to Wisconsin that I didn’t like — he was preoccupied with insurance and making sure I spent everything allotted to me by my (my husband’s plan). Ah, no. We don’t work like that. He also wanted to replace all of my amalgam fillings with composite, so it looked “nicer.” Again, no.

We found another dentist. Again, a woman. She was at a small office that was a branch of a larger practice. But, it was close to home. She was okay. I decided to have a crown put on one of my molars (filled when I was young). It didn’t go that well and popped off. I had to go to the main office to have that fixed.

Finally, another dentist opened a practice in our town. We all went to this dentist. He did some more crown work — before the pandemic. He knows I’m very conservative with what I have done to my mouth. But once the pandemic struck, our dental appointments were canceled, and we never got back on track.

But, last Thursday, yes — Thanksgiving — I had a piece of sticky licorice (a brand I had never had before) and felt something hard in my mouth. Another crown had come loose! I think it was the same cap that popped off before. Luckily, I didn’t bite down so I’m hoping that it can just be glued back on. But who knows? I sure don’t.

We’ll find out tomorrow when I go to that place I hate — the dentist.

Luckily, I haven’t had any pain. Yet!

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Carol Labuzzetta, MS Natural Resources, MS Nursing

Environmental educator with a passion for teaching youth using the science of awe. Traveler, Photographer, Author, Wife, Mother. Top Writer & Boosted Writer x3