Friday, August 3, 2012

Needing A Bit of Prayer

This morning I will return to my dentist to once again try to get my bridge problems taken care of.  I have been dreading this visit since I last saw her 2-1/2 weeks ago.  I have been to see her for bridge work 15 times since January 3rd.  The first bridge did not work out & after several attempts at adjusting it (& finally shaving a hole through it) she offered to have the bridge remade. The second bridge was slightly better but I was still having problems with it.  At my last visit she walked into the exam room & I jokingly asked "Are you ready to give me dentures yet?" & she said in a very disgusted way "What I am ready to do is to put your plastic bridge back in & refund your money. I am very frustrated!"  I was speechless & I'm sure the look on my face was not a pleasant one because she then hurried up & said "I'm only kidding" ... but I'm pretty sure she was not.

Prior to that appointment I had sent her a letter, complete with diagrams, to explain the problems I was having.  I did this because it seems to be difficult for her to understand what I'm trying to describe to her when I'm in the exam chair.  I figured that she would have the letter with the diagrams & sit down & familiarize herself with my problems so she would be ready to tackle them at my appointment, but no ... she did not even look at the letter until I was sitting in the chair. She said it would not have been of help for her to look at it beforehand.

She has made comments like "you may just have to accept that this is the best it will be" (referring to a very rough back of one tooth that doesn't lie flush with the gum line). I have explained to her many times that I have 2 other bridges & that I never had any problems with either of them.  At the time I got them (one at a time) ... which was quite a few years ago ... I went to the dentist, he made a mold, a week or two later I went back to see him, he cemented in the bridge, & I went merrily on my way.  I did not feel like I had some "foreign appliance" in my mouth.  I was not aware that I had a bridge at all. Not so with this current bridge experience. It was initially too big ... thus the attempts at shaving it down.  One tooth was very unnatural.  I was told it had to be made that way to accommodate the bridge below. She tells me that this bridge below needs to be replaced because it was made incorrectly.  She tells me the same thing regarding the other bridge.  If the one below was made incorrectly then why is she accommodating the top bridge to it?  (I've asked her this but I've never received an answer.)  Wouldn't this mean that when she (or someone else) remakes that bottom bridge that it will have to be made incorrectly again to accommodate the top one?

When I first went to her she showed me a pair of model teeth & explained how your front top & bottom teeth are never supposed to touch each other.  When you close your mouth the teeth on the sides of your mouth are supposed to touch.  Mine were not doing that.  The front top & bottom teeth were, in fact, banging hard against each other when I would shut my mouth.  The side teeth didn't touch at all.  Her remedy for this was to shave down my front teeth. She did this at my second appointment when I was undergoing a gum resection that she said was necessary.  She determined during that procedure that I had been grinding my teeth & so she did what she called a "bite adjustment."  She said she explained this to me & asked for my permission before she did it but I had been given a bit of anesthetic & was on nitrous oxide at the time.  I have no recollection of anything being explained or asked of me.  After the second bridge was placed & my front teeth were hitting together so hard she told me I needed "some bite adjustment again" & she shaved them down a bit more.  I asked her "Isn't this a bad thing to do?  Aren't you shaving the enamel off my teeth?"  She said it wasn't the best thing to do but it had to be done so my front teeth would not be hitting together like that.  At my last appointment when I told her they were still hitting together & added that surely they can't continue to be shaved down, she told me they weren't hitting together "that hard" & all the teeth were supposed to touch a little bit when the mouth is closed.  That's not what she explained to me with the model teeth.

Another problem I am having a great deal of trouble with is whistling when I talk.  Even John, who is extremely hard of hearing, can hear the whistles.  I told her about this several times.  At first I thought the whistling was connected to the bridges but I started to pay very close attention to it & it's coming from the area of the front teeth.  It seems fairly obvious to me that the whistling has something to do with the bite adjustments.  If this is indeed the case, I'm probably going to be stuck with this whistling till Jesus returns.  At my last appointment I was telling her about the whistling & she said "I don't hear any whistling" & at the time I didn't hear any either ... but as soon as I got home there it was.  Perhaps by reclining in the chair my mouth was positioned in a different way & so the whistling wasn't occurring?

That's another thing.  While she is shaving the bridge or doing some other type of work it will get to the point where I am feeling very comfortable & I will say "That feels good!" ... but she pays no mind & keeps on shaving & makes things feel "not good" again.  She will also tell me that I'm doing things ... like grinding my teeth at night or positioning my mouth in "odd ways" & that these things are the roots of my problems.  I don't do either of these things & when I tell her this she looks at me like I'm lying.

I was uncomfortable with her before starting my care & mentioned to John that maybe I should find another dentist for a second opinion.  John said she was already familiar with what needed done & I should just stick with her.

I did something this morning that I should have done back in January.  I looked her up on the internet to see if there were any patient reviews.  I could not find any patient reviews but I did find evidence of two instances where she was brought before the state dental board & her license to practice dentistry was revoked for a time.  Once was because of her billing an insurance company for work that was not done, & another time was because she was determined to be an alcoholic.  This was back in 2006-2009.  She had racked up 3 DUIs, her drivers license was suspended, & the board revoked her license to practice pending her participation in AA.  An office assistant testified that she came to work once with alcohol on her breath.  That is the past, of course, & I guess I can't let that influence me on the care she is providing now ... but it's worrisome   : (

Anyway ... I am going back this morning & I am not looking forward to seeing her again. I have no idea what her reaction is going to be this time.  Part of me wants to just go in there & say "Perhaps we should do as you suggested last time.  You remove this bridge, put the plastic one in, refund my money, & I'll see if I can find another dentist who can make any sense of all this."  The other part of me thinks that if she offers to have the bridge remade one more time then I should give it a try.  All I know for sure is that I am very apprehensive about this appointment & very apprehensive about what she is going to say.  I don't deal with confrontation well at all.  I am, in fact, going to take an anti-anxiety pill before I leave for my appointment & I hope that this will make it possible for me to deal with whatever I am faced with.

If you see this posting this morning (my appointment is at 10:00 EST) I ask that you please say a prayer that I will be able to get through this appointment & that things will work out the way they should.  I'll post again when I get home to let you know the outcome.


Sally said...

Lots of prayers coming your way Shirlee and lots of hugs too. xxx

Девушка с пяльцами said...

Shirlee, hold on! We are with you! Good luck!

cucki said...

Sending you lots of hugs and prayers always in my thoughts xxx

Danice said...

'Been there myself earlier this year. Is your dentist a DDS, a surgeon? There is a difference. I was put to sleep and woke up with no remembrance of the event, and very little pain afterwards. DDS's do cost more, but are so very worth it. Prayers to you, friend :)

Shebafudge said...

Oh my word, prayers and hugs to you Shirlee.
I think I would be seeking a second opinion on her. She does seem to have some strange processes. I thought bite adjustment was only done on fillings to make sure it wasn't impacting if it was too high. I haven't heard of a dentist filing down the actual tooth.
Hopefully she will have the bridge sorted out and it will fit properly this time. Good Luck!! x x x x

LoriU said...

I hope it is going OK as you are probably there already.

If it feels good, then don't let her take it out and shave it more again. Just put your hand and start getting out of the chair saying "I'm good thanks".

marly said...

Yoi. I had a perfectly comfortable old bridge that was replaced and it feels like it's pulling on the front tooth and loosening it. Hurts when I chew. I get no where because they say the impressions don't lie and the mold is formed from them. The front tooth is now loose and the bridge is holding it. He did the same thing - shaving down and such until the bite is even worse. If he had offered to return the thousands I spent, I would have taken it and started over. Anxious to hear what you decide.

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Good Luck Shirlee!
Hope everything works out for you.
Will be thinking about you ~ I don't like going to the dentist.

Minnie said...

I think I would take her up on her offer and find someone new. How can she tell you how you are feeling?

Jessica @Blessings in the Country said...

Praying for the app. and also praying you find a new dentist! I would not stick with this one. Doesn't matter if you are in the middle of work being done, another dentist can pick up where she left off. I was wincing reading this because you should not be made to be put through this kind of treatment. 15 times since January is ridiculous. And the grinding down of your teeth! Oh my gosh, that cannot be undone. I am so thankful to know a good dentist after reading this! Granted I can't get work done right now, but still thankful I know him!

Trace4J said...

Praying all went well Friend.
I am sorry I missed this earlier.
Hugs to you

Yana Hanim said...

Hi Shirlee I am sorry I couldnt read this post earlier but I am sending my prayer for you. I am very concerned with your story and I couldnt imagine how awful it would be for you for not having a confidence in your dentist. personally I think you should get a second opinion but if you decide to keep her I wish it will ended well.

lots of hugs and prayers, yuana

Vickie said...

Oh Shirlee! I am so sorry I did not find this earlier. I have prayed for you Shirlee. I hope you leave her for good. I mean really! This is inexcusable. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Mouse said...

good grief ... take your money and run .... your teeth should not be touching and she should defo not be grinding your teeth down .... unless she is prep-ping you for a new bridge.....
girl take from me who worked for a dentist for 7 years .. go and get some one new before she does any more damage !!!!
love mouse xxxxx

Mindi said...

I'm sure you're back from the dentist by now, and I sure hope it went well, or at least you got something resolved. Please don't stick with her if things still aren't the way you want them, its not worth the stress, discomfort and having to spend so much time with repeat visits.

TheCrankyCrow said...

As I said above, I'm very sorry I didn't read this soon enough to send my prayers along with you. I am glad that she was receptive to your concerns this time around, but, truly - if the next adjustments aren't the cat's pajamas, please, please, find someone new. From what you described, I would go to a vet before I went to see her again. Hugs ~ Robin