Monday, October 17, 2005

Who wants their teeth done by the Marquis de Sade?

While reading Peripatetic Polar Bear's recent dental woe, I was reminded of a story about my Dental Nightmare a few years ago that I just had to relate.

Most of you know the pitfalls of the HMO and "Preferred Provider" plans. I shouldn't have to say any more, right? :) Well, of course, the only dentist within a decent-sized radius of our home was Dr. A. Dr, A, being first on the list, naturally was the one that our insurance plan would prefer we go to. And by "prefer", we mean that you have to mortgage your home and give up your firstborn child in order to see anyone else.

Of course, this meant that Dr. A was a colossal jerk. I, however, didn't find out this nugget of gold information until midway through my first exam. Great time, right? Well, being a serious weenie about dental pain, I sit there as Dr. de Sade drills my teeth. Yes, I've had novocaine, and yes, I'm numb, but he must be hitting nerve anyway, because I. Feel. It. I'm clawing half-moon shapes into the leatherette of the dental chair. Dr. A sees this, and has the utter gall to say to me...

"Oh, come now! You're not afraid of a little pain, are you?"

Now, remember that I'm mostly immobilized in the Leatherette Iron Maiden, *and* with a spinning drill still in my mouth. I nod, almost imperceptibly, and grunt in the affirmative. As in, "Yes, I am a total weenus about pain, and this bothers me immensely."

The esteemed doctor says, "Well....I can see by the size of your hips that you've had at least ONE child. Surely, this isn't any worse than childbirth."

You have never seen a fat woman move so fast. I ripped all of the dental accoutrement off of me, and spat out -- "There's this new thing, doctor! It's called "bedside manner." You might want to try it sometime!" I stalked out of his office. When I got the bill for his services, I went to pay it in person so I could let them know that, if I had my way, no one would ever patronize this man again. When the receptionist asked why we wouldn't be returning, I told her "I've seen baboons in the zoo display more tact than that man."

My husband had had to see the same dentist, and was actually referred to a maxillofacial dentist by Dr. A, and even the maxillofacial dentist thought he was a putz. You've got to be a humongous idjit if people *to whom you send business* don't want to deal with you.

Thankfully, the dentist we see now is a great guy, and really makes you feel at ease. I related the Dental Drama to him, and he did his very best to make sure that I was comfortable at all times.

So, to all the other dental weenies out there -- you are not alone. My hips and I are with you.


ccw said...

So sorry for your bad experience. Good for you (and your hips) for leaving immediately.

Mr. S and I had a dentist we hated for awhile, but finally left and the man was a complete jerk because we were leaving.

Yankee T said...

There is NO EXCUSE for that shit! I cannot even believe he would say something like that. That is worth reporting to the American Dental Association. I am horrified!
Glad you've gone elsewhere.

allison said...

Oh my dentalphobe friend. I've had 3 c-sections and a gall bladder removal, and I rather do any one of them again than experience pain at the dentist. I get the sweaty palm thing just going into the office. My wisdom teeth extraction was better than some typical cleaning/filling deals. No way you should ever put up with that crap...dentalphobes unite!

Running2Ks said...


We have had 2 mean dentists (most are really nice). But we should have known by the names of these two:

Dr. Cutler
Dr. Payne

I'm not kidding.

I don't blame you for having dental fears!

Anonymous said...

Tell me his name and I'll make a special trip to kick him in the nards.

I thought Little Shop of Horrors was fiction.

Jenn said...

Dentists are universally evil, although some hide it better than others. I think it's something they learn in school.

KLee said...

Corny -- apparently, Dr. A took "Little Shop" too seriously. thanks for the nard offer, though. I'm not sure he had nards. I know he had no common sense, and most assuredly, no tact.

YT -- shortly after my hips and I made our swweping grand exit, Dr. A was in a bad car accident that tore him up pretty thoroughly and he had to retire from his practice. I tried very hard not to say "What comes around, goes around," but, sadly... I sure thought it.

Allison -- I had two or three (can't remember now....must've blocked the whole experience) back teeth extracted a couple of years ago. It was awful. I had my daughter naturally ( natural as you can have, being induced...) and I'll take childbirth any day over dental pain!

halloweenlover said...

What an ass!!! I had a gynecologist (male) that was hurting me, tell me that it was my problem, and that I just needed to have a couple of kids to stretch me out. I should have stormed out there and then, but I didn't. I'm so proud of you.

Jenevieve said...

halloweenlover, I had a similar experience (except with a female- I mean, you think she'd know), and I too wish I had the gall to refuse the rest of the exam.

Klee, I'm glad you have more balls than me. Good for you!

lostinthemiddle said...

I'm a stunned--both by Klee's orginal post and by halloweenlover & jenieve's comments. Who *are* these people that they think they get to say things like that?

And, worse, inflict on pain on patients?! I mean, here you all are saying, "hey, that's not quite right," which you should do and which they should want you to do, and they turn it around on you?! YEEEE-OWW.

This smokes me.

KLee, though, good for you to go storming out. I think you shouldn't paid him at all! Aren't there medical codes of ethics and patient rights and all that? In other contexts, this sort of thing would be cause for a harassment suit.

(getting down a bit sheepishly off my soap box now. I've had dr issues myself recently and so am perhaps a bit, well, touchy about such things.)