Today I am going to see a new dentist. I have been seeing the same dentist for 15 years. I am very attached to long term relationships, faithfulness, and consistency - I think these are very important things we learn in sobriety. The decision to see another dentist was very difficult for me.
I am in the middle of a huge project in my mouth and I came to realize last week that I have lost confidence in my dentist. Last week when I saw my dentist, the novocaine shot hurt so much - nerve shooting pain like lightening through my head - that I was still jumpy when he came at me with a drill. When he started drilling, I felt pain. I told him. He stopped for a moment, and then started again, I felt pain again. I jumped. He told me he could not work on me because it was not pain, it was my nervousness. He wanted me to take valium (a whole other subject I could write about and probably won't) and come back - we set an appointment for December.
In the meantime, I have got a tooth with an open drill hole in it and a toothache. Three weeks is a long time for either or both of those conditions. Yesterday I called around and did some internet research, picked a dentist, did some more research, including looking for actions against him on the state database. I found a man my age (I am sick of young, young, young people) who is nearby and has a website with testimonials from people who were formerly afraid of the dentist. There are photos of the office and it looks clean and bright and not frozen in the early '90s (like my other dentist's).
It made me sad to think that I did not used to be afraid of the dentist. I am now. My dentist of 15 years has hurt me and I have a bunch of crappy dental work in my head that I have paid a lot of money for. It is time to move on. It took me a l o o o o n n n g time to realize this.
It is important for me to face the reality of my relationships and take responsibility for myself. I don't have to dislike the old dentist, I think he is a very nice man who probably did nothing about keeping his skills once he got out of school. But I don't have to keep going to him. I am sad about it though.
If you are so inclined, please say a prayer for me, I am afraid. ( my prayer in the dental chair always starts by thanking God that I am able to see a dentist at all - there were years when I could not afford to. I am grateful for this.)