Thursday, 2 January 2014


This isn't so much of a sustainable living blog-post as a diatribe.  I just recently went to the dentist.  Well,  2 weeks ago.  Since childhood, when a particularly heinous crime was committed in my mouth by our family dentist as my mother sat out in the waiting room with a magazine, I have had dental phobia.  I don't blame my mother, it's the only time I ever get time to sit and read a mag!  And I think I am not alone in this phobia of dentists.  (The following diatribe is accompanied with beautiful pictures to soften the harsh reality of what I went through.)
May the Angels Watch over all Pearly Whites
(my lovely Christmas gift from my daughter)
Note to self about Law of Attraction:  you attract to yourself what you fear most!!  After yet another awful dental experience here in our village, I began to go to dentist A in Tauranga.  Gentle, friendly and in possession of an impressive array of very expensive equipment.  Okay, so that's why dentistry in this country is exhorbitant, we are paying off the equipment mortgage for them.  For 5 years, dentist A, as kind and gentle as I could wish for, declares my teeth are "in good shape" for my age, and that there is nothing wrong with them that isn't age-related.  Hmmn.  I like to hear this.

But during the last 2 years, I start to question his diagnosis as I point out the receding gums and blackened bits at the base of my teeth.  Age, he tells me.  Not much you can do about that.  Cheekily, I tell him I think his standards have dropped.  He laughs.  But I go away and think, maybe it's true, his standards may indeed have dropped.  

Like teeth, if it's broke, we need to fix it carefully.....
So I decide to get a second opinion.  I return to a dental practice in my village - dentist B.  He rolls off a list of things wrong with my teeth - $3000. 00 worth of damage.  Eeek!  The first he tackles is the worst of the jobs - a tooth that gives me no pain, excepting it traps food between it and the neighbouring tooth - a hassle for me as I have to floss after every meal.  Ooops!  While drilling, he discovers a neon-coloured mix of antibiotics and steroids packed in under the old filling.  Huh?  Whoever authorised this??? The last dentist to fill this tooth packed it in there, without permission from me!   Do we actually know what dentists are doing in our mouths??  How long had I been walking around with a steroid/antibiotic seeping out into my system??
Stumpy Feldencrais, my new garden gnome gifted to me by my son for Christmas,
stands guard over the castle.
So dentist B drills away - 4 injections later, I have a new semi-bionic tooth (it is half tooth, half composite).  The cost of 2 teeth fillings: $440.    But sadly, after a week, I still cannot bite on this bugger!  So I return for a checkup and as I vehemently decline a root canal treatment, he says there is no other option but to remove it.  So at this point, I am weary of the week-long pain and want a solution, so I say okay.  I am given 5 injections this time.  With my mouth feeling full of duvet filling, padded and swollen but dead to the world, dentist B begins the barbaric practice that I am totally unprepared for.  He is wrenching my tooth sideways fit to snap my neck off of my shoulders with tools of torture..  After 5 mins, he says "Nearly there!"  I cringe.  How much more can I take of this torture?  He wrestles further, every few minutes claiming that "we're nearly done", or, "breathe"!  I close my eyes and picture the horrendous trauma that is happening in my jaw.  It's brutal, invasive and akin to oral rape.  Lying there, helpless, with your mouth pulled  and stretched open to breaking point, your jaw violated and your entire body tense and sore.
A pretty picture to take your mind off of the trauma of dentist visits - a tree necklace, another Christmas gift from my son's drop-dead-gorgeous girlfriend.
I lie there, in utter disbelief.  I gave him permission to do this!!  How can I take it all back?  When he finally pulls the tooth, he exclaims excitedly that I should look at the tooth, no wonder it wouldn't come out!  Numb and half-dead from shock and fear, I turn to see what he is showing me, as he explains that most people's tooth roots are tapered and come out easily.  Mine would have to be the first he's seen with a ball on the end!  Bloody hell!  "Never mind," he reassures, "at least you have a week till Christmas."  

Uh, it's been 2 weeks - and my jaw is still bruised and I cannot eat on that side as the two neighbouring teeth were probably exposed to some severed jiggling and wrenching.  They are still tender and loose, despite taking a set of homeopathic remedies for bruising, pain and healing.   I resorted to pain-killers on the very first night as I was in extreme pain, but declined further chemical pain-killing assistance.  I already had 9 injections within a week's space, enough chemical dosing for my body!  I refused to take more paracetemol, despite the pain but 4 nights of no sleep takes it's toll.  
More mind candy....
Once my mouth heals, it will take longer for my spirit to return to normal.  I remember giving birth and the pain of extraction did not throb for quite so long afterwards as does my jaw!  My husband said it was my karma, that I must have hurt someone in my past life and caused as much trauma.  Huh?  Then I must have been a circus performer-acrobatic-martial arts expert who threw 23 darts pinpointed into his jaw, after kicking him in the mouth with such precision as to cause him to die slowly and painfully of septicemia?!

Good food to support good oral hygiene
(my oral decay began a long, long time ago as a result of our Coca Cola childhood)
So I am left wondering several things:
  1. Surely there is a more modern approach to tooth removal than brutal wrenching, that hasn't evolved in the last 100 years??
  2. How long do toxic injections stay in the body??  I asked the dentist and he said "only a couple of hours" - I do not believe this.  If fact, I am about to embark on a couple of nights wearing toxin-drawing herbal foot patches.
  3. Dentists unreservedly promote the use of a fluoride toothpaste.  As ours is not fluoridated, I did some  online searching and discovered homeopathic fluoride (calcarea fluor) which does not damage the stomach.  Dentist B was skeptical when I shared that info with him.
  4. Should I have given my filling another week to settle down before okaying the removal?  Alas, too late.  
  5. If these homeopathics have been helping, then how much more pain would I have been in without them??
And the moral of the story??  Take care of your teeth and eat less sugar!!

Our own home-grown strawberries and blueberries - a royal treat every day!

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