Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Are Dentists Sadists?

From around 8-10 years old, I wanted to become a dentist when I grew up. Mostly because my cousin was a dentist and he had a beautiful wife and was quite successful. (I also wanted to be a director or a writer but I didn't have a suitable role model for that.) This all changed when I was 11.

At 11, I got braces. The worst experience of my life. Even to put in the braces, I had to suffer multiple extractions (4 teeth), because they were milk teeth. And over the course of the 4 years I had them, I lost every semblance of self confidence that I had. I don't think braces were as common as they are now, so they still had that loser stigma. At one point my orthodontist even told me I had to wear headgear, that was a step too far for me and I refused to wear it. The experience ended with a retainer, marks on my teeth and marks on my very soul. I despised orthodontists, dentists and even dental hygienists were not spared from my despising. I have been self conscious about my teeth ever since.

After the braces, every visit to the dentist was abhorred, even though, most of the time, I was going to my cousin. The suction thing sometimes sucking out my air and choking on my own blood were not my favorite things to do. My dentist visits were sporadic and only done under mild protest. My last dentist visit (until the one yesterday) was in 2004, due to the fact I was about to turn 21 and was going to be taken off my father's medical aid. I left the dentist's room with my mouth numb with Novocaine and my heart filled with hatred for dentistry.

Over the following years I heard many horror stories of root canals and wisdom teeth removal and this frightened me more and steeled my resolve over not wanting to go to the dentist. If I just brush properly my teeth will be fine, I told myself. But years of overindulging in sweet stuff eventually caught up to me and yesterday I grudgingly went to the dentist.

As soon as we got to the dentist, I heard a girl screaming in pain. Not a great start. I was surprised that the person who came out into the waiting room was a woman in her early 30s and she was whimpering like she had just been put to torture. I heard the dentist say she doesn't even get small children who behave that way. I was afraid of giving her a repeat performance. Panic started to slowly set in. My sister went first, while I considered worst case scenarios. Root Canal, wisdom removal, extractions, and, most frighteningly, braces seemed like sureties rather than possibilities at that point. A feeling of dread washed over me when my time on the chair finally arrived.

When I sat down, I just thought to myself, bugger this, I am 26 years old, I need to man up and prepared for the worst. Fortunately it was anti-climactic as it was over in about 10 minutes and the worst thing that happened was that my gums bled. I even realised that while the suction sucked out my air, I could easily breathe through my nose. The dentist was very pleasant and gave me a break every few minutes to rinse out my mouth.

So to the question in the title, are dentists sadists? Probably, but you can get lucky sometimes.

This post wasn't as funny as my usual stuff if you wanna read a really funny dentist post read this - *Zweee*

Till next time in Waseem world.


Zahera said...

*cries at the memories of visiting the dentist*
Im sure i blogged about this myself a few years ago- i hated my dentist. He was a pompous git who made me feel like poop. Worse thing was, my dentist was next door to my maa's house so i would have this anxious feeling build up from the end of the school day, increase whilst i was at maa's house and blow us like a rocket by the time i was in the waiting room. I detested those visits and im surprised i didnt get gastric ulcers from the build up of acid looooll *cries some more*

I had braces when they werent so common either Waseem, only mine were the kind you could remove.. you can guess what happened :-( my dad was not pleased... needless to say.. im no longer pleased either and wish id had some discipline loooll. Oh well, dont think my smiles that bad :-D

queen_Lestat said...

I don't mind dentists, orthodontists or maxillo-facial surgeons.

I quite enjoy going to the dentist (I go every 3-6 months)because I love the feeling of supremely clean teeth. I've never, ever been afraid of them even from a very young age.

I've had braces for a year now and yes, it is a fair amount of work to maintain and clean etc, but I don't suppose it's half as embarrassing having braces in school when everyone else has it as having it as an adult. Although, I must say it's started some pretty interesting conversations over the last year with people.

I'm a bit of a sadist, I like explaining my nerve and wisdom teeth story to people who I sense are chronically afraid of dentists etc. :P

(Word verification is bleance, portmanteau of your 2 favourite things, beyonce and bleach (like what dentists do to teeth?)

Azra said...

I had braces too, for 2 years. And I had to have surgery done to fix my jaw alignment. Needless to say it was NOT fun.

There's only one great dentist I know. Everyone other one (and I must have been to at least 12) were all shite and messed up in some or other way. So this 'one' dentist I go to told me one day that dentistry is like carpentry - it comes naturally and people either are dentists or they are not. Some study and qualify and practice for years, but they still suck!

Incidentally, the highest suicide rates are amongst dentists :P

KiLLa said...

You had braces when u were 11.. Lucky bugger.. I got em aged 24 and a few odd months..

Hamza Fareed said...

Well I don't know this kid makes the dentist trip seems like well a trip

Waseem said...

@Zahera - do you still go to the dentist though? For you son's sake(when he is old enough to go the dentist) you will have to put on a brave face. I read somewhere that fear of dentists can be inherited. Not in a genes way but like your kid will see your fear and develop one as well. I'm sure you can probably find a kinder dentist though.

@ql - I think you are a masochist as well as a sadist then :P I'm enjoying the clean teeth thing as well though, Day 3 and they still relatively clean and shiny feeling.

@Azra - I would believe the highest suicide rate is 'caused' by dentists :P Is that true though? I wonder why.

@Killa - I don't think it is as bad when you're older cos high school kids are mean. When you're older you not really subjected to that much teasing.

Hamza - That meme kid is naaring

Azra said...

Tis true Was...

Heard about it in one of my psych seminars :P

Morena said...

Haha No they are not sadists. All that torture but they do work their magic. Tough love!

Shot for linking my post :)

Anonymous said...

how do you think WE feel when the first thing most people tell us upon meeting is ' i hate you ppl'
if that doesnt cause a backlog of suicidal thoughts, the stress of worrying about millimetre changes and broken roots tends to finish the job.
not to mention the constant back pain, and squinty vision and damaged hearing caused by the drills....

and did you ever consider that we have to be Really Nice People to stand that infernal howling/screaming/kicking/biting/pinching that assails us on a daily basis...and we STILL manage to smile at retarded parents (instead of cudgelling them into some semblance of responsible ppl) for being so horribly neglectful of their kids?

so. better be grateful.
or else!