Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just A Little Upset

Just a little... or a lottle? I can't decide.

I've been wanting to share the story about my teeth for a while, but just have never done it. Well, after going to the dentist today I'll share and then you might be able to understand why I'm feeling the way I'm feeling.

I went to the dentist on April 4th, two days before I got married in 2007. I was still under my parent's insurance and my mom worked for the school district so dental was super cheap. I knew I had needed to go before I got married for months, but put it off. It's my own fault.

I asked Jaren who I should go to and he recommended Dr. W, who he has gone to since he was little and when I couldn't get an appointment as soon as I needed to he recommended Dr. A. I went, had X-ray's, he found one cavity - I was bummed. He told me that I should come back in after we got back from our honeymoon, that I would be fine as long as I came in in the next month.

3 weeks after we were married and I had started school and we were somewhat settled I made an appointment with Dr. W. He decided he wanted his own X-ray's (understandable). With these X-rays that had just been taken 3 weeks after my one cavity other X-rays he found 9 cavities. Count 'em, NINE. I was floored. I was panicking inside and trying so hard not to show it on the outside. NINE CAVITIES!?!!!!! Where did they come from?! I had had ONE three weeks before and one since I lost all my baby teeth.

My thoughts automatically turned to money. We had insurance but like most insurances, did not cover dental. I told Dr. W, I needed to ask my husband, because he was ready to start filling them right then. I was concentrating on not crying, so I sent Jaren a text instead of calling because if I talked to him I knew I would start to bawl. He said to get them filled.

I was given two options, fill all 9 right there, or do half now and half later. I chose to do half then and half later. I picked the porcelien because with nine cavities I knew my mouth would look made out of metal when they were done if I had chosen the metal fillings.

I was surprised at how quickly he filled 4 of them. He was a little violent with my mouth, but, he was a pretty big guy and he was drilling and jostling, it was to be expected. Right?

3 days later I went in again to get the other 5 filled. I was having so much sensetivity with the other 4, but I thought that was normal. I told Dr. W about it and he looked at them and said, "They are probably too high" so he drilled them down. He filled the other 5 and sent me on my way.

My bite was different, my mouth was killing me and to top it all off we were planning on getting me a lap top, but with this turn of events, we got me 9 white fillings instead. I was bummed.

I was told that my mouth should go back to normal a few days later. So I waited..... and waited.... and waited..... my mouth hurt and hurt. I couldn't drink anything that wasn't a teeny bit warmer than room tempurature. Or eat anything that wasn't the same temperature and it could not be harder than a hot dog.

I would wake up in the middle of the night with my mouth aching and my head killing me. My jaw would hurt horribly, too. I went in again and he thought they were still high... so he drilled them down some more.. by this time my teeth had no shape to the tops of them, they were just little bowls. One was even so sharp I couldn't run my tounge across it. I was given Valium and told to take it before bed because he thought my jaw was clenching and I was grinding my teeth.

The first night I took Valium was interesting to say the least. I took one pill - they are teeny by they way - and in 30 minutes I couldn't move. My entire body had seemed to loose it's ability to use my muscles. Jaren had to carry me to bed.

Waking up was weird, too. I was groggy and still lacked some motor capabilities. I decided I wasn't taking it every night and when I did I was cutting the pill in half. When I would take the half a pill I could at least walk and move around. It was still really hard and I didn't have a lot of strength but Jaren just had to walk me to bed - not carry me.

A month went by and I was still drinking warm water through a straw. And the water could NOT touch my teeth or I would start to cry - it hurt so horribly bad. I ate hot dogs and soup. The kind of soup you drink. I ate tons of rice a roni and mac and cheese. Bread hurt because the second it touched my teeth it was too cold. I tried to eat a chewy granola bar and about died. And when I went into Dr. W again telling him it hasn't gotten better - it feels even worse he mentioned that I might have to get root canals. I wanted to scream.

Instead he just ground them down some more.

Another month went by and I had lost a few pounds. I was still waking up with my jaw hurting and I was constantly starving. I started to take Motrin. A lot of it. I didn't realize that I was taking too much because I was in such pain. I took anywhere from 10-14 in a day. It helped a lot, though. My head aches went away when I took it and my jaw stopped aching. It even hurt to breath AIR. If I walked outside and the air was too cold it stung my teeth.

One day, my mom was at my Grandma's for I think Father's Day and my Uncle Charlie was there who is a dentist. She mentioned about how sensitive my teeth were after 2 months of having them worked on. This perked my uncle right up and he started asking questions. He told her that it should never be like that, that something was wrong. He told her to have me call him -so I did. Right away. I told him what had happened and how I was feeling, he told me that as soon as I could get to Spokane he would take a look and fix me. I finally felt like maybe I wasn't going to have to live off of drinkable soup for the rest of my life.

I don't know how to explain how those 3 months were for me..... I was always hungry, I weighed less than I had in 7 years. I was constantly getting "stung" by something too hot or too cold and I would cry because it hurt so bad. I had horrible head aches and my jaw hurt all the time. I would get really sick and I didn't know why. I even went to the doctor trying to figure out what was wrong. I told him I was taking like 12 Motrin a day and he just nodded and said, "MMM, hmm.." He thought I had IBS. So he gave me some pills. I was really tired of taking pills, by the way.

I took the IBS pills once and thought I was going to throw up for 3 full hours. I never took them again. I knew it wasn't IBS. I was pretty sure it was because of the Motrin. But I was in so much pain that I kept taking it. Finally I had a pretty bad scare where I got really really sick and I was freaking out.

I was crying hysterically and Jaren grabbed the computer and started looking up side effects of the birth control I was taking and Motrin. Sure enough he listed off the adverse side effects of Motrin and I had about all of them. I stopped taking it immediatley and have maybe taken 4 pills since.

In August I finally made it to Spokane. My uncle looked at the X-Rays I had sent to him and then looked at my teeth. He kept saying how horrible they looked and how sorry he was for me. It was his day off and he came in just to find out what was wrong. He and a guy that was buying his practice had come in just for me.

I laid there for 6 hours with my mouth pried open and hands in drilling on my teeth. I had had so much numbing things I couldn't feel my face or my ears. My uncle chipped out every single peice of filling and found holes in the fillings and under them my teeth were rotting. He found teeny cavities that Dr. W had drilled around and made huge. He took his time on each tooth and shaped them so they had the grooves of my real teeth. He and the other Dentist skipped lunch to keep working on me. I could hear both of their stomach's growling and I was grateful for them and that I shoved a huge hamburger down my throat before I had come in. Just in case.

Just 5 days after that I was able to eat a carrot. A carrot!! Oh, no one realizes how nice it was. I could only chew it with my front teeth and I had to let it get a little warm, but I was still able to eat it! I could tell a difference immediatly. I healed quite steadily over the next 4 or 5 months. Slowly I was able to eat a sandwhich, and at my 2 month mark I was able to eat a salad. No one knows how much they take their teeth for granted until they cant eat because of them.

I am forever grateful to my Uncle for taking an entire day to hunch over my mouth and fix every little centemeter of my teeth. How do you thank someone for something like that? He's a saint.

So, needless to say after all of that I have not been too excited about going to the dentist again. But I went in July of last year to Dr. L. He was very nice and said my Uncle did a very good job. He has no idea. (well... maybe he does... but really......) He said there was one tooth, (the one that caused me the most pain and was the hardest for my Uncle C. to fix) that was going to need to be watched. It was the same tooth my Uncle said might need a Root Canal someday. Dangit.

But I left there with no new cavities and I felt better. I floss and brush my teeth like no other now. I've learned my lesson and I hope you have also learned my lesson.

But. Here's the upsetting part. The last 2 months I have had 2 incidences where I have eaten something sweet and the one troublesome tooth has hurt. A feeling of dread went through me both times, but then I just continued to eat my mini Snickers and it didn't hurt again.

Today was my second Dentist appointment since my Uncle fixed me. Dr. L poked and prodded at a few of my teeth and only one hurt. The one that was sensetive while eating mini Snickers and a gummy bear. He didn't sound quite like it needed to be filled, but then as I was leaving the dental assistant said, "Alright, do you want me to schedule you a date?" I'm thinking.... in 6 months for my next appointment?? Getting aheald of ourselves, aren't we? So I asked, "For what?" She said, "To fill your cavities." Me: "I HAVE CAVITIES?!?!!!!!!!" She got a little uncomfortable and said, "Yeah... like, 2.. or 3.... or 4 or something, I'm not sure..." OH. MY. STARS. AND. GUARDERS. Again, do not cry... do NOT cry! So I didn't, and I told her that I would give them a call to schedule a time later.

I called Jaren and told him and he just apologized and said sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I cried and I'm feeling so.... sad about it. I can't understand how so quickly I went from one cavity in like 10 years to all the sudden almost my whole mouth needs to be replaced. My experience was so horrible that I just dread the dentist and I'm scared to death of having cavities for fear of a root canal or a repeat of the past. I can finally drink ice water again!! After a year and a half I can drink ice in water - but it's still a little uncomfortable. I'm sure that I wont have a repeat of what happened in '07, but I'm still scared and scarred over it. When I go back in I'm going to ask that only the one that hurt when he poked it get filled. If it's not hurting me, then I'm sure I'm fine. I take care of my mouth so I should be able to keep the others at bay for a while, right?

It just feels like a nightmare I can't get out of. This isn't even the first bad mouth experience. Wait till I tell you all about my wisdom teeth.


Kristina P. said...

Whitney, this is crazy!

I have had a lot of cavities and a lot of fillings. They have all been in the back of my mouth, so I just get the metal. But seriously, the last time I had them done, several months ago, I think I had 3 or 4 filled, and I was out of there in 45 minutes, with no pain. That dentist you saw is a hack!

I still haven't scheduled my wisdom teeth removal, and I know I need to. I also have a tooth on my right side that probably has a cavity, because anytime I eat something sweet and it hits it, it hurts like a mother!

I hope everything gets worked out!

The Boob Nazi said...

Yikes! I'm so sorry! I have three cavities to get filled right now, but I have no money for it. Dangit! I hope it doesn't get really bad! I hope your mouth is okay....

Jessica said...

Oh sad!

I also have posted about the dentist before. Our California one was AWFUL and even WITH insurance (good insurance even!) she was super, super expensive. She wanted me to pay $1,200 for little, unexplainable "hole" in my teeth (not even cavities!!!). Uh no.

Now I love, love, love my dentist here. And he's an amalgam free office so the price is the same for the resin as it is for the silver stuff.

So... move to Utah and you can go to him too. :)

hello, my name is amber. said...

oh my gosh whitney! i'm so sorry! i just took taylor to the dentist e few weeks ago to get a cavity filled + i know i need to get in to the dentist too, but i'm afraid they'll give me horrible news.

that's a really bad excuse to not go to the dentist, but it's the only one i have. ;)

i've had 3 cavities in my life. and one of them was in a baby tooth + fell out a week after it was filled. but i've had a few toothaches in the last couple months that have made me think i need to get in.

The Robertson Clan said...

oh my gosh...this is terrible!! i am so sorry. i would just go back to your uncle, he seems to know your teeth. dentists can't be trusted!

my teeth were terrible while i was pregnant. seriously bad!! my mom warned me but i didn't believe her. hopefully that won't happen to you...that's the last thing you need!

Tiffany Fackrell said...

YIKES! this is embarrassing to say but I haven't been into the denstist since before I was married...um that was 4 years ago, I am scared about what they will tell me!! But we have good dental insurance now so now I just need to find a dentist to go to, and that is probably the worst part of it all!! good luck with everything!

Mina said...

You aren't still seeing that same dentist who ruined your teeth are you? I'd switch if so.

The other thing is that those white ones may look pretty but the do have a longer healing period. The metal ones are better quite quickly.

Jo said...

I am sooo sorry! What a horrible story. Hugs, you are so brave!

Abra said...

My teeth disintegrate and fall apart... they have ever since I was little. My two top front ones, are starting to go. I hate smiling and talking because I'm worried that someone will notice my ugly teeth. Don't even get me started on the wisdom teeth.... I still have one left and I about throw up just thinking about it.

So sorry to hear about your teeth! I hope they get better :)

Jenna said...

Whitney this is one of the worst dentist stories I have ever heard, and my husband has absolutely terrible teeth from living in Poland with their 3rd world healthcare, but absolutely nothing compares to this. Oh honey, not all dentists are that terrible!

Kristal said...

Unfortunately, there are lots of dentists that will call the slightest irregularity a cavity. It may just need to be sealed and they want to "fill" it - it gets them more $$ from the ins co, I think.

That being said, be sure to mention the cavities to your Dr, too. Many women's teeth go to pot when they're pregnant. And even though you are not yet, there may be an imbalance somehwere. Also, dental health can be closely linked to heart health (but THAT probably IS getting ahead of ourselves ;))

Good luck!

Jay @halftime lessons said...

Wow Whitney...so sorry to hear about all this...I know how painful all that can be...


Victoria Elder said...

Reading this made my teeth hurt thinking about how they poke a tooth to ask if it hurts? UGHH! yuck I have to make a dentist appt this month we just got dental insurance! Shoot now all my teeth hurt! It's all in my head but whatev!

Wendyburd1 said...

Oh Whitney that is SO horrible! I waited after high school (my kid dentist kicked me out) for like 4 years and had my first five cavities. And have had a few last year, and my bite was off for a few days they it was fine. Do NOT trust a dentist who says it is fine that many times. One thing you always NEED, is a good dentist and they scare me! but I know my dentist is good!

I have had bad pains from my 4 teeth being replaced my they were basically drilled to nubs so it was to my Dad anyway, expected. And they are starting to feel normal, but I am SCARED to try and bite into m=something using these front teeth because it has hurt SO badly!

I understand totally, as I can't go there by myself!! Bring someone I swear it will comfort you a bit! I am so glad you stopped going to that dentist!!

ramsam said...

Did you know I used to work for a dentist? I was an assistant for 8 years or so. It is no fun getting all that work done- I am so so sorry! WHat I can't believe is that you are having new cavities form so quickly. That just doens't seem right.

I had a root canal last summer- and let me tell you, i was in bed for 3 days after. PAIN! But now I can eat cake without going through the roof....
wait...maybe I shouldn't have fixed that tooth.

BTW- I love your tags on this one! ;-)

That Girl in Brazil said...

I read this whole thing and my heart is pounding like reading a horror novel.

I'm so sorry. No, that doesn't BEGIN to cover it.

I worked for a dentist for years and I've seen way too many people with stories like yours.

Do you use some kind of flouride rinse? I recommend PerioMed - it's the only thing that kept my husband from getting cavities. (And he's an avid brusher and flosser as well!) Before he started using the rinse, he'd get a half dozen cavities every checkup. PerioMed REALLY helps with sensitivity, too. Try it!

Brigitte said...

Oh poor Whitney!!! I feel so bad for you! That has to be the worst dentist story I have ever heard. I would be pretty hesitant to get my cavities too!

I would get a second opinion for sure. I know a great dentist in Idaho Falls if you're willing to take the drive. But if ANOTHER dentist says you have that many cavities then I wouldn't wait on em. Did you know that certain oral bacteria can cause babies to be born prematurely? I just googled it to make sure and found too many links to include here.. but check it out.

Also, our healthcare insurance doesn't include dentist stuff either. But we found a dental discount program that is super cheap. It's called FourStar. Their website is http://www.fourstardental.com so you should go check it out. It's not insurance... but it pretty much acts like it. For me and Jayson both we pay $75 a year. And it pays for itself when ONE of us goes in for a checkup. Not all dentists accept it though so you'll want to check the local dentists it works with to see if you like any of them.

Anyways... hope things work out and that you find a good dentist that you trust. Email me if you are interested in the referral in IF. My mom use to be a dental hygenist and so she is pretty tough on dentists.. but this guy has her approval and our family has been going to him for years. Of course your nightmare dentist was a referral too... but referrals are still gonna be your best bet.

Good luck!!

Brigitte said...

OKay... I was just checking out the fourstar website and noticed it doesn't work in Idaho. LAME! Sorry!

There HAS to be something like it though in your area. It's worth looking into at least. Maybe if you emailed fourstar they might know of a sister company that works up there.

I dunno. Maybe you should just fly back up to Spokane, right?! It might be more cost effective in the end.

Rachel said...

Oh my goodness, first of all, this is me!!! My teeth are made of chalk and no matter how many times I brush and floss, I end up at the dentist with at least 1-2 cavities. But let me tell you a story...

I went to the dentist right before my husband and I went to Ukraine (to live for 6 months). He told me I had a very tiny cavity but I didn't have time to fill it so I decided to wait. When I came back, I went to another dentist who said I had NINE cavities. IN SIX MONTHS!? He then started telling me that my silver fillings should be replaced too because they were cracked. He filled 4 of the cavities and it was horrible. I decided to fill the other 5 at a different dentist. I told this other guy my story and he examined my mouth and told me that the other guy was a crock. My silver fillings were fine and I didn't have 5 cavities, I had one. He said most likely the others were false too. I was SO mad!!! What a scam!

You've got to find an honest dentist because I swear that some dentists are out there to drill and fill as much as they can because it fattens their pockets with moo-lah. Be careful! That's so awesome your uncle fixed you!!! I can't wait to hear your wisdom teeth story!

Kate, Mike and Ellie said...

Ahh! I am so sorry! I went to school to be a dental assistant because I love the dentist sooo much! Ugh, yeah it is sad that there are some dentists that are sloppy and just in it for the money and it sounds like that guy was one of them :( I would definetly try and get a second opinion but I am sure it is hard because you don't have dental insurance! We actually started going to our dentist when we moved into town after talking to a few friends and got recommendations from them. Hopefully the dentist you have now is GREAT! Good luck!

Kristen said...

Oh my gosh you poor thing. I have never heard of anything like that happening! Start with just the one that hurts and then if that goes okay maybe you will feel more confident to get the rest filled...

Kayleigh said...

Holy cow. That's so sad. I almost cried just reading that. I am so sorry about all that. What really upsets me is that people like that Dr. W or whoever he was exist out there. How the crap was that man qualified to be a dentist!!

Thank goodness for family members who bail you out of situations like that.

Strawberry Shortcake said...

Oh my word! This is horrible!!! I am so sorry. Did you go to the dentist in Rexburg???? I went to the dentist there (a long time ago, mind you) and he told me I had eight cavities! I had never had a cavity in my life. He sent me home with the x-rays. I couldn't figure out how I had eight cavities when I had never had one and I had just seen the dentist a year earlier. They told me how much it cost and my parents told me to wait. So, I went home to Boise and my parents took me to the base in Mt. Home. The Air Force dentist took one took at the x-rays and my mouth, and told me I didn't have a single cavity, I just had deep grooves in my molars that I needed to get filled. I have still never, ever had a cavity (I consider myself very, very lucky). I can't believe your story. It is absolutely horrible. I wonder, if you went in Rexburg, if it was the same crazy dentist. And to think, we trust these people with our very lives. I think they went to school with a few of the doctors and pediatricians I have seen in my life!! I am starting to think it was some sort of online/correspondence school.

littlefamilyJLD said...

Wow. Good luck with all that! I also dread going to the Dentist.

Life as Ashley said...

Jeff is in the dental field, but he's on the lab side rather than doctor side. Let me just tell you that my world came tumbling down when I realized that Dentists do not have your best interest in mind! They are constantly trying to find ways to get the patient back in the chair. How else will they earn money? Cleanings every six months (or further in between) hardly pay the bills. I have heard seminars that tell dentists how to upsell their patients, and basically how to turn a $1000 prognosis into tens of thousands of dollars. WTH? You are supposed to be there to HELP me! Hope you mouth feels better!

Shauna said...

Hope you have a beautiful weekend! ♥ Hugs :)

Mandy said...

I feel like this post is up my alley. :) I think many dentists have different sets of ethics- and I'm sorry you had such crappy fillings put in your mouth. I hope everything goes a little bit better for you with this next one. If you need anything let me know.

Teresa said...

Whitney! You poor thing! This post made me as upset as your airport post at Christmas time.
I have had a similar experience with this! I never had a cavity until I got married and started going to my husband's family dentist. Now my mouth is FULL of metal and porcelain. So once, our dentist drilled and destroyed 3 of my teeth (LONG STORY) but all three of those teeth have ended up with root canals and eventually crowns (which cost about $700 a piece - and insurance doesn't cover them!)
So be careful. Any tooth that gets a root canal will eventually need a crown. I would only fix the tooth that is hurting.
I SWEAR dentists are just trying to make more money by filling small cavities they really don't need to.
What a nightmare! I'm so glad to hear that your headaches and jaw are feeling better. Your jaw was probably hurting because your entire bite was thrown off by all those fillings and drillings! UGH!

Jillene said...

First--How in the he&# did I miss this post?! SORRY!!

Second--I am so sorry!!

Phil and Holly said...

Oh my goodness your comment made me REALLY not want to schedule that appointment with the dentist that I'm in need of... I had 9 cavities as well at my checkup in Rexburg before I left last July and we only had time to fill 4 before I had to move... (I was under Idaho's Medicaid program for Pregnant Women which pays for it all) so once I got to California any dental work would actually cost money so I've been putting it off... I'm so scared of having to get a root canal, and one of my teeth is getting more sensitive every day. Your blog scares the crud out of me :(

Bonnie the Boss said...

Just awful!!! I can't believe what you have had to go through. I bet your uncle was appalled!
There have got to be better dentists around! Good Luck!