My Life

On Going to the Periodontist

On Going to the Periodontist

I never really thought much about going to the dentist for the first 40 years of my life. I would get my cleaning and always leave with a “clean” bill of health. It wasn’t until I turned 40 that I had my first cavity. That’s when I understood when people said they “hate” the dentist.

Downhill at 40…

It was downhill from 40 on and most recently, I had a root canal. I didn’t know that once you get a root canal you also need to get a cap or a crown put on that tooth. My dentist never said anything to me and since I really have little experience with dental work, I figured I was fine and no crown was needed.

Little did I know that without a crown, the root canal tooth was week and therefore, it cracked. It actually cracked in half!

My dentist told me that I needed it removed. He recommended two periodontists, one in Long Beach and the other in Cedarhurst. I knew the one in Long Beach. He was actually my first neighbor and was not what you would call a “good neighbor.” He and his wife were quite rude and when they moved away shortly thereafter, my husband and I were thrilled! We landed two amazing neighbors after that…

The other dentist in Cedarhurst was way too far away.

Finding a Periodontist in Wantagh…

So, I surfed the Internet and found a periodontist in Wantagh who had five star ratings. I called them and the office was quite pleasant. That was unexpected! Even when I went for the first consultation, I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly everyone was to me.

(I don’t know about you, but every doctor’s office I’ve been to besides my former doctor, the staff has been absolutely miserable. They obviously hate their jobs and take it out on the patients.)

Finding this office staff friendly was a dream come true!

I met with Dr. Kim of South Shore Periodontics. He is a young doctor who is extremely knowledgeable. At first, he recommended that I see a different dentist to get a second opinion. When the opinion came back the same, I scheduled an appointment to have the tooth taken out and an implant put in its place.

Waiting too long…

I pushed off the procedure for two weeks. I had a triathlon in Miami and was also scheduled to see my dad, so I pushed off the work. When I returned home, I had it done.

My mistake, I told too many people about the work and heard horror story after horror story. Even one of my clients told me she nearly died after the implant touched her nerve. By the time I went to the appointment, I was “freaking out!”

Between the office staff and Dr. Kim, they were able to calm me just a bit. I can’t say the procedure was pleasant because it wasn’t. Although I was given novocain, I still felt the tugging on my tooth and my jaw was just burning with pain. They tried to make it more comfortable. All I kept thinking, let me just get this over with. It will be over soon. I will get through this.

And then… it was over…

I was still numb when I walked out of the office, but my jaw was on fire. The office staff told me to take Advil every four to six hours and I would be okay within a couple of days…

Ha… they were wrong!

A week went by and my jaw hurt me just as much as the day the extraction and implant took place. I called the dentist and went into the office. This time, the office staff wasn’t as nice. Dr. Kim saw me quickly and told me I had something like a “dry socket,” and that he could understand that it was painful. Great.

He said another week before it would feel better. He sent me with a little bit of dry socket paste and codeine with Tylenol and sent me on my way.

Before Thanksgiving

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I asked if I could come back and get more paste. I had been there on Monday and the paste they gave me was already gone. I was using it every few hours. The pain was intense and I much preferred to take the paste than the codeine.

I was seen quickly. He irrigated the area and told the nurse (I’m not really sure if she was a nurse) to provide me with more paste. “You don’t need a lot,” he said.

The nurse prepared the paste. She gave me no more than a dime’s worth of it.

“Can’t you spare a little more?” I asked. “Or is it that expensive that you can’t?”

“Well,” she answered. “It is expensive, but it’s also the holiday weekend and we need enough for all of our patients. You’re not the only one who needs it!”

I was shocked. Here I was thinking everyone was so incredibly nice and once you get the procedure done, the true colors show.

She told me to meet her back in the waiting area. I waited. And, as I did, I opened up Amazon and did a search for dry socket paste. I found a ton of them online for $19.95.

She came out with now a quarter sized portion of the dry socket paste. I showed her the Amazon information. “I think it would be in your best interest to buy some for the office in case you run out. And, it’s cheap. Only $19.95. Do you want me to buy it for you?”

She shook her head and said, “No that’s okay.”

I went on my way, angry and upset.

What happened next?

Now, one week has gone by and my jaw and tooth still bother me. I wonder how long this will last?

It ended up lasting four weeks. Four weeks of horrible mouth pain! It was nuts. I felt like the office blamed me for feeling this way. God forbid it should be anyone else’s fault but my own, right?

Thankfully, it’s starting to heal and in another week or two, I’ll be getting on with my training and my “normal” life. But, what an ordeal. I hope I never have to go through that again!


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