Please tell me that someone laughs? Get it? Feeling = Filling? Well, these are the things I think about when I am sitting in the dental chair, getting the biggest, baddest, scariest cavity EVER fixed. Or… just a regular cavity. But I sort of have a flair for the dramatics.
This is a new segment I’m going to feature every now and then: “Tales from the Inside”, which is basically stories about real patients who have real treatment at our very real office. This is my story.
As I spoke about in my last post “Confessions of a dentist avoider”, I recently had my teeth cleaned after many, many many years of avoiding it. Because I was so negligent, I had a cavity that was just about to make its way into the pain zone, and require a root canal. Thankfully, we caught it just before that happened. Yesterday was “the day”…. The day to get it addressed.
I am not someone who has dental anxiety, but I’ll be honest – I don’t like pain. I also don’t like recovering with pain. So while I am not afraid of Dr. Barotz, I was pretty much dreading this procedure.
My anxiety was short-lived. The assistant who was working with me was fantastic. Tina gave me my neck warming pillow and made sure I was comfortable. She explained why she was giving me sunglasses (to protect my eyes from the light they use), and also gave me some Vitamin E Lip Balm so that my lips didn’t dry out. There was music playing softly while I waited. And it wasn’t bad music! It was music I’d actually listen to, even if I wasn’t confined to a dental chair.
The procedure was next. Dr. Barotz came in, explained what needed to be done, showed me the gnarly culprit (the cavity) on the big screen, and went to work. He got me numb (which I barely even felt!), and proceeded to educate me on what he was planning to do and why it was important, then started to address the issues. It was seamless. The doctor was gentle, but very thorough. The assistant was fully engaged in the procedure, which made things even smoother for me. Plus, when she took over to finish the procedure, she knew exactly what she had to do, and got it done in the most complete and efficient manner.
The cavity got taken care of and filled. I was no worse for the wear. And 24 hours later, I feel no pain!
When it comes to medical professionalism, there are a few things that make high marks in my book:
- Tell me what is happening and why
- Don’t make me feel stupid for asking questions
- Be fully present in your task, because it makes me trust you
- Educate me so I can help myself in the future
Every part of my experience was exceptional. I felt valued and cared for. When you’re putting your health in the hands of someone else, it only makes sense to make sure that you feel exactly as I did: valued and cared for. Anything less than that? Find a new health care professional.