Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Personal Finance at the Dentist

I loathe dental procedures. The last time I had fillings, I came out in a full blown anxiety attack. This is a rare thing for me and truly a frightening experience. I went in to have three fillings done. The first Novocain shot didn’t work properly and I jumped about a foot when the drill started in on the tooth. The dentist yelled at me for jumping, which was dangerous, and gave me another shot. Although I was physically numb for the fillings after that, I holding in the emotional trauma from the first experience. Tears were literally spilling out the whole time.

When I got out to the car, I completely LOST it. I had a total breakdown, sobbing for at least a half an hour before I could even think about driving away. Meanwhile, Cute Man had also just experienced worse procedures, including a tooth extraction, but he was comparatively OK. I was a mess. I did not return to a dentist for something like 4 years (I’m just guessing based on how long I’ve been with Cute Man).

Thanks to some great advice from Megan at Counting My Pennies I managed to make an appointment at the Bethesda Dental Spa. They were supposed to be sensitive to anxiety issues, etc. and offer sedation for services, if you want. Although the cost of all-out sedation was out of my realm, I opted to try nitrous oxide during my two fillings yesterday. It cost an additional $140.00 since it’s not covered by insurance but that is money well spent, I tell you. If nothing else, it made me concentrate on my breathing and I took deep breathes continuously, which is calming in itself. Regardless if it was just that, the placebo effect, or whatever, it was so much better. I was calm the whole time and got through with little anxiety. The only anxiety I had was the stress in anticipation of this dreaded experience in the weeks since my cleaning. Now, if I ever again need fillings, I won’t have that issue either, since I know what to expect now.

It may seem like a waste of money to spend $140.00 for something that’s not strictly medically necessary, but for me, the peace of mind it gave me was priceless. Thanks again, Megan, for letting me know about this!

1 comment:

Shen Dove said...

I feel your pain on disliking dental visits. I always postpone them, which ends up making visits worst when I do go...