Wish Me Luck

Open Wide

Open Wide

My sixth dentist in four years
The first one botched a crown,
then wanted to put a filling in
the jaw where the bone had eroded
I didn’t let him but
now I have a 9mm pocket…

The second did help me.
In the second opinion,
he identified my cross-bite.
You need braces, he said,
to save that tooth.
After being tortured
by his hygienist with the
damned Ultrasound thingy
He examined my teeth
through my new braces
and said: Well, you’ll probably
lose that tooth anyway
but at least your teeth will be straight.
Thanks, Bud…

The third, the periodontist,
was great. After looking at my mouth,
he said: You have a very weird bite.
(Really, that’s exactly what he said)
Get that fixed or anything I would do
won’t last…

The fourth, my orthodontist, is a great guy.
Eighteen months of braces
while listening to me whine,
Then Invisaligns, which I’m still wearing.
My teeth are aligning and it’s a great
weight management program to boot.
He’s been with me through all of this
And I am grateful.
The pocket hasn’t gotten worse,
maybe it’s a little better,
and I still have my tooth…

The fifth was my most recent
general dentist. I didn’t see her much
except for an exam where she
always said: You’re stable.
Hmmm, stable.
I guess that’s better than not.
The thing is, she had her hygienist
do so many superfluous tests on me
that she never had time to actually
clean my teeth, except with the
ultrasound thingy – which now
kills me because my teeth are sensitive
from the braces – even when I begged
her not to…

So why did I go four times?
Maybe loyalty, but mostly inertia.
The thought of going through
interviewing and trying another dentist
and telling my story one more time
is just plain daunting.
But I would never treat my own patients
the way I’ve been treated there…

So here I go again.
I see number six today.
Maybe today is different
Maybe this new guy will listen
Maybe he’ll treat me with respect
and just maybe he’ll be a very good dentist…

68 comments on “Wish Me Luck

  1. marydpierce says:

    Oh, dear Cathy, I feel your pain. I’ve had three jaw surgeries for (three times having my mouth wired shut for six weeks each time), and I’ve worn braces three different times over the course of my life. All because I have a weird bite. I hope this dentist is the one! I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you.
    And that flower photo is absolutely the most stunning photo I’ve ever seen. I LOVE it!!

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Oh my gosh, Mary! I have nothing to complain about! Three surgeries and braces three times! I hope all that’s behind you now. So not fun!

      And I’m glad you like the sunflower. 🙂

      Like

  2. I love the juxtaposition of poetry and dentistry Good luck!!!

    Like

  3. Wow, and I thought I had dental horror stories. Yours completely blow mine out of the water, Cathy! Instead of recounting your history of dental anguish, I say just send all your dentists a link to this post. Frankly, I think everyone in the dental profession is an extortionist.

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      This made me laugh and it all feels a little lighter, V! I am inclined to agree with you that Extortion 101 must be one of those secret classes taught in dental school. It’s kind of a bummer, especially since I’ve been so diligent all these years – flossing, brushing, waterpiking. Oh well. I’m hoping anyway that it all works out.

      Like

  4. I can so relate to this– I hate dentistry in every form–from the bottom of my heart I hope that your problems will be solved–it was painful to read your poetry today and not because of the writing (which is, as always, exceptional)

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      LouAnn,
      Thank you for the loving, kind words. I rarely complain (either here or anywhere else!), but this has been a significant challenge. I think, in some ways, it did help to write a poem about it, so thanks for reading and sending good thoughts!
      Cathy

      Like

  5. AHHHHHHHHHHH – I love my dentist – you should come on over 🙂

    Fare well for the 6th –

    Like

  6. Candace Holman says:

    Hi Cathy, I’m so sorry you’ve gone through so much agony. Just out of my own curiosity, were you able to access any info from your higher self for what direction to go or what dentist to see? Sometimes that works for me. I do understand the frustration. Sending you love and knowimg you’ll find your answer soon.

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      I do use my intuitive abilities, Candy, and I do think that this works. When I heard this dentist’s name, it was like a little bell rang in my head – so we’ll see! 🙂

      Like

  7. Carrie Rubin says:

    That’s horrible. I’m lucky to have a wonderful dentist. I always tell her that she’s “my favorite person I never want to see.” But she’s very good with the wuss in me. I hope it works out okay for you. I had braces as an adult, too. Good times.

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      You are lucky to have a wonderful dentist. And I’m sure she understands the part about not wanting to see her. I’m hoping to be done with the braces this summer. Keep you fingers crossed!

      Like

  8. Oh good lord. Good luck to you, and I can certainly sympathize.

    I’ve had more than my share of dental weirdness, and the story of having my wisdom teeth removed is the worst one I’ve ever heard anywhere.

    I’ll spare you that one, and wish you much love and success! 🙂

    Like

  9. Seeing it all working out beautifully. Sending healing, soothing, peace, ease and flow to you and your new dentist and staff! Love you, Cathy! XOXO

    Like

  10. Espirational says:

    Bob had a terrible time finding a dentist that didn’t hurt him. He finally found one that he loves, but it took years. Hang in there. Hope this dentist is the one.

    Like

  11. That’s terrible! I love the dentist, but that’s because I’ve only had two and they have both been great. Their demeanor and professionalism makes a HUGE difference.

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Thanks, Jen! I had a great dentist as a kid and never really had any problems until recently. Not sure why, but you’re right. The dentist’s demeanor and professionalism makes all the difference. I’d add compassion!

      Like

  12. Cheryl Rennels says:

    I wish you more than luck. I send you many blessings. Cheryl

    Like

  13. Candace Holman says:

    So Cathy let us all know what happened today after seeing this new dentist. Hope it went well.

    Like

  14. susielindau says:

    I hope your latest dentist experience was much better!
    The last time I was in, she kept using the word “realm.” My son went last week and said the same thing!!! She must be somewhat obsessed with the word or may have Aspergers…

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      That’s funny, Susie! Realm…In what context was that word important in dentistry?

      Like

      • susielindau says:

        “In the realm of all dentistry. In the realm of all the teeth I have seen.” It went on and on. I thought it was a joke until my son told me his similar experience last week!
        I wrote about it a year ago. It was hard to laugh when she had her hands in my mouth!!

        Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      It is hard to laugh with all those probes and mirrors and suction thingys in your mouth. Yes, that does sound like some kind of Aspergers obsession. (Although I really can’t resist here, so I hope I don’t offend you… but if she’s in Boulder, there are some “realms” which can only exist in that special city!) 🙂

      Like

  15. ShimonZ says:

    Sounds like a very difficult trial. Certainly wishing you good luck in the future, and doctors with whom you can read a true understanding.

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Thank you, Shimon. Yes, that’s what I’m wanting to bring forth – doctors who can help understand and make good decisions. Unfortunately, yesterday’s visit with the new guy just added to the confusion and he scared the heck out of me! Back to the drawing board.

      Like

  16. russtowne says:

    Sounds awful! I hope the 6th time is the charm and he or she is young enough to be your dentist for the rest of your life, Cathy!
    Russ

    Like

  17. Holy bad dental luck Batman! This is a horror story, that caught me entirely off guard with that beautiful sunflower. Good luck Cathy… sounds miserable.

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Sorry for the surprise, Dawn. I guess I was trying to soften the blow. 🙂 It has certainly been a challenge…and unfortunately the guy I saw yesterday was even worse – tried the old “scare tactics to get a new patient” trick AKA alarmist – “all your teeth are going to fall out tomorrow!” Yikes! And really, they’re not. I have one pocket caused by bad dentistry and I’m very healthy. But I’ll keep trying… I have a few more resources and I’m determined to find the right match. I’m working on shifting the proverbial energy now, as I seem to have fallen into a pattern of very weird dentist karma! I just know there are some decent dentists in my area – I just know it.

      Like

      • My Mom went thru’ similar travails… it was such a difficult journey. Hope yours is easier Cathy! 😉

        Like

      • Cathy Ulrich says:

        Me too, Dawn. I think it will be okay. As my husband Peter says, AFLE or to translate: Another F…ing Learning Experience. I’m much better today and off to make other connections. I do know a dentist in Fort Collins whose values match my own. I think I’m going to call him next. He’s nearing retirement, but he might have some ideas. And I’ve decided to just relax and not worry about it.

        Like

  18. The Hook says:

    Best dentistry verse ever!

    Like

  19. The Hook says:

    Good luck, by the way!

    Like

  20. Lady Lovely says:

    Ouch! and now I know why I’m afraid of the dentist. Good luck my friend. Wishing you only the best!

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Thank you, Amber. The new guy wasn’t the one, unfortunately. Oh well. But I’m going to keep looking. I know there’s got to be a good one out there… 🙂

      Like

      • Lady Lovely says:

        When the time is right, the best one will come along 🙂

        Like

      • Cathy Ulrich says:

        Yes he or she will. I’ve decided to just relax and give it a break for a while. The guy I saw on Wednesday tried to scare me into a major process but I decided it wasn’t right for me and I feel really good about that decision.

        Like

      • Lady Lovely says:

        That’s good to hear that you stood up and listened to yourself. My old dentist wanted me to do some things and I was like ‘nah man…ain’t going to happen” he was upset but I don’t care. It’s my mouth. Be kind to it. Don’t just go in and think you can rip it apart. So, I understand your pain and struggle to find the perfect one.

        Like

  21. Cathy Ulrich says:

    So true, Amber. I went through some anger and came out on the other side realizing that it’s my mouth and my choice. And all the scary stories are his, not mine. I believe that I can heal this without all the invasive stuff and I’m going to do it!

    Like

  22. aFrankAngle says:

    Good luck with the problem … and I hope the initial meeting went well!

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Thanks for the well wishes, Frank. Unfortunately, the new guy told me that everything I had been doing including the orthodontics was wasted and that unless I spent thousands of dollars with him, I was doomed! This was his opinion and contrary to the opinions of four other dentists. I just wanted to get my teeth cleaned. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

      Like

  23. bluebrightly says:

    By now you know how THAT went! I hope it wasn’t too bad – I’m a dentist-hater. I did have one nice one, but then he retired. This photograph is just perfect. It sums up flower-ness, or at the very minimum, sunflower-ness! Well no, you could never sum up those things but you catch my drift.

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      It was bad and he’s definitely not “the one.” Tried to scare me into signing up for expensive and invasive procedures. I’m still looking, but may have found a solution. Here in Colorado, dental hygienists can own their own practices and I’ve gotten a referral to a woman who really impressed me over the phone. I see her this week. I guess we’ll see…And thank you for the comments about the sunflower!
      Cathy

      Like

  24. Professions for PEACE says:

    Thank you for sharing! Dental dilemmas were one of the events keeping me from blogging over this past month. I am happy to say I at last found the right dentist for me: someone without ego who takes time to explain options, and actually talk to AND LISTEN to me! Rather than an attitude of ‘this is what I’m going to do’. I am all about hearing others’ feedback and I found him through an online review database called RATE MDs. Now I will be signing up to do more than read. I want to support this nice professional who helped me through a horrible time with a broken tooth and subsequent infection to where now I am healing and am at last feeling pain free for the first time in months. So I hear you. Dentists matter, and good dentists are worth their weight in gold!
    Good luck!
    Hugs, Gina

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Thanks so much, Gina! While the guy I saw after writing this poem was not “the one,” I have found a wonderful, holistic independent hygienist who knows and works with my Naturopath and I now feel that I’m on the right track. In fact, the guy I saw a couple of weeks ago was so outrageous with such scary stories and a disempowering attitude, it shook me to my very core. I realized how much of my power I was giving away to these folks and was forced to look at old beliefs from my family history. He kept saying my problem was entirely genetic and I realized that it wasn’t my physical DNA, but my energetic DNA. I went through and energy shift that I now feel like I’m back in charge – no longer a victim to them or my teeth. WOOHOO! It’s all going to be okay!
      Love you and I’m glad you’re doing well too!
      Cathy

      Like

  25. What a great photograph to go with your story.

    Like

  26. vastlycurious.com says:

    I managed a large dental practice for almost 6 years. I know quite a bit about teeth and it sounds like so do you!!!

    Like

  27. Dentists, Endodontists, Orthodontists, ugh! *shudders*

    Like

  28. Oh Cathy, I’ve recently been back to the dentist (yesterday actually) after dentist after dentist trying to fix my teeth – and breaking more or causing more problems in the process- Hope all went well xB

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Thanks, Beth. I’m working on it. I think I may have found the right match, although it wasn’t the guy I saw when I wrote this poem. He was scarier than the others! Hoping you’re some resolution, too.

      Like

  29. Very humorous and witty, I can relate having braces for five years and several oral surgeries. In fact it looks as though I will be heading back to the cleft palate clinic at the U of M. Hope all is well looking forward to more posts.

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      While the dentist that I went to see the day I wrote this post wasn’t “the one,” I have since found someone that I think will be a match. At least, I hope so. Hope your visit to the cleft palate clinic goes well. Thank you for the comment.

      Like

Feel free to leave a comment, you know you want to...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s