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Bastet's Journal

As I wrote in another of my entries, I don't really like it when a dentist and assistant have little chit chats going on that aren't related to me while they are working on me. It should be all about meeee! Haha. Today was especially bad though, because he was ranting about a new employee who isn't learning her job fast enough, and it sounds like he's not going to keep her. I was so uncomfortable. I can't imagine she didn't hear him if I heard so much about his first patient. He eventually apologized to me, but then he kept doing it and told his assistant not to make excuses for her.

Yes, it should be all about you, giving your undivided attention is a sign of basic respect and caring for your patients. On that basis alone, I absolutely would try and get a consultation with the other dentist 👍 (and don't worry about us losing out on some amusing journal entries ;D)
Plot twist...

I had pretty much convinced myself to make an appointment with the other dentist I was considering, so I went to her website to get the new patient forms, and the feeling came over me that I really didn't want to do it.

There's just something about the dentist I already saw that makes me want to trust him. I caught him in a bad moment, for sure, but I'm always expecting dentists to deal with my bad moments, so maybe I can deal with this.

I decided to email the office to see if I could schedule a hygiene appointment. I thought it would be a good way to get another view of what the office is like, and I was overdue and wanted to get back on track. My appointment was earlier this week.

I was so nervous about it I could hardly even sleep at night. I had a morning appointment, and when I rang the bell to be "buzzed in," the dentist let me in. He said everyone else would be there soon. I was early, so I sat down to read. As it got closer to my appointment time, I noticed no one was showing up, and I unhappily started wondering how long I would have to wait.

The dentist called me back right on time, and it turned out he did the scaling portion of my cleaning himself. I didn't ask about it, but I think since the pandemic, dentists are having trouble with staffing. Anyhow, it was the most "unscary" hygiene appointment I've ever had. When he was working on the spots that had more buildup, he asked me if I was doing OK and was completely non-judgmental for the whole process. At some point, everyone else did arrive, and an assistant polished my teeth. (It's allowable in Illinois as long as the assistant goes through the required training.) She was very gentle, so it was a good experience all around.

One thing I feel bad about is that I didn't tell him my last dentist had me on 4-month maintenance. I wanted to see what he would recommend without knowing that, but I feel like it was kind of dishonest of me. I didn't lie, but I didn't bring it up either. He did an exam with probings, he looked at radiographs, he did my cleaning, and with all that information, he put me on six-month recall and again said I'm doing a good job. Maybe I really am.
I have my hygiene appointment coming up this week. I'm worried about it because I haven't scheduled anything in the meantime, and I don't know how my dentist is going to react. I wrote above that there is something about him that makes me want to trust him, and that's true, but having seen how he can behave when he is frustrated makes me worried. I guess I am going to find out, and no matter how it goes, it will be good information to have.

Another thing I'm worried about is that he probably has a hygienist by now, and I will have to meet someone new. I just don't want to deal with the "How did all this happen?" question. I feel like I'm walking that line between not creating problems that didn't happen yet and preparing myself in case they do.

One thing I did do in the meantime was to go to the endodontist for a six-month check. He said the bone around the tooth that needed the root canal is filling in, and it looks like it's healing well. He asked me if my dentist redid the temporary filling, and I said he did because I was making sure it was OK before replacing the crown. He said he thinks it's OK to replace the crown now, and he said to make sure I call for an appointment. That rubbed me the wrong way. I'm struggling to get through all of this, and I don't need a specialist talking to me like he's my mom. He's all right. I'm just having a hard time.
I didn't need to worry. The dentist cleaned my teeth again, and he didn't give me a hard time at all. He has gotten a good look at my occlusion now, so he said when I'm ready to have work done, I need to schedule another consultation appointment with him. He said until then he'll just keep cleaning my teeth. I was wondering at first if he was being snarky, but I don't think so. I think he sees that I'm working through something.

I'm not sure what the hygienist situation is at his office. I'm thinking he must have someone at least part-time, because he wouldn't have time to do hygiene all day himself. Whatever it is, it's working well for me. It's so nice to have someone who is positive and motivating. I'm going to appreciate it while it lasts.

I hope I get myself together soon and go in. I've pushed my teeth just out of place enough for me to want to avoid smiling. It's not as bad as it was when I was a kid, and I wouldn't smile because my front teeth were all decayed, but I'm starting to feel a weight again.

I know I can do this. I've already done so much. I just think of all those impressions I'll have to have taken, and I freeze. I've gotten used to the digital scans with Cerec, and it scares me so much to go back to the regular kind. I'll get there.