Monday, February 15, 2016

Dental Delight

I can't believe I'm writing about a dentist. I loathe going to the dentist. I'm the biggest baby ever. I always put it off until I'm in pain and there is something very, very, wrong. There has been more than one occasion I've gone to the dentist for pain, only to call B crying, telling him I have to have some major work done and he has to drop everything and come there.

I'd gone to a dentist in Oradell since high school. His office was like a time warp back to the 1970's. Wood paneling, a giant map on the wall that probably had the old names of countries pre-wars and takeovers and such. He was the sweetest man though and very gentle. He also would give me the laughing gas for even just cleanings and not charge extra for it. He was just a pain, (no pun intended), for me to get to from where I live. I'd gone to him for my last cleaning but that was like two or three years ago. I kept saying to myself I'd have to make an appointment, but I just couldn't seem to pull the trigger. Then, over the summer, he died suddenly. The thought of going to a new dentist was enough to put me in a cold sweat.

I'd thought about going back to my other dentist- Dr. Kellyann Metz, DMD. She was great too. I'd won money off an Invisilign package from her at a wedding vendor trade show when B and I were engaged. I started going to her after that. We were living in Englewood then, so it was convenient. We moved to Glen Rock just before our wedding though, and let me tell you, there is NO good way to get to Tenafly from Glen Rock. Especially, at the hours I could possibly get to a dentist. No way is it ever taking me less than a half hour. I'm so overscheduled this year that there just wasn't a way for me to even consider making an appointment in Tenafly. As much as I like her, AND really need her to try to revisit my Invisilign issues, it just isn't going to happen. Maybe in the summer.

B had a dental problem a few months ago and needed a cleaning as well. He picked a dentist that takes our insurance right on Broad St. in Ridgewood- Dr. Robert Scherrer at Advanced Dental Care of Ridgewood. B really liked him. B has no dental anxiety though. Except for cost. I just couldn't imagine anyone being as gentle and accommodating as my beloved (late) Dr Mischel. B was more wary of the Maserati in the parking lot and the beautiful brand new office. He'd been taken advantage of terribly, or almost taken advantage of, by another local dentist. That other dentist, a woman who also has a fancy office, told him he had all kinds of expensive work needed. Then she billed him for things that weren't even done. Ever since that experience, his radar is up any time he goes to a doctor or dentist.

Dentistry is one of those things that's hard to know what's what and if a doctor is on the level. You don't know if you really need certain things done or not. A doctor can totally scare you into doing unnecessary procedures that won't hurt you physically, but that will definitely hurt your wallet. However, Dr Scherrer was immediately willing to work with him on cost of what he needed. B was very appreciative.

All of a sudden, I had weird teeth pain about two weeks ago. I called Advanced Dental Care of Ridgewood/Dr. Scherrer's office, and scored an appointment. I couldn't sleep for like two days before going to the dentist's office. First of all, everyone in there is just so incredibly nice. It's a little unnerving because you don't know what you're walking into- almost like a very friendly cult. I'm also used to numerous doctors offices with E, where the office staff can almost always use some extra sensitivity training. I've been to eighteen doctors just for him alone, and I can think of maybe two or three that the office staff wasn't abrasive, dismissive, or chaotic. Here- no one seemed angry or rushed, everyone knows your name, they take your coat and they offer you something to drink. They don't even do that at the plastic surgery place where I used to get my Botox.

I went to Dr Scherrer's office. I walked in and my wariness came from the Fox News on the giant tv in the waiting room. Nothing more unnerving than THAT to me! But I didn't walk out. I sat and barely had time to fill out paperwork when they were ready for me. The person who looked at me couldn't find the source of my issue of that moment, but they took x-rays and had me make an appointment for the next week. I told them I'd need the laughing gas for the cleaning. They said fine. It costs $75 though. I thought about not doing it because $75 is still $75. But then I realized I was going to have a full on panic attack if I didn't get it, so I said I'm doing it. I utilized the gas, I got my cleaning, and I didn't feel a THING. In fact, I might have fallen asleep but I can't tell you. I will say that the cleaning is probably more hated by me than anything else. My gums are very sensitive and I more than strongly dislike the feel and taste of the polishing paste. I used to have to spit like four or five times during a cleaning. I didn't feel the need to spit until the end.

Bad news is that I have some cavities and other issues. Only one cavity needed immediate attention, so I made another appointment for the next week. Gas again. I didn't really have the extra $75 but if there was ever a time I'd need the gas, it was for a filling.

I went for the filling, I had the gas, and it was done and over with in thirty minutes. Dr Scherrer was so nice too. He told me about my other issues, what did and didn't need more immediate attention, and urged me to see this Endontist he recommends. He wanted the Endontist to see if I even needed work done behind an old crown that I have. I explained that cost was a major factor so he went through my options from least to most expense. THEN, best of all, he waived his fee for the gas. I got to keep my $75. I never expected that. Not because it was him, but it was only my second time there, and it was a totally elective thing on my part. I just thought it was a very nice, very unusual thing for a dentist to do. Dr Mischel would do it, but I'd bet that none of the others I've been to over the years would have done the same.

I highly recommend Dr Scherrer. He gets my doctor seal of approval. And if you've read any of my blogs about E's health, you know I have very little faith at this point in medical professionals. His office really is state of the art too. If I hadn't been high out of my bird from nitrous oxide, I would've been able to pay more attention to Wendy Williams, up close and personal, on the tv they put inches from my face (at my request).

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