Thursday, May 31, 2012

Go with your gut

I have a confession. I have not been to the dentist for at least a year and a half, but probably closer to two years. I know I should go every six months. I want to go every six months. But I didn't like my dentist, and I was afraid.

So I finally faced my fear. I got on Angie's List and researched my previous dentist as well as Steve's dentist. I then made an appointment with Steve's dentist, James Street Dental. The office had excellent reviews in addition to Steve's raving about them.

Today, I went to the dentist. And it awesome.

Growing up, I had a great dentist, Dr. Raak. Many of my family still go to him. But he's in Arlington Heights, and the drive was getting inconvenient. So four or five years ago, I looked for a new dentist closer to home. I found one, and I made my appointment.

I had never had trouble with my teeth (other than orthodontic work). At my first appointment at the new dentist, I was told my gums were not in good shape and I should come in for a cleaning every three months. Over the course of the next two years, my gums never got any better. In fact, they supposedly got worse. At my last appointment, I was told I needed a "deep cleaning."

In addition to the gum issues, I also had a crown put in. I don't remember exactly why anymore, but I did have trouble with the crown once it was done. It's still sensitive to cold. I didn't feel good about that treatment either.

Throughout the course of my treatment there, I always felt uneasy. I was afraid of what was happening in my mouth, and I was afraid of what would be wrong next. And I didn't understand why my teeth and gums were so bad.

It turns out my previous dentist office wasn't such an ethical practice. When I got on Angie's list, I found out that the "deep cleaning" was recommended to lots of other people who hadn't had issues before either. Several of those people got second opinions and found out the cleaning wasn't necessary. I also read about others having issues with crowns they had done there.

Today, at James Street Dental, I found out my teeth and gums are healthy. Other than the buildup  from not having a professional cleaning in almost two years, everything looked good. Even the crown looked good except for what seems to be a little cement left that might be irritating the gums there. They are going to help me fix that.

The receptionist, hygienist, and dentist all were incredibly kind to me and my boys. With Steve in Switzerland, I had to bring the boys with me. Jack played with toys and got to look around the exam room at the equipment and even my x-rays. Reid smiled at everyone and laughed when the dentist used the suction on his toes. They didn't even flinch when I had to take a break to feed Reid. This office is amazing.

Jack gets to go for his first dental exam next week. And I am so glad that his first experience will be with Dr. Slavik and Dee at James Street Dental. Hopefully, he won't ever have the fear of the dentist that I did.

And the moral of this story - don't wait around; go with your gut about the people giving you care. That, and Angie's List is worth every penny!

1 comment:

Susie Nustra said...

I had no clue you had such issues with your dentist. I could have told you that there are those nasty dentists out there. It is also surprising to me that you wouldn't just go to Steve's dentist in the first place if he liked him so much. I would have started going to Peter's dentist a long time ago except that they are really expensive, and my mother-in-law works there (we don't want her to know too much about me :) ) Glad you found a dentist you like because it makes a world of difference!