I have not usually been afraid of a dental visit. From the time my Dad would take me to pull out my milk teeth, a visit to the dentist was not something to cause any fear in me. I have no phobia of injections and once the anaesthetic is injected removing the tooth is almost painless. I had heard my friend’s dental horror stories countless times and always thought that they exaggerated and they were not true. Never in a million years would I have guessed that I would have my own dental visit horror story to tell.
A decayed tooth had broken in half and I visited the Dental Training School in Thorn Park to have it removed. I had previously visited them and since they were experts in dentistry I expected that the minor extraction of a tooth would go well. In fact, I used to faithfully recommend them to people who needed to visit a dentist. So Last week Wednesday, I paid them another visit, I requested for high cost treatment which meant my tooth would be extracted by a consultant. Yes, a consultant. What I perceived would be a simple operation turned out to be the script of my first dental horror story.
I sat on the dental chair, removed my glasses, clasped the hands and I opened my mouth wide. I had been through this routine a number of times and I knew it well. The consultant who was of Asian descent, my best guess from Philippines or Malaysia wore his gloves and got the injection to get the anaesthesia ready. I thought he was taking his sweet time, didn’t he realise that some of us are busy people. The injecting of the anaesthesia around the tooth was barely a pinch and I waited for it to be numbed out.
The consultant then took what looked like a pliers, (excuse for my lack of knowledge of the medical term) and he held onto the tooth and began to pull. A bit of the tooth broke off, he then said something in frustration. He then reached for what looked like a screw driver and dug into my gum, immediately a sting of pain hit me and I told the consultant that I was feeling pain. He then asked me if I wanted more anaesthesia and nodded my head in affirmation. He injected more and he reached for the pliers once again and held on to the tooth. He pulled, he pushed, side to side. He gritted his teeth, asked me to open my mouth wider, pushed my head back and roughly moved me from side to side with the pliers. I screamed in pain. He deliberately ignored my screams and continued to assault my tooth in whatever form or fashion he knew how. The pain was so excruciating it felt like a torture sensation in a Saw movie and I almost saw myself drifting away, if it wasn’t for me trying to be all macho, tears would have started rolling.
This man wants to kill me I thought to myself. Finally, I could not stand the pain any longer and I held on to his hand and told him it hurts. His response was to get angry and shout at me that it’s my fault I let the tooth decay. From his implication it sounded like I deserved every bit of pain that was coming my way. What happened to patient care? Too traumatised to argue I let him attack my tooth with all the ferocity he could muster as I winced and endured the pain. I bet he was only seconds short of putting his foot on my neck just to remove the tooth. As I was on the brink of fainting, with the pliers and a tooth at the end he told me done. He inserted cotton wool into my mouth and told bite for 40 minutes. He then put what was left of my tooth in some cotton wool and handed it to me.
I left that Dental Training School with no medication for the pain whatsoever, and too traumatised to think straight. I could not believe the amount of anguish I had to endure just to remove a tooth. I do not know whether I am the only one to experience such but there is one thing I know for sure. I am never going back ever; someone will have to drag me by my feet and in chains before I step foot into that dental room again.
Share your dental horror story?