Dentist Drama gives me Catholic guilt: how long has it been since your last visit my child?

By Aisling | September 2 2011 | 61 Comments

Yesterday morning while I was eating muesli half of one of my back teeth came off.

I must tell you that I was not entirely surprised that something had happened – but I was not expecting it to be this bad.   I had known there was something up for a couple of weeks, my tooth hurt and I couldn’t chew on that side of my mouth – but I thought a filling had worked its way loose.

However yesterday there was no more opportunity for denial.  I looked down at the little lump of tooth in my hand and with a sinking feeling I Knew.

That I would have to go to the dentist.

Readers I confess that I have not visited the dentist for two years.  And it is a confession.  If you’re a Catholic then you’ll know all about the Confession Box and confessing your sins prior to First Holy Communion and the like.

And as obviously you didn’t actually have any sins at age seven, you had to make some up.  Which in itself was a sin.  Eternal damnation!

As we were extremely lapsed Catholics in our house pretty much the next time I went to Confession was for my Confirmation.  As I sat in the little wooden box up the side of the freezing church making my mumbled Act of Contrition I was struck by the horror of having to tell the priest when was the last time I had confessed.

That’s how I feel now.  How can I tell the dentist that I have not darkened a tooth doctor door for over two years.  Even though I knew – I KNEW! – that one of my back molars was about to crack, because they’d “put a watch” on it the last time I was there.

Oh shame on me.

Tell me I’m not alone.  Do you go regularly for your six month checkups – or are you a bit of a lapsed dental patient?

To the comments!

Dentistry & Teeth , , ,

61 Replies to "Dentist Drama gives me Catholic guilt: how long has it been since your last visit my child?"

  • Grá says:

    Jez it’ll be a year in November! I like going twice a year, had braces you see so like keeping my teeth checked but I’m afraid when I go back this time that they’ll say that I need a filling or something! I’ll cry the day I get a filling :(

  • Nims says:

    I HATE the dentist… I am so scared of them cause of the health board ones we used to have to go to in second class… Found a really good dentist last year in dun laoghaire, he is brilliant… I would be on the verge of tears every time i went and he jsut told me to pop my ipod on and not think about it… He did all my work that was well overdue and told me he’d send me out an appointment card in a year! Even though he was BRILLIANT, i still dont want to see that kind of post!!

  • Robyn says:

    Last dentist I visited told me as I walked in “Don’t worry, nobody’s died in the chair yet”, and proceeded to tell me that he agreed with everything my own dentist had done (root canal, crown and associtated work). I really should go back to my own dentist for a check up at some point (one in Dun Laoghaire, near the post office). It has been *mumbles a date* too long.

  • Niamh says:

    I used to be absolutely dire (4 years?) then I had a bit of an accident and had to go for some fairly intensive work (including 4 years of neglect) Having done that I’ve sworn never ever to leave it that long again – it’s just not worth the hassle of that much work. Finding a dentist I really like & trust has made it much better.

  • Sherry says:

    About 18 months. I think the last time was just cause I was off to a ball and wanted a general cleaning and polish.

    I used to go every 6 months but just havent got the time now.

  • Hadn’t been for years until I lost half a tooth while chewing a calcium tablet back in June. Found a great dentist who took the remainder of the tooth out, turns out it was a baby tooth I never lost cos it was so far imbedded in my gum. He also took out my two extra teeth with no problems at all, this was a revelation as I was told (by every dentist I’d ever seen,) that they couldn’t be removed and could only be sorted out with braces. I’d been in the early stages of saving for the braces and all.Strange to say but I’m delighted I broke my tooth and I’m definitely gonna go for regular check ups from now on.

  • Breige says:

    It’s been just over 5 years…. Yes, that’s so bad, I was in 6th year then! And despite having really bad wisdom teeth pains, I haven’t gone. Though I was only thinking the other day I should go really. My boyfriend was horrified when he found out it was that long ago, but he has crap teeth and is always in and out of the dentist. On the other hand, I’m always in and out of the doctor and he rarely has to go

  • Kirstie says:

    bless me Testy Broader, for I have sinned, I haven’t been for jaysis ages.

  • Amy says:

    I went at the beginning of the Summer and it had been 7 years! I’m petrified of them but I wrote that on my form and he was really nice. I’ve to go back next month tho so let the cold sweats begin :(

  • SLH says:

    I’m one of those odd people that love going to the dentist. it’s that clean feeling when you’re done. I never have to get any work done on them, so that could be a reason. I usually go every year or so.

  • papillon says:

    I haven’t been since I was very heavily pregnant. My LO just turned one.. See it ain’t free since I became self employed and I’m broke!

  • Avicakes says:

    Not a big fan of the dentist, more because of what he does to my wallet than my mouth. Each time I go there’s a tooth that needs filing or refilling, and after examination and x-ray I’m down almost 200quid! I’m thinking of going in the next month or two, before it gets too cold, because getting a filling and going out in the freezing cold weather can be quite sore for a few days.

  • PinkPanther says:

    I was there last Saturday. I only went cause I wanted to get them whitened and thought I’d better get them looked at first. She said she could only whiten them oen shade without damaging teeth. Not paying 400 squids and mucho pain for only one shade!

  • Patricia says:

    I tend to go twice a year…I quite like my dentist…he sings while he drills and I find it distracts from the noise of the drill. I’d prefer to know sooner rather than later if there’s any work that needs to be done.

  • joanne says:

    4 months ago, found a lovely dentist and don’t mind going at all now. I was afraid of my old one

  • Jeannie says:

    I had a nasty accident at work a couple of weeks ago where I was kicked in the face by a horse (this happened in London, home of the most spoiled and dangerous animals I’ve ever dealt with, and some of the most deranged and snooty women owners).
    As I previously had pretty nice teeth, the last few weeks of lying in various dentists’ chairs and watching them shake their heads in dismay at my three smashed incisors has NOT been fun.

    DID YE KNOW that VHI do NOT cover repairing your smashed gnashers unless you have their specific dental plan? I had never heard of this option and (easy to say now, but) would probably have included it if I have known. Be warned!

  • Kitty In The City says:

    Eh, Wednesday! Just got a crown, which feels a bit funny in my mouth still. I do tend to go regularly, simply becuase my teeth get quite stained and I like a good clean (actually I hate it, but like how I look after it). My dentist is a bit square, I can’t help semi-winding him up. He can’t be over 40, and listens to Today FM, so I always time my visits to avoid Ray Foley between 12 and 2.30. Can’t believe he (dentist, not Ray Foley) prescribed me some Valium for the crown work. He obviously knows me well enough at this stage.

  • Acat says:

    Its been a little while I think…Hmm not sure…
    8 years I think. Got my braces off, was given a manky retainer and told to go to a normal dentist from now on. That was with the health board back in 6th year!
    Haven’t been back. Keep threatening but I will prob wait until there is something wrong… No trouble with teeth although one side of my mouth is gone v sensitive and I am ignoring it till I feel pain.

  • Princess Boo says:

    I like going to the dentist and used to go every 6 months, my dentist told me now I only have to go every two years becuase i’ve kept up the check ups. Can understand why it terrifies people though but the more regularly you visit the less likely you are to have to get horrible stuff done there!

  • redeve says:

    Oh God, just opening this post made me nervous. Am terrified of the dentist. Have not been in three years and even then I had to go only because I could not ignore the pain. Turns out it was something almost entirely stress-related! Also turned out to be an expensive visit – almost 300 yo-yo’s.

    Before that visit – I can’t remember when I last went, even for a check-up. Had a very traumatic experience when I was a child when Ihad to get several teeth extracted under anaesthetic. I remember nothing except coming around and seeing a lot of blood. That memory has stayed with me ever since.

    The sound of the drill makes me shudder :-(

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