Know What It Feels Like 

Last week I had a dental procedure done on myself.
My crown had fractured and I needed to have the root extracted and a bone graft done in preparation for an implant. 

A very good friend of mine did the procedure (partly because I didn’t have time to do it myself and partly because I can’t can’t afford myself anymore ;)))
Now I’m not sure if you are the same but generally I don’t go much to the dentist. I figure that I know what to look out for and I’m constantly doing my own examinations and checking my own bitewing X-rays – that’s one of the few perks of the job right? – Free Dental…
But having this procedure done was a bit of an eye opener for me to say the least.

I haven’t had an extraction done since I had my wisdoms done at dental school – and they came out without a problem at all.
I’ve never had a broken root extracted and needed it dug out with periotomes ..

This is quite an experience. 

Did you know that it feels like a small piece of your scull cracks a little when the root is moved. And the forceps slipping feels like the snapping closed of some kind of animal trap. 

This was all new to me. 

I am not a nervous patient at all but all these sounds and feelings made me very aware of what I do basically everyday to my patients. 

And the postop experience is also something I haven’t always considered until now. 

It’s sore afterwards! 
It’s a very sobering and useful experience – going to the dentist if you are a dentist.

We tend so much to get on with it and try and do the best clinical work for our patients while forgetting that they are all people with feelings and concerns outside of just their mouths. 
I am very glad that I went through this experience – it reminded me that my patients are human and have concerns and feelings just like I do.
It’s a sobering experience to go through the procedure – from booking the appointment to sitting in the chair. We all need to see and read the magazines in the waiting room. To wait patiently while the dentist runs late. To see the panic in the dentists’ eyes as he breaks the tooth…
This is worth more than what consultants charge to tell you what you already know.
We all need to try it sometime to keep our feet steadily on the ground.
Maybe without the tooth breaking exercise though …

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