I have severe odontophobia (fear of dental care). I brush my teeth three times a day. I floss my teeth every day. I believed my teeth had no issues for 20 years. I neglected to see a dentist. Then suddenly I had acute pain coming from my molars. It was awful. I spoke to everyone I could about dental doctors.

I asked how well did your dentist care for you? Finally I asked a friend who just had completed major dental repairs. He told me he had no pain during his dental procedures. He said he had minor pain post-procedure. I asked who treated you? He told me: Doctor Kathy Patmore, DDS, at 2780 State Street, Suite 11.

I called her office and made an appointment that day.

It’s a good thing I did. Turns out I had many cavities. I needed three root canals and multiple tooth extractions and multiple implants. I had to have ultrasonic scaling and root planing.

I was given injections of an effective anesthetic. They have an automated Lidocaine injector that gives one dose of anesthetic per area to be worked on. The injector keeps the small syringe from moving in the interoral tissue.

I was given a pill for anxiety before I was treated. They do not start IVs for unconsciousness during treatment. An option was laughing gas blended with oxygen. I used the laughing gas and was pleasantly surprized how relaxing it was. I had no pain!

If I had had regular dentist appointments every year, I would have had much less dental damage.

If you don’t want dentures at 50 years old, you must see a dentist, any dentist, at least once a year, preferably twice a year. You must brush your teeth. You must use dental floss every day. I did drink lots of sweeteners that come in almost every beverage in the markets. That is very unhealthy for your teeth. Sweeteners also cause diabetes. Diabetes is out of control in this country.

We all need to take better care of ourselves. Health insurance is not a sure thing any longer.

Jason Myers works in the health-care field as a respiratory care practitioner.


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