I had a dentist appointment today. I didn’t sleep well last night, and I was nervous all afternoon.
A fear of going to the dentist is pretty common. I’ve admittedly never loved going to the dentist. My front teeth have no enamel, I’ve always had bonding, crowns or veneers and my gums are generally a mess. Thanks to dental insurance through work, I make a trip the dentist every three months.
In the past couple of years I have developed a whole new fear of the dentist. I’m not afraid of the needles, the pain or the condescending reminder to floss. I’m afraid of the dreaded “x-ray question”.
“Oh, it looks here that you’re due for your dental x-rays!”
The first time this question freaked me out was when I was trying to get pregnant for the first time. This was way before the counting of days and peeing on sticks. When they asked about the x-rays I said it was probably safer not to because there was that small chance that I was pregnant. I remember thinking, “Wow, I really wasn’t prepared to share the fact that I’m trying to have a baby.” In the back of my superstitious mind (although I deny being superstitious), I wondered if announcing it would “jinx” it.
The second time I was asked to get my dental x-rays I confirmed that I couldn’t do it because (yay!) I was 2 months pregnant. My first pregnancy.
When I went back the next time, the hygienist saw my bloated belly and the “pregnant” note in my file and asked, “How far long are you now? How’s it going? You must be so excited!”. I responded with a solid sob. She promptly updated my file and kindly moved on to my cleaning. She didn’t mention the x-rays that day.
Every visit since then I have had to refuse the x-ray (pregnant/might be pregnant). I’ve had to update my ever evolving medication notes in my file: Ovidrel, Orgalutron, Suprefact, Gonal F, Progesterone, low-dose Asprin (the Asprin and Progesterone of course make bleeding gums even worse). During every visit I choke back tears. The hygienist kindly tries to offer support. She tells me to call and book for my x-ray if I find out I’m not pregnant (sob). I try to explain that it takes at least two weeks to get an appointment which would put me right back where I started – not knowing, not willing to risk it. This will likely go on until holding my baby.
My dental x-rays are now 3 years out of date. I have a whole new fear of the dentist.