Dental School Horror Story

Warning..I gotta vent about my recent dental school appointment. If you are at all cringy about this sort of thing do NOT read further.

I dont think I’ve had a tooth pulled where I didn’t get dry socket. This one will not be the exception. But then it might just be the manner in which it was taken out. Every part of the right side of my face hurts.

And can I just say again…it was absolutely FREAKY the way this guy was pulling on this tooth to get it out. I was waiting for him to put his foot on my face for better leverage. The part of my brain still working in that moment and not in “bad touch” shut down mode was going back and forth between.. is this normal or can I punch him now? Fight or flight both going off at the same time. Worst dental experience of my life. I feel like I can talk about it now. 😭 I will never go back there again. The student was wonderful. He was kind and talking to me and trying to calm me. The teacher was all “WHATS WRONG ARE YOU OKAY WHATS WRONG…DOES IT HURT???”
The F you think is wrong dude? Really???! And how am I supposed to answer you right now?! HOW??
All kinds of wrong here!!

I think every single dentist should have a tooth pulled as part of their graduation process to be a dentist.
I don’t think you should be able to be a dentist and not experience that. Just a little back one.

I had to…while in a complete meltdown mode…reassure this dumb dentist that I wasn’t hurting I was just completely overwhelmed by the extreme pressure and hearing my jaw crack over and over (I know it was my tooth but brain said omg you’re dying) ..tasting and smelling blood…hearing the panic in his voice…hearing him say “wow this one will just not let go”.
Now I certainly could not of been the first patient out of hundreds and hundreds that come through this school who had a tooth that was tough to get out and in the future I would pay extra for you to NOT SCREAM THAT INFORMATION IN MY FACE while working on me. Fake it!! Fake you got this under control!! Can you imagine a surgeon being all “gosh I don’t know this kidney just will not let go…” The F?!
Do you know what you are doing?? What do you mean it won’t let go?! Does it have little hands and it’s holding on for dear life?? What does that even mean?? Do you need the “jaws of life” to get it out??

Then half way through all of that..” would you like to be put under..we can reschedule for Monday?”

You are asking me this NOW?! Half way through?? My gums all cut and ripped up?? Reschedule?!! You mean come back to bad touch central?? Somehow my answer turned into someone else’s voice…possibly Satan’s…and I said “NO GET IT OUT NOW.”

And that’s when the guy got even more aggressive with getting the tooth out. I was willing myself to pass out but I guess it doesn’t work that way. Finally the guy pulls out a drill. Oh ya..didn’t know a drill was going to be part of this but oh yes it was. So through my whimpering and cursing his family members.. the drilling and smoke (I swear there was smoke..) and smell..the horrible smell…and suddenly someone was stitching me up and I was all “oh ya why not a needle in my gums now sure why not.”

The student stood there just as traumatized as I was. Which in any other situation would of been a nice relatable thing but in this situation a bit horrifying with the realization that I was truly at the teachers mercy and on my own during all that. I look up and see other students standing around the room looking wide eyed and like they just witnessed something they hadn’t before. Oh ya okay thanks guys. This is fun. Let’s all stare at the freak! Best day of my life. 😭

So the student quickly gives me a pamphlet for after care and says “okay well you are free to go.” Oh am I…free to go now? Wtf. I ran..not my car and burst into tears. Never again. Never again. I will never come back here and I will never be awake for that kind of procedure again. I had noises come out of me I didn’t even know could during all that and I have never felt so completely overwhelmed in my life. Never again. I call my daughter and am a mess and halfway though talking to her and sobbing my thinking mind returned and I’m all “omg you are traumatizing your daughter with all this”…so I tell her I’m fine through tears and tell her “I’m just going to chill for a moment before driving home.”

I didn’t really have a choice to not drive for a second. I couldn’t see and was shaking from the shots I was given and adrenaline rush. My god what an experience. And all I kept thinking after was…omg you’re autistic..this is a really good example of how it felt 10x worse for you because of your autism. This is why. Even though the dentist could of done a lot of things differently…you reacted the way you did because every sense you have..pressure..smell..sight..sound…all of it was triggered to the max. You had a real meltdown and you are not dumb or weak. You are different. You just feel it ALL and it’s too much in moments. I felt so embarrassed. So completely embarrassed. I thought about my mother and her meltdowns. I thought about all the times in my life when I was the only one freaking out about something. I cried a bit more about the realization itself that what I felt was real and I wasn’t overreacting. I really felt all that and it threw me. And now I know why. For the first time..even though I still felt incredibly embarrassed of my lack of control during all that..a part of me was like..”see…there is a reason you feel what you feel.”

And that made me cry again. It’s not easy. It’s never been easy for me. But what was worse in the past was believing it was because I wasn’t trying hard enough. That it was something I was capable of changing but I was weak and couldn’t get it together. I was somehow broken. It was my fault and I was stupid. That’s what I would of thought about myself in the past. I would of gone through an overwhelming experience for me and the icing on the misery cake would of been feeling shame and bad about myself. Over and over for years and years. No wonder why I had such a horrible idea of who I was. Any confidence I did have about me was fake and forced and just winging it through everything. But not really felt. Not really believed. For once I felt like..I didn’t do anything wrong for simply feeling what I felt and existing in this body and mind. I reacted the only way I could in such a sensory filled overload. And at the moment..sitting in my car and taking a moment to get back to good and not beating myself up about it..I was finding a better way to deal with it. A better way to cope. A better way to be me. Autistic me. I AM okay. I really am okay. I just need help in moments. I just need to understand I do have real limits with some experiences. I can make different choices for myself and I really need to start accommodating myself under this new diagnosis. I’m not walking around with a sign on my forehead so I need to be my own best advocate. THIS is what I CAN change. This is in my control.

But I’m still never going back to that dental school again. Nope. Time to find a place that might understand my needs better. This I can do.


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