Sunday, November 4, 2007

How it feels when an angel touches.

The town where it was happening was San Jose del Cabo in Baja California, Mexico.
In a place called “The Angel’s Touch Dental Clinic”.
The dentist was Arturo Cruz.

The project to put in 8 crowns to have a better-looking front.

It started at 10 o’clock in the morning and the first thing to do was to inject anaesthesia.
Last time this was done was by a dentist in Temecula, California, USA when she had to put in a new filling.
Nothing was noticed of that procedure and there was puzzlement how that dentist managed to inject without the patient being able to feel anything.

With dentist Cruz it was different.
He had a huge shot with a long needle.
The needle was pushed into the flesh at the beginning of the lower jaw in the very back of the mouth.
Pure torture.
Very painful.
It was feeling like the needle went through the flesh and got into the bone where it was being swung around in little circles.
Horrible experience.

Arturo Cruz explained it would take 5 minutes before the anaesthesia would be effective and he left.
But after 5 minutes no numbness had occurred at all.
Therefore another shot was made into the same area.
Less painful but still unpleasant.

After 10 minutes the actual work started of polishing away much of the 8 teeth.
However, there was a technical problem.
The connection between the hose and the drill was partly broken.
The drill was working but great amounts of water came out of the faulty connection.
Like a fountain spraying on the floor and on the unfortunate victim.
Arturo Cruz was winding napkins around his drill but that didn’t stop the serious leaking.
Lupita, the assistant, was called and brought in towels that were draped on the already soaked upper body and head of the client.
Later she even had to come to mop the floor.

Thoughts were flashing through the mind while even the hair was getting wet.
What is going on here?
Failing equipment obviously but then the fact the client is being sprayed and becoming wet is not an issue?

To be able to work the upper teeth new injections of anaesthesia had to be made.
This time with the huge shot in the gum above the upper teeth.
Little soft tissue is there so this cruel and painful sensation was experienced again that the needle was actually going into the bone.
This man cannot be called a hypochondriac or a sissy: anyone would suffer of the discomfort and pain these injections are giving.

Not only was the water coming out of the handle of the drill, but huge amounts were also sprayed into the mouth.
Before the whole procedure, it was expressed to Arturo Cruz that he should avoid any residue coming from polishing the teeth getting into the body by swallowing water.
He explained that all water and residue would be pumped out of the mouth efficiently.
From the corner of the mouth the small pipe was placed sucking out the water.
But because the body was almost horizontal the water accumulated in the back part of the mouth where the small pipe was not reaching.
So much water came into the mouth from the drill that constantly it had to be swallowed away.
Gallons of water were swallowed and one may wonder about the grinding grit that came with it.
After one hour so much water was swallowed that a bathroom break had to be requested.

Eventually, Arturo Cruz decided that this problem with the leaking drill was enough.
He was getting too wet himself as well.
We moved to a booth of another dentist in the practice not having a patient.

After the polishing a lot more was to be performed and it was then that one of the worst experiences in life happened.
For some reason the colour of the new crowns had not been decided yet and Arturo Cruz wanted the opinion of the client.
He got a collection of crowns and a mirror.
He gave the mirror and was holding the crown next to the teeth.
This made the client see the result of the polishing.
The result of 8 front teeth reduced to stumps.
Drugged, exhausted, very wet, numb from the pain, unable to observe properly anymore, it looked like this:

Seeing this gave a tremendous shock.
The question flashed through the mind what the hell had been decided to do.
To have maybe not very good looking but still very healthy teeth destroyed?
It gave a strong feeling of guilt.
Sinking instantly into a deep depression.

Temporary teeth were placed on the stumps.
A piece of plastic pretending to be 4 teeth.
However, the piece of plastic placed on the stumps in the lower jaw is at a slight angle.
One side is higher and that is a rather puzzling sight.

To mount these prosthesis Arturo Cruz pushed with a piece of metal underneath the gum and because by that time the anaesthesia was hardly effective anymore, this was a torturous experience.
Extremely painful and uncomfortable.

After almost 5 hours the procedure was finished.
Dazed, tired, exhausted, depressed and full of regret an appointment was made to return to the “Angel’s Touch Dental Clinic” in 2 weeks to have the crowns placed.

These days the depression and the regret are still there.
Kept in place by the fact that when eating, the food cannot be chewed properly because the prosthesis, they are too large, do not allow the molars to touch.

And the question keeps rotating around in the mind: why did Arturo Cruz gave a mirror to see that disastrous cemetery in the mouth?

The final result must be really excellent and perfect in order to get out of this tragedy.



Fred Wishnie said...

I think that your entry today has singlehandedly set back the American market for Mexican dentistry by at least 40 years.

Your adventures with dentists, mechanics, and coach builders is teaching us all where not to go.


mmckim said...

OK, you may have had a bad time at the dentist, but that photo is not your teeth...........funny.

robert Hill said...

So,, I take it you didn't fall asleep? I cannot believe the dentist handed you a mirror! The leaky tools should have been a sign that not all was well.
Friday I get my permanent crown installed. The root canal was $950. I believe the crown is $800. my cost after insurance is aprox. $200. USD. I am one of the fortunate few with good Dental insurance thru my wife's job. I hope all goes well with your teeth, Robert