High Tech Dentistry, Old School Meditation

High tech Crown Cutter similar to this one, creates a crown to fit perfectly over my tooth.

But seriously, remember when you would go to the dentist for a crown, and it took two visits at least a few days apart if not a few weeks? Now, with this high tech gadget (my dentist may be offended at my use of the term gadget as I’m sure it cost more than that word allows) the dentist takes “pictures” using a stylus like camera, makes the necessary adjustments on a computer screen using click and scroll, and starts “cutting” my crown!! The wait is only about 15-20 minutes. I sat up and looked at the computer screen where it shows a count down timer. While waiting for the crown to “develop”, my dentist removed an older silver filling right next to where the crown will go, and prepped it for fill.

While this is all great, and absolutely amazing to say the least, it’s still the dentist. I’m still stressed.

I learned self-hypnosis over 38 years ago. 28 years ago, when I decided to write a pamphlet about the amazing effects self-hypnosis has had on my life, I found out that guided meditations are almost exactly the same. 10 years ago I created a meditation I call: “Stress Free 1, 2, 3”. With this meditation you learn to relax your entire body in just 3 breaths. It takes practice, but what is so wonderful is that once you learn the technique you can use it anywhere. Even in the Dentist’s chair!

So, how many times did I use this tense relieving meditation? I lost count… probably 28… or more. Every time I realized my hands were clenched to the point of pain, I would consciously do my meditation, and immediately feel my hands and almost all of the rest of my body, relax. Almost.

Hey, it’s stressful being in that chair.

I did the meditation before… OK, 2 days before, and again 1 day before, than 1 hour before. I kept tensing up every time the thought: “I have to go to the dentist Wednesday at 10” entered my mind. So, I meditated.

I felt pretty relaxed as I sat down and said a resounding: “YES!” to the question: “Would you like gas?”
Hey, I love my meditation, but we live in the physical. I’ll take all the help I can get! Then, after my Dentist said: “I strive to be a pain free dentist” he started to drill, and I wasn’t numb enough. Ouch! (meditate)

I gave him crap… (meditate) he gave me more Novocain.(meditate)

The side affects to epinephrine, the additive in Novocain that makes the numbness last longer, is severe enough for me that I insist to go without. This is good because I can feel my face shortly after leaving the dentist’s office, as opposed to my family members who get the epinephrine and are numb until just before bed time. But it can also be bad because sometimes the numbness wears off too soon (meditate) and I need another injection. This might be why I had to have more, right away too. (meditate) Without epinephrine, the Novocain is not as strong.

When he started to drill the 2nd time, it didn’t hurt. It’s just so… frightful! (meditate) (meditate) (meditate)

I got through it, and I am glad its over.

Now I have to brag about my dentist. Not only is he high tech, and he really does try very hard to be pain free (Memories of my childhood dentist cause me pain NOW… meditate) he is also one of the kindest young men ever.

(I remember when my Dad took me to drivers ed. A policeman pulled up next to us at a red light. My Dad glanced over at him and said: “You know you are getting old when all of the police, doctors and dentists look like little kids”).

This is how it is with my dentist. He is so…. young! And so kind. When my Dad decided to try low dose chemo after being diagnosed with leukemia, August 2013, it was, for him at least, a huge mistake. The chemo caused a rash so severe over his entire body, and ruined his gums after one dose. I took my Dad to my dentist who treated Dad many times trying to relieve him of his mouth pain, and wouldn’t charge him a dime. Even today, as I sat in Dr. Josh Haslem’s chair, a young girl came over and asked him what to charge a man for the removal of something (a cyst or growth?) from the man’s mouth. Dr. Haslem said: “I’ll take care of that part”. This is AMAZING to say the least. This young man really cares.

So many times throughout my life I’ve heard the older generation say something about our youth not being up to the standards of yesterday. This young man proves them wrong.

Dr. Josh Haslem
1169 W. Hwy 40 Suite C
Vernal, UT 84078-2911
(435)781-2729

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