Did You Ever Want to Rip Someone’s Teeth Out?

Surely you’ve heard the recent news about the dentist in Poland who PULLED OUT ALL OF HER EX-BOYFRIEND’S TEETH, right?  The victim asked his 34 year-old ex-girlfriend to see him for a toothache.  I guess when he showed up in her office with his new girlfriend shortly after dumping the old one, you could say she became a little disgruntled.  Sorry, but this lady is just certifiable.  They are saying she could face losing her license and 3 years in prison.  That’s it?!?!  You know that saying “an eye for an eye?”  Well, I think that would be a more appropriate punishment for Dr. Looney Bins.

Cheap Dentistry
Do you think she charged him? Photo credit: theclyde

I’m proud to say that in all of my unhappy moments at the dental chair, this thought never even crossed my mind.  Okay, maybe there was a time or two that I wanted to give someone a fast injection, but the idea of harming someone was always out of the question.  Only a psychopath could do this.

Now that I’ve clarified that I’m sane(r than her,) we can get back to my attempts to stay that way.  It’s probably painfully obvious for anyone following along that I did not like dentistry, and I should have just accepted the reality early on.  I resisted hating it for many years.  I knew my life would have been easier if I could just like it.  So the work I really needed and wanted to sift through with Shawn was to first determine if I hated dentistry.   Duh, right?  Or was I like many people out there who just didn’t like working?  Was I just a lazy, spoiled brat who didn’t want responsibilities?  Was I just too immature to handle stress?  (Don’t answer that.)  I mean, there are plenty of other people out there who deal with the same level, the same type, or even more stress.

Why couldn’t I handle this?

I made lists of things I loved and hated about dentistry.   I followed some practical exercises Shawn taught me while I was on the job to prevent my crazy thoughts and feelings from bringing me down.  I learned specific techniques to actually deal with the stress right at the moment.  For example, during moments of getting sucked into my perfectionist ways, I had to stop myself, and remind myself that I didn’t need to be perfect.  I used to joke and dramatically tell patients it was a curse to be a perfectionist.  They always loved that, encouraging me to be cursed a perfectionist for them.  But really, it was a curse.  It chained me down with worry and dissatisfaction.  I learned to manage that, and over time these types of stress management tools helped me dig myself out of my hole.

Sinkhole, Highmeadow Wood This deep sinkhole i...
Photo credit: Wikipedia

As I dug myself out and started feeling a bit more carefree, I got a little complacent again.  I mean, I did finally admit that I wanted to change careers; that it was more than just the Monday night blues that we all feel; that I wasn’t just the spoiled brat who didn’t want to work and have responsibility.  But I was still dragging my feet.  Concurrently, my tolerance for the job with the “old flame” was reaching its limits.  After a year back there, I knew it was time to break up again.  Just like any breakup, I was terrified to do it.  But I had to let it go.  I cut my schedule 1 more day, going down to 3 days per week.  Maybe this would make dentistry tolerable. It certainly didn’t help to work 4 days instead of 5.  Maybe 3 was the magic number?  Do you see how even though I recognized that I wanted out, I was still stuck, resisting making a change?  A lot of that was driven by guilt, and ideas of who I should be and what I should do.

However, letting go of the belief that I needed to make myself suffer and work a job I hated was a huge baby step for me.

  It was like I wanted to take a swim and instead of getting in the water, I walked to the edge of the sand on the beach.  As the waves approached and retreated in and out of shore, I teased it, wanting to go in, but scared to get my feet wet.

Not once did I ever regret that decision.  For a while I felt free again.  A 3-day week was a great way for me to work towards making the big move.  It allowed me to bide my time and tolerate dentistry a little longer while I searched for the next gig.

Alright, so maybe I’m a little crazy, but luckily, I never got to the point where I wanted to rip all of someone’s teeth out.

Image: Exsodus / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

19 thoughts on “Did You Ever Want to Rip Someone’s Teeth Out?

  1. I can totally relate – when we’ve invested so much of ourselves in our training and profession, it’s only natural (and total reasonable) to do whatever we can to make our work life tolerable when it’s not. Cutting the cord really is the last resort, as necessary as it may be, when we’ve exhausted all other possibilities.

    1. Yes, Lumi. It becomes our whole identity, so naturally, it’s hard to let go. Then you get to a point, like we both did, that you can’t go on that way. What’s really amazing is that actually changing was so much easier than resisting changing!

  2. Hi,
    I did read about the “revenge” concerning the ex-boyfriend, I just couldn’t believe it, I hope there are a lot of around saner than that. 🙂

    It certainly was not a pleasant time for you at all, it is very hard to make changes especially big changes like a career..

    1. Hi Mags,
      Yes, that was a point I had hoped people would somehow get from my short commentary on her insanity. Normal people are not capable of such an act. Especially a dentist! To us, a simple tooth is the whole world. All of our training is geared towards saving teeth. Sometimes I have to remind myself when a tooth can’t be saved that “it’s just a tooth,” because it seems like such a big deal to me to even lose 1. Imagining the scenario still horrifies me.

      It was not pleasant. It’s amazing how you can go through an entire 10 years in a really bad place, but think it’s okay! The beauty of it is if you can change that, you really appreciate the good times!

    1. Ha! I guess that’s better than calling it “Revenge!” 😉 Okay– so not being in the know on NYC stuff (I was Jersey girl, sorry) what’s the background to that?

      1. I am not completely sure who came up with the term, but when I did my GPR in a Brooklyn hospital, everytime we did a full mouth exo in the OR it was labeled a Brooklyn prophy by the older attendings.

  3. I just got today the book you recommended:” Finding your own North Star”. I can’t wait to read it.

    1. Yay, Carmen! I read the book about 6 months- 1 year before I went to my career coach, and I found it to be very comforting and motivation. I had a hard time actually acting on it, but that’s because I wasn’t really ready. I think it sets a great foundation, and it helped me a lot. In fact, after writing that post, I want to read it again.

      Just curious, are you a dentist or in the field? Please keep me posted. I’d love to hear what you think of the book.

    1. Wow, Rich. I don’t know, but they are saying she faces losing her license and 3 years in jail. 3 years seems short to me for destroying a patient’s life like that. She should be held to higher standards based on her position of trust. I read a few of the comments on the forum, and many said he was stupid for going to her. I say maybe, but he should have been able to trust that she would act professionally. Horrendous!

  4. Okay – here’s my whole thing w/ the Polish dentist.

    #1: who would sit in a dental and consciously not notice tooth aftertooth being extracted?! Come on. Was this guy on N2o lol. I don’t know, I really haven’t researched it; it sounded so far-fetched..

    Love these writings girlfriend! 😀

    I’m a hygienist .. Very disappointed in this field.. 10 years for me too, the last 5 have been in hygiene. I know some go on and do things other than clinical. But I’m like… BORED. I won’t even take my local anesthesia board (could have 5 years ago, but I
    Didnt. Wasn’t into injecting then and I’m not now. Its not that i cant, I dont want to. I dont see myself staying in this field, so who wants a part time hygienist that never injects only for giving them an IAN. I had my own business in therapeutic massage with an office location in a nice city.. But it was difficult because I was dealing with sexual requests from clients towards employees and that was it. But I
    LoOoVVvvEeDdd being a business owner. Nobody tell me what to
    Do but my business advisor. Lol. Maybe that’s my calling but in a different industry. Lola you have taken the words cometely out of my mouth. I’m so glad I found this site.

    1. Yes, it turned out to be a hoax, but it made for a good title! But… there is some big local news here that an oral surgeon reused syringes for IV sedation since 1999! Again, another case where a normal person wouldn’t do that, but you have to be bat-shit crazy to do that to save 17 cents!

      A lot of people seem to be struggling at that 10 year point. I can totally relate to the “it’s not that I can’t, I don’t want to.” I felt that way about a lot of things… like starting my own practice, for example. I can see how not giving anesthesia would be a problem. I think some states don’t allow hygienists to do that. And then there are some states where hygienists can own their own practices- you could move, LOL.

      Yep, it seems any business has it’s headaches, I guess we just have to find what is worth putting up with the BS that comes along with it. For me, dentistry just seemed to have more headaches than anything else. when I talk to others in the field, I’m still convinced of that.

      Glad you found the site– it’s more fun for me too! Thanks!

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