She called the office 10 minutes past her appointment to say she got confused and was on her way.

She strolled in observing all the rules of decency—her body language clearly expressing her desire to be in our office an hour earlier.

I was already upset since I had to wait for her. I could have accommodated another patient in that time slot—but since I hate to make my patients wait, I didn’t.

Yes, I was naïve thinking that exactly today She was going to show up on time.

But more was about to come my way.

First, though, I want to recap her treatment plan. Due to significant wear of the teeth, discoloration, and increased sensitivity, we have decided to veneer all her teeth in order to create a beautiful, mesmerizing smile for an astonishingly beautiful woman.

This appointment we were planning on taking initial impressions of her mouth in order to create a diagnostic wax-up (see definition below) of her teeth—which will be subsequently used to make the temporary veneers.

First, She wanted to discuss her trip from the steps of her house to our front door with Michele —in all colorful details, of course.

Meanwhile, I was getting anxious since I had other plans that afternoon and had no desire to cancel them.

After 15 minutes of blabbing, She kindly allowed me to look in her mouth. While I was looking, a myriad of thoughts raced through my brain.

How am I going to get her numb? (The patient needs to be numb for her top and bottom teeth at the same time.)

How am I going to prepare her teeth if I can’t even put suction in her mouth?

How, how, how…??? … I could hear the speech balloons popping up around my head like in a bad comic book!

I was starting to panic.

TA DA!!!! I could try to relax her with “laughing gas” or hypnosis!

Unfortunately, all my ideas were deemed hopeless. When I voiced my concerns and suggestions, She looked at me and said, “Are you crazy?! I can’t take ‘laughing gas.’ I’m a control freak, and I don’t want to lose control. And I don’t believe in hypnosis.”

It’s not that I know how to hypnotize the dentophobic patients, but I was trying to grasp at a straw. Clearly, I failed—badly.

We did manage to take those impressions without too much stress, though. But my afternoon plans? Those were ruined and, like Pompeii, were covered in ash.

To be continued…

Diagnostic wax-up is a process in which wax is applied to a model of the patient's teeth to simulate the procedure and results of planned reconstruction, repair, or enhancement.

Temporaries or provisional restorations: The use of provisional restorations as an interim step necessary for three reasons:

  • To protect the prepared surfaces from assault by the oral environment and minimize sensitivity.
  • To evaluate that uniform clearance has been allowed for the final restorative material.
  • To provide a template for directing treatment outcomes—esthetically, phonetically, and functionally.
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