Seeking an understanding dentist in/near San Jose
March 16, 2011 10:59 AM Subscribe
San Jose/South Bay MeFites: Can you recommend a dentist who can clean my teeth and fill my (possible) cavities without making me feel like the reprobate I am?
posted by bakerina to health & fitness (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Background: I'm female, early 40s, law student. Lifelong East Coaster until 2 1/2 years ago, when I moved to San Jose, CA to attend Santa Clara U. School of Law. Will be graduating in two months, sitting for the Bar in July. To that end, I'm trying to get all my doctor's appointments taken care of before bar prep classes start. I have a primary care doctor (GP) and a psychiatrist, but never bothered to seek out a dentist or an OB-GYN (which I also need to do, but that's another question for another time). Covered by Anthem Blue Cross on my spouse's insurance.
Normally I would wait until after the bar to establish a relationship like this -- hey, I've waited this long, right? -- except that I'm noticing some brown spots on two of my back teeth (lower left side) that look to my untrained eye like cavities. They don't hurt, but my gums are bleeding a bit, and sometimes, on bad allergy days, I feel a little pressure in my ear and jawline. So I'd like to deal with them -- and possibly with any surgery -- sooner rather than later.
Of course there's a complication: I used to be very good about going to the dentist when I was younger, but in my mid-20s I gained a lot of weight. I also used to have a heart murmur -- not a dangerous one, but when I was a kid, it was noticeable enough for the pediatrician to note it on my chart. The last time I went to the dentist was about five years ago, when I was still living in NYC. He gave me a basic fluoride treatment, but didn't want to give me a deep cleaning because it could be dangerous with certain kinds of heart murmurs. He advised me to get a checkup with my gp, ask for a prescription for penicillin, and then come back for the deep cleaning. I am embarrassed to admit that I never went back, because the thought of going to the doctor was more stressful and anxiety-producing than it should have been. I just let it go, and figured that as long as I flossed and used a fluoride rinse, I should be okay.
Since that time, much has changed. I lost the weight -- not all of it but most of it -- and I've had a complete physical, including bloodwork, after being diagnosed with ADHD by a neuropsychologist. The heart murmur is gone, and even if it recurs, my gp said it's not the dangerous kind. So I'm ready to act like an adult and take care of my teeth -- except that the thought of getting the hectoring I deserve from an angry dentist is just anxiety-producing enough that I don't just want to pick a dentist at random from the insurance directory or the internet. Thus I turn to the collective wisdom of AskMe.
South Bay folks, can you recommend an excellent dentist who is good with anxious, vaguely neurotic patients? San Jose is best, but I'm willing to go all the way to San Francisco (I clerk in SF 3 days/week), but Oakland/Berkeley/East Bay would be too much of a bite out of my schedule. Proximity to Caltrain is terrific, but not necessary.
(As far as current dental regimen goes: Since Christmas I've been brushing with a Sonicare E series 2x/day, rinsing with Listerine Total 2x/day, and either flossing or using a WaterPik, although last week when I had a cold, I let the WaterPik go.)
Thanking you in advance for your patience!