Low Vision at the Dentist

Low vision changes a lot of things. Dental appointments are pretty much the same though. I bring my cane, but it is more to communicate my vision impairment to others than for me to navigate the familiar office.

I hear the same sounds: scrapes, drills, and suction. The same cramped posture to swish minty mouthwash and spit into the tiny sink next to the chair. The same cold mirror that taps into my teeth as the hygienist picks away the months of plaque residue from my not-so-pearly whites. Even the same faint taste of blood as she flosses my teeth and tells me I do have some gingivitis.

I don’t miss seeing the wall art in the office.

At home, staring into the bathroom mirror, I still spot the usual landmarks: my snaggletooth, my smile, a large bit of something in that tooth space to the left that collects things, a scrapbooker of my meals.

With low vision, I don’t spot new chips in my teeth, or the gradual yellowing from the tea I drink in the evenings, or a receding gumline. The dentist tells me about those things. That’s what I pay him for, right?


4 Comments Add yours

    1. 🙂 Making the dentist fun, someone has to!

  1. Lisa says:

    Interesting you don’t think about the everyday life things and how vision plays a big part in things like doctor appointments, stuff that’s so routine. I don’t like the dentist as a sighted person. I can imagine my anxiety would rise if I had to rely on them totally. Or would it lessen, realizing in neither case can I control what they do?


    1. Lisa: I guess lack of control elicits two responses: either relief or anxiety. I prefer the dentist tell me things like “now this will take 30 seconds” or “you can swallow as needed” rather than digging around with no talk like a mechanic fixing an engine. I don’t get anxious from lack of sight, it is the lack of info that can unnerve me.

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