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15 Dentists Reveal The Worst Things They've Seen On The Job

Updated February 3, 2021 3.4k votes 342 voters 13k views15 items

List RulesVote up the worst stomach-turning stories these dentists have to share.

Lots of people hate going to the dentist. Maybe they don't like a stranger poking around in their mouths, or maybe they forget to floss and don't want to hear the lecture that entails again. But have you ever considered what it's like to be on the other side of that scraping hooked tool? Well, according to these dentists, the grass isn't always greener. Sometimes, it's funny dentist stories these professionals are sharing, but what you'll more commonly see is the full-on dental horror story!

Pro-tip: make sure you're not eating anything before you dive into this mouth of madness.

  • 1

    It's Not Like The Seagull Was Using It

    Posted by u/RedRox:

    I'm a dentist in New Zealand.

    Was working in hospital and a woman came into the clinic. She was complaining of pain in her front tooth. She had had multi-extractions in the past, and also had a lot of carious lesions in her mouth.

    The front tooth in question looked nothing like a tooth. Asking her about it, she said that she'd had the tooth extracted some time ago, but didn't like the gap. One day she had been walking along the beach and found a dead seagull. She basically took it home, cut the beak off and shaped it, then super-glued it into her mouth. It flapped around, of course, but she seemed happy with it - although the gum around it had turned malignant, probably due to the superglue and also the continuous irritation of this beak.

    TL;DR: Woman super-glues a bird's beak onto her gum to look "better."

    Dental disaster?
  • 2

    Nope. Nope. NOPE.

    Posted by u/RadicalOptimist:

    I worked in a dental clinic for four years. Oh, the stories. But the ones that stick out the most are:

    Dentist was working at the clinic, and an elderly man was brought in to get his dentures repaired. For those who don't know, dentures are to be taken out and cleaned EVERY DAY. This poor guy, who was under nurse care in a home, hadn't had this thing removed in 10 months. The dentist removed his denture, and the most intense smell of rotten food and infected gums was released. Food had been impacted under his denture for so long, it had deformed his gums, and his dentures didn't fit anymore. The dentist took the liberty to go to the home and counsel every single nurse on how to care for their patients' dentures.

    When I was in training to do cleanings, we had an instructor that told us she had a patient that had a calculus bridge behind her front teeth on the roof of her mouth. A calculus bridge is essentially plaque that has been there for so long, it hardens, and the only way to get it off is to get a cleaning by a professional. The bridge part of it means it stretches between multiple teeth, creating a 'bridge'. Anyway, she's doing her work breaking apart this thing, and she removes a piece and notices MAGGOTS underneath. She has to leave the room before she gets sick and has to come back to finish the cleaning. Pretty horrible.

    Dental disaster?
  • 3

    For When You Want That Extra Clean Feel

    Posted by a former Redditor:

    When I was a student, my instructors told me some stories.

    A lady came in saying her gums were sensitive. They looked in her mouth, and her gums were literally peeling away. They had her rinse, and actual pale pink pieces of gum were coming out of her mouth. It was the consistently of bubblegum when it gets chewed for too long and it's extra sticky. So they ask what she's been doing, and it turns out she's been brushing with Comet (the powdery toilet-cleaning bleach) because it was cheaper than whitening.

    Dental disaster?
  • 4

    Mani-Pedi Mouthi

    Posted by u/Catty_Mayonnaise:

    General/Cosmetic dentist here. I once had a patient come in complaining about a lost veneer. It turns out what she had done is bought a box of plastic stick-on French manicure nails and super-glued the tips to her teeth. She had been re-sticking them for years, but she finally got tired of it and wanted me to use some of my "dental glue" to get them to stay on more permanently. When I refused and, instead, tried to get her to let me clean off the layers and layers of crusty glue and food and plaque, she was P*SSED, and stormed out screaming about how I was only in this for the money, and how dare I not help out a poor mother. The thing is, from a distance, they didn't actually look all that bad. Up close, a rotting disaster. But from afar? I was actually pretty impressed with her ingenuity.

    Dental disaster?