My First “Un-Crowning” Experience

“What are the chances there’s mercury under this crown?” I heard a soft kind voice say to me.

I opened my eyes to look over at the pictures of the two teeth my new dentist planned to reconstruct on the first phase of my journey.

One had a huge visible mercury filling that had been there since I was a little girl and another porcelain crown with a metal rim that a previous dentist had placed.

“I have no idea.” was my response.
Dr. Pana went on to share that the standard practice learned in dental school was to clear any decay, leave the mercury and “crown it”.

I told him there may be a good chance, since I never had a dentist until this point that went above and beyond the standard of care..

And most of them practiced “below” it.

The series of events that happened next were some of most fearful, yet full of compassion and kindness, that I’ve ever experienced.

Walking into a dentist office, much less being in the chair, has always evoked frightening emotions for me.
Today was no different.

Because there is a special procedure and protocol to safely remove mercury, I was in for a much bigger process.

The soft spoken doctor with his kind eyes and reassuring words put me at ease and I felt calmer as he put in an IV for continuous Vitamin C infusion and started oxygen through a nasal cannula.

I felt “on the other side” of my medical practice and very vulnerable to whatever may come next.

Prayer and my IPod were set up to be a huge part of my saving grace.

I am claustrophobic and the dental dam and covering he put on my face and protective eye coverings sent waves of panic down through my legs. My toes and fingers became cold and numb.

Dr. Pana calmly reassured me that I was not going to suffocate or drown, to breathe through my nose, close my eyes and focus on my kids. “Besides”, he quipped with a space mask he was putting on, “Look what I have to wear!”

I couldn’t help but smile a sideways smile from somewhere inside my wide mouth that was stretched open as he smiled back and told me I was in the best hands.

I believed him. I truly felt like I was.

“Let’s get in and get out” I faintly heard Dr. Pana say from the praise music I had cranked up into my ears.
His assistant put her space mask on, and she turned on the suction and big hose-like apparatus to take out any escaping vapors.

The dreaded drills and noises ensued to remove the pieces of metal and infection that had been slowly poisoning my body and crippling my immune system.

I could feel panic setting in.

Dialogues started in my head:
“What if I die? What if I am poisoned? What if..? No, breathe! Focus..There is no fear in love. God is love and He is with me.”

Waves of peace exchanged with waves of fear continued through this process.

I could see the blue dental covering with light shining through when I opened my eyes.
Then I heard the dentist say, “Wow, there is a huge mercury filling under that crown.”
The assistant moved my eye shield and I could see Dr. Pana’s eyes, as his mask was removed.

I was relieved as he told me he would take it off when the mercury was safely gone!

But, he had a very intent look on his face and I knew what he found was not a good thing. My nerves began to get frazzled again and I could feel my cold hands and feet get more chilled.  I closed my eyes and suddenly heard the most beautiful prayer I think I have ever heard; especially because it was for me during a critical and vulnerable moment for me.

So many times I had been on the other side of this position and began having flashes back of the scared looks in my patients’ eyes as they struggled in pain or fear and remembered praying for them….just like Dr. Pana was now praying for me.

He said “Amen” then put back on his “space mask”.

He went back in for round 2 to get it all out..The crown had metal under it, which was making contact with the mercury.  I have learned that the 2 metals together act like a battery, giving me a continuous “charge”, but apparently not the good kind.

I turned up my music to drown out the loud noises that again ensued and focused on the blessing of being able to finally say good-bye to these substances that had held me in their prison for so many years.

I finally looked up to see the crystal clear eyes of Dr. Pana, for the last time without his mask on.

He looked so happy and hopeful for me..
I knew it had been successful! “It’s OUT!” I wanted to shout!!

I felt so excited, even though this was only the beginning of my day that would last over 3.5 hours and include an extensive protocol to get decay that had caused mercury to seep insidiously into my body and then replace it with healthy material that will be covered with a beautiful permanent new state of the art crown!

The appreciation I felt after it was completed was overwhelming.
The feeling of being comforted, assured and like I was in the hands of someone who knew exactly what to do to help me and really cared was a rare and precious one.

As I hugged Dr. Pana on the way out, which I have never wanted to do before after any dental procedure, I knew I was led to the right person to help me regain my health that has been slipping away..

These first “un-crowning” moments have given a renewed hope and expectancy for my upcoming appointment next week.. I know that the road ahead is long, but I know that each step I take will be one step closer to more health freedom and becoming more of my authentic self…

(Check out my “lesson learned” Here:

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