Friday, October 1, 2010

D is for Disappointment... and Dentist

I felt the need to disappoint someone today. So I went to the dentist.

It is my fail safe method. If I haven’t disappointed a person in a while, I know I can rely on my dentist. Sometimes if I am super lucky, I can manage to have both the dentist and dental hygienist shake their head at me… then I get double the points!

It’s not any particular dentist, mind you. It’s all of them. I have never known what it was like to have perfect teeth – maybe they go easier on those people. No matter how much I brush, no matter how much I floss (I start flossing two weeks before my appointment so my gums don’t bleed – a sign of weakness) these people would not be happy. Take it easy on the poor girl, I am pretty sure plaque can be hereditary.

I had a dentist for several years that would spend hours on my teeth and he was never completely satisfied. He was nice enough, but those few years that I went to him scarred me for life. Okay, coming from a patient who chipped her front tooth slipping on a rock, getting hit in the face with a Frisbee …. and softball, I was probably seen as more of a challenge for him. But the months of having shots to numb the roots of my poor gimp tooth as he attempted to match one porcelain veneer to the rest of my teeth was pure torture. Serves me right for messing up my teeth.

So maybe I was setting myself up when I made my appointment for today. The dental hygienist walked me back and sat me down. She sits down next to me with my chart.

“When was the last time you had your teeth cleaned?” She asked me, pen in hand.

“Five years ago.”

She began writing and then stopped.

“What did you say? Five years? You sure?”

Here we go. What did she want me to say. “No, I am joking.” Now, that I think about it a little more… maybe she did think I was pulling one on her. Well serves her right, she should have taken a look at my mouth first.

I don’t mess with dentists.

I had to go to an emergency dentist after one of the times of cracking my front tooth and he did a temporary bonding job. After handing me the mirror to look at the finished work, I had a new significantly longer tooth. Maybe he thought it would give me some leeway when I chipped it again… or that it might give me an advantage on, say biting someone? I don’t know. But he was very offended when I pointed out to him. Goodness.

Whelp, after the five year comment and looking at me straight in the eyes for a whole five seconds, she went and got the doctor. Still didn’t even take a glance at my pearly whites.

So the doctor comes in and sits down. I look like I’ve already ruined his day. Guess he heard about the five years comment. I oblige when he tells me to open up.

“So it looks like you’ve had braces.”

I perk up, and nodded with my mouth wide open, drool seeping out of the corner of my mouth. He could tell!

“So what happened to your bottom teeth then?”

And there went all my self esteem as my balloon deflated. Yes, my bottom teeth are crooked. My wisdom teeth were impacted and it caused my teeth to buckle. I spent four long years in braces.

Knowing that it was simply a rhetorical question as he had his hands in my mouth… (pet peeve – please don’t ask questions until you can allow me to answer) … he continued…

“bet your parents weren’t too pleased after spending all that money.”

Slightly contemplating on biting this man, I frowned. If only I had kept my longer tooth. I wanted to fabricate a sob story that would make him swallow his words, and apologize… but I didn’t, because he was right. If I had been good at wearing my retainer, my teeth wouldn’t have ended up like this. (Sorry mom and dad.) If only I had a permanent retainer like my hubby has.

So quick as a bunny, he explains that because of my lack of dental care and some other reasons, he will need to get 18 separate x-rays instead of the 12. It won’t cost me anything but we will have to do the cleaning at a separate time. He removes his hands from my mouth and jets from the room without a single word from me.

With the events that followed, I am pretty sure my dentist was in cahoots with my dentist and orthodontist back in northern Kentucky. Because the only thing I could gather from the 18 x-rays was that all of them were disappointed in me and wanted me to pay… and you wonder why I didn’t go to the dentist in five years.

The dental hygienist came back in and took a look at my mouth.

“So it looks like you have a small mouth. I will try to take the x-rays as quickly as possible as the plastic pieces you have to bite on to are the large size, the patient across the hall is using the smaller ones.”
In other words…

“These plastic pieces are going to cut the inside of your mouth and make you gag each of the 18 times. I will try to take the x-rays fast but if you move even the slightest bit as I shield myself a half a mile away, I have to come back and reposition you.”

After wiping the tears from my eyes and almost losing my breakfast a half a dozen times, the dentist came back super cheery and told me that I don’t have any cavities… but my gums are infected and I need to have them flushed out and receive antibiotics. That could possibly explain the pain I was having, which I had surprisingly forgotten in the torturous hours sitting in the hot seat.

Seeing him so cheery though left me seething. He was still supposed to be disappointed, not happy. I will have to try harder at my cleaning appointment this Monday. Although I was told that I it was not going to be a pain-free procedure and they would have to numb me. Got to remember not to mess with dentists, I might need 18 more x-rays or something.

Grumble. I dislike dentists.

Hmm … Well now that I think about it, maybe I could get what David had the next time I go to the dentist… Perhaps I will have a better experience!
(See video below)

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